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Another wood drying question - 3 year old oak


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Established Member
1 Mar 2005
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The oak tree was originally planted over 20 years ago in memory of a teenage son of friends killed in a push bike road accident. The house changed hands and I'm now very friendly with the new owner who turned up at the local wood turning club a couple of years ago.

3 years ago the oak tree had had to be felled as it was badly sited and had grown too big to retain. Fortunately the wood was left in wood turning friendly lengths, and processing this wood had been mentioned occasionally. Recently I made a frame that very effectively holds logs well for X cutting and ripping, and having used it for some elm, yew and cherry, the oak came back up again as a topic and whether it would still be usable having kicked around in a pile for 3 years.

It is very usable fortunately - a little spalting in the some of the sap wood but otherwise fine, but the RH meter is indicating the upper 20's %, so it has some drying has to go yet !!. The split lengths are from 8 to 14" in diameter.

Now this is the problem. We would like to make a pair of bowls from this wood for the mother and father of the lad - they are no longer together sadly - but drying time and age are not good bed fellows now and in reality we would like to get on with it. What can the collective recommend or are we being a bit wishful ?

Many thanks for any help



Established Member
31 Dec 2004
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Cotswolds UK
I would suggest that you turn them green, allowing sufficient thickness for the inevitable warpage.
Given a couple of months indoors it should be fine for finished turning.

Example of such drying HERE Just wrap the outer shell in thick brown paper or several layers of newspaper to put a bias on the shrinkage rate to reduce splitting risk.