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buying and preparing oak

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jim4321

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Hello everyone,

I am off to SL hardwoods on Monday to hopefully buy some oak to make a few coffee tables and am not sure of a few things.

First of all, i want a type of oak that is going to have some really interesting grain, does european or american oak better for this? (i don't mind spending a little more for somthing thats going to look unique.

i don't own a P/T so was going to hire one for a couple of days. has anyone hired one of these before. will it take a lot of setting up and getting used to or are they quite straight forward? could i get away with just the thicknesser as i have a jointer plane for doing the edges

I was also planning to buy the wood on monday, leave it in the house for a week and then machine it the following week. is this long enogh?


cheers

Jim
 

Waka

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Jim

I think you'll find that European Oak has a straighter grain than American, I tend to use American White Oak which does have a nice grain configuration.

You don't mention whether you are buying rough sawn or planed all round, it you but planed all round you probably won't need to hire a planer/thicknesser, and I have to say I've never hired one before. regarding the use, it is pretty straight forward to use, but depending on how it comes the set up could be a bit fiddly.

I guess my advice would be to buy planed all round strock, although dearer this would be offset by the hire of the PT.

Hope this helps.
 

jasonB

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Before you waste a journey, give them a call to make sure they have what you want in stock, they don't keep a lot of sawn boards, if I want any sawn boards from them I always order in advance and they get it in on one of their weekly deliveries.

What thickness boards are you after, I have been buying european (french) oak flooring ,22mm thick, T+G as it is only a couple of pounds more per sq mtr than sawn 1" oak and has a nice grain, the supplier lets me sort through it to get what I want, comes 8", 10", & 12" nom width. All the oak in this kitchenexcept worktop on dresser & beams is from this flooring.

It is stored in an open sided barn so will benifit from as much time indores as possible but I used it straight away for that kitchen and 6 months later there is no sign of movement, my meter showed about 8% MC.

It comes from http://www.scottimber.co.uk/ just by Heaver Castle

As for figure, Americam white is fairly regular with little defects, European will have a few more knots and more irregular grain as it flows round the Knots, if you want something with more interest then go for pippy or cats paw oak maybe just for the table top.

Jason
 

jim4321

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Thanks for the replies guys,

I was looking at getting sawn boards because they seem to have more choice of dimesnsions. I wanted 75mm x 75mm for the legs, and they do oak in 150 x 75 so i was going to rip it down the middle( have a bandsaw). I have priced it up and am looking at around £400 for the wood. am i looking at paying a lot more for them to machine it for me?

Jason, thanks for the advise on the cats paw. found a picture and it looks great, may have to do the table tops in this.

Thanks

Jim
 

woodshavings

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If you are going to SL, it may be worth paying £15 via the web to join their Members Club. This should give you 10% discount. When I spoke to them, they said the discount applies for orders placed at their shop as well as on line orders. I am not sure if it applies to sawn timber purchases, but its worth checking out. Could save you £25!
John
 
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Anonymous

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I wanted 75mm x 75mm for the legs, and they do oak in 150 x 75
is their a planing allowance in their sizes? if the rough sawn thickness is it's only 75mm you wouldn't get 75mm out of it after planing it.

Jason
that is one nice kitchen and dresser

Waka
do you stain your American Oak or is that sacrilege I bought some thinking it was european and cant make up my mind if I like the natural colour experimented with some water stains and mixtures of them but not entirely happy with the ones I've tried to date might have a go at fuming
 

Waka

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FC

I've only ever oiled or used clear varnish.
 

jasonB

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FC the 75mm size is the size as it comes off the saw, you generally allow 3mm from each surface so the planes size you get will be about 69mm, you could specify 75mm finished size but as this will come out of the next size up you will be paying for a lot of wood shavings.

Waka don't forget to allow for waste in your costings. You may only need a 1500lg length of 150x75 for the legs but they are like ly to sell you a 2.4+ length that may be 175mm wide. When I order from them by phone I pay for the volume of the order then pay the extra when I collect to cover the sizes I actually get.

If you are after 75mm stuff definatly make sure you check stock before you got if they do have it in stock check it hasn't got wet as most of their stuff is just under tarps :(

Jason
 

garywayne

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Hi Jim.

I don't know if this is of any use, but in the July/August issue 178 of "Fine Woodworking" there is a question on how to improve the appearance of oak.

Improve ray-fleck pattern in oak.

Q: My quartersawn oak stock doesn't always have interesting figure. Is there a way to improve the appearance?

A: Rays in a tree contribute to the figure of a piece of wood. They radiate out from the center of the tree, perpendicular to the growth rings. Ideally, when lumber is quartersawn, the growth rings are perpendicular to the surface of the board and the rays end up parallel to the surface. The split and exposed rays create what is known as ray fleck. Not every piece of quatersawn lumber has rays parallel to the board surface, but by resawing the board's surface relative to the rays and growth rings, you can make the ray flack in your oak look spectacular.

To accomplish this, I use a 14-in. bandsaw, which lets me cut at the proper angle on boards as wide as 6 in. (or even 12 in. with a riser kit installed on the saw). First, tilt the table to an angle so that when the board is placed on its edge, the rays are parallel to the blade. Then set up the fence so that the blade cuts to the corner of the board, maximizing the final thickness.

Now the face of the board is parallel to the rays. Use the new face as your reference to mill the remaining sides of the board.

Although this process generates a large amount of waste, it gives me the option to build furniture that has a stunning ray-fleck pattern.

I hope this makes some sense.

Writen by:- Hendrik Varju, a furniture builder in Canada.

ATB Gary.
 
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Anonymous

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I am not sure if it applies to sawn timber purchases
Last they told me was that it doesn't apply to timber, only catalogue items.
 

Jaco

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Definitely American White Oak.
Busy making a TV cabinet from it.
:D :D :D
 

jasonB

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Applies to all net purchases I was told but I still get a discount & I'm not in the club so to speak!

Jason
 

jasonB

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Fatcat, I like to keep my oak quite light Like this set of lounge furniture in Amercan White.

If I want it darker then I usually add a little colour to my oil finish like on this table in European Oak

Jason
 
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