Working with oak - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
View gazoo's Photo Album My Photos
Working with oak

Hi all, I'm new to this site and have a question about working with oak.
I am about to start making some shelving units with American white oak legs and supports. I intend to tap some zinc alloy threaded inserts into the oak but have been told that the oak may corrode them! Does anyone know if this is true?
Many thanks in advance.
gazoo is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 07:23 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 546
View Just Bill's Photo Album My Photos
I assume you are talking about dried, ready to work oak??? I see no problem with what you describe. The only common wood that does that to fasteners is pressure treated wood, and that is not generally used for furniture.
Just Bill is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 07:30 AM
Senior Member
phinds's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Central New York
Posts: 3,248
View phinds's Photo Album My Photos
Just FYI, depending on what source you use, you can identify somewhere between 300 and 600 species of the genus Quercus that are all oak, so your categorization of the wood as "oak" is not as helpful as you might think.

Now, granted, you can't tell most of those species apart outside of a lab (unless you have the tree itself and are an expert on bark and leaves and such), but still, it's common to at least distinguish among red oak, white oak, and live oak.

Now all of that was just to prove what a smart-ass I am (as TT and others will gleefullly confirm), but is pretty much irrelevant to your question since as far as I know all of the oaks respond poorly (they stain) in the presence of ferrous metal combined with moisture).

What do they do around non-ferrous metals? As far as I know, nothing. It's the iron that causes the stain-inducing reaction.

So all of that was my roundabout and long-winded way of saying "not 100% positive but I'm pretty sure you won't have a problem with zinc".


You can never have too much pepperoni on your pizza or own too many clamps.
phinds is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 07:34 AM
the chipper chippie :)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: England, UK
Posts: 8
View chipper's Photo Album My Photos
not sure if the US oak differs to our english oak, but we tend to use brass fittings or stainless steel when working with oak as the oils in the wood tend to react with ferrous metal fittings.
zinc should be fine too
chipper is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 07:35 AM
the chipper chippie :)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: England, UK
Posts: 8
View chipper's Photo Album My Photos
lol ah, think paul just beat me to it, and explained it 10 times better too! lol
chipper is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 08:26 AM
Old School
cabinetman's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,027
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Many Oaks (and Walnut and Mahogany for example) are high in tannic acid. It's extract was/is used for tanning animal hides...hence "tanned leather". The acid when sourced with iron from the moisture in the tree, or water, or from iron sources, forms a chemical reaction.

I use mostly brass fittings. Stainless fittings will also work, but are more expensive.

cabinetman is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
View gazoo's Photo Album My Photos
Many thanks for the advice and the laugh I got. It's very much appreciated.
The zinc alloy fixings I have should do the trick. Making one for myself first and will keep an eye on it!

Thanks again...
gazoo is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 09:15 AM
Senior Member
Ghidrah's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 766
View Ghidrah's Photo Album My Photos
Excluding finished furniture in climate controlled environments

Just so you know, Zink will protect the screw or nail for only so long when acidic wood and moisture are together, worse still near the ocean (doesn't need to be wet high humidity will suffice)

Over extended periods salts and acids provide the break down which is like a form of electrolysis
Ghidrah is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 10:17 AM
Senior Member
Tony B's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dickinson, Tx.
Posts: 4,061
View Tony B's Photo Album My Photos
What is the purpose of the threaded inserts?
If for joining, maybe a mprtise and tenon or some other joint would work just as well.

Tony B Retired woodworker, among other things.

"Strive for excellence and settle for completion" Tony B
Tony B is online now  
post #10 of 10 Old 04-09-2010, 11:25 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 868
View Colt W. Knight's Photo Album My Photos
Brass inserts are really really cheap. I use them to install guitar necks without worrying about long time corrosion or rust.
Colt W. Knight is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Working with MDF splinter Joinery 17 02-04-2010 03:46 AM
Working with teak???? Al B Cuttn Wud General Woodworking Discussion 4 09-29-2009 05:31 AM
wood working ficow General Woodworking Discussion 3 01-06-2009 04:27 PM
Working with Hackberry Skip_Evans Woodturning 2 12-28-2008 01:22 PM
Working with MDF rolldodge General Woodworking Discussion 9 11-06-2007 08:45 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome