Oak boards help

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Parbynat

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Can someone help with this?
The place close to me has just made 2 cuts to a green oak sleeper which has left me with 3 boards measuring 2.4m x 200mm x 30mm.
There are many smallish cracks to the outside faces but where the cuts have been made the moisture is still present and the wood looks good.
What would be the best thing I could do to minimise cracks appearing, also how long should I now leave it before I use it?
Thanks
 

Droogs

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The rule is a year an inch to air dry. Wood is basically a collection of straw bundles and loses most of its moisture from the open ends. Paint the ends with some form of sealer to slow down the moisture loss at the ends to prevent cracking/splits and put the wood into sticker. Be prepared for a lot of warping or twist due to the way the sleeper has been sawn
 

MARK.B.

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How long to leave the boards really depends on what you are going to use them for . They need to be laid flat with thin (approx 10 mm thick and 25/50mm wide) wooden lats placed approx every 300mm underneath the bottom board and then put more across the length of thet board directly over those underneath ,place the next board on top and put more lats directly above the other ones and then your top board . Then put a load of weight on top evenly spread and then wait for them to dry. As Droogs and Adam have said it will take some time for them to dry ,perhaps a year or more ,so put them where they can be left without having to move them until dry. Seal the ends and hope for the best as no two pieces are alike ,one may be great and the next may split or crack /twist or warp .
 

Parbynat

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Ha I'm beginning to think I shouldn't have bothered getting it.
I have sanding sealer, would that work. Also, what do you mean when you say put into sticker?
So I basically have to park it up for 12 months, ah well It is what it is.
 

Parbynat

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Thanks for the replies.
I got them today, little did I know it was going to be so long before I could use them.
I put them on lats in my back bedroom thinking that they would be there for a couple of weeks but now they're going to get moved outside.
I will try and get them in the shed but that might be a bit of a squeeze so I thought maybe on lats and then under a tarp.
How does that sound?
 

MARK.B.

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Outside under a tarp will be fine, just make sure you have good airflow all round, will most likely take a bit longer to dry compared to having it inside.
 

Jones

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A tarp is not good you can basically end up with a very damp warm tent over the wood which is not good. Stack off the ground with sticks between boards in a neat pile with a roof board on top weighted down to keep it in place.
 

Parbynat

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Jones, I have cut the 2.4m boards in half and stored them in the shed, I decided not to keep them outside in the end.
 

Stevekane

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Really for my own info, but I have a feeling that slower drying might be better than fast,,so outside under cover would be better than in the house, is this correct?
Tomorrow weather permitting Im uncovering a couple of oak boards that have been outside under a polytarp for a couple of years,,and hopfully sliceing them down into useable boards, they have been laying on pallets, stickered but not tented over with the tarp,,I wonder if the mould will be present?
Steve
 

Stevekane

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Well the boards were nice and dry, and no mould or anything, my only problem is that the boards are very cupped, Im splitting them down to 6ins wideand hopfully i will be able to make a couple of flat, if slightly “quilted” panels.
 

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Stevekane

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After a couple of days laying flat in the lovely sunshine weve been having, convex side up, a lot of the cupping has gone, I probably wouldent want to make a Billiard Table with them but I think just about flat enough for my needs.
Steve.
 

rogxwhit

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I like your gut instinct about equalising the moisture! But I can see surface checking (splits) that are far in excess of what I'd expect of a board that I wanted to use. You seem to be alert & learning, though, which is a good track to be on. And the balancing act for many of us over time has been between budget & experience!
 

Stevekane

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Compliments indeed, thank you, it looks like Im able to split the boards down so that I avoid the splits and the worst bits I will cut down and use for all the small bits I will require, if it all comes out okay I will post a photo,,
Steve.
 
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