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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)



First time here, and enjoying it !! - especially this area of the Forums. I am a Mason by trade, an also started honing my woodworking skills as a hobby. I acquired this Live Oak by taking on the task of removing what was left of the tree, off of a job site. My Brother just happens to live near me, and owns a rollback vehicle carrier .He said that the load was the heaviest he'd ever felt !
After one HELLAVA Day, it now rests on my land near Austin,Texas. I want to keep a portion of it and being a " Wood Rookie" -- have many questions for the experienced Woodsman --
1.) Without investing thousands of dollars, what could i do with this ?
2.)What would you do?
3.) How old? How Heavy?
4.) Is this considered, "Big" -- Do they get,"Bigger"?
5.) Is there a market $ for it ?
6.) I'm also willing to share some of it, in exchange of needed resources. (Saw milling) -Anyone Interested?
7.) Any other input / info. would be Great !


Center is hollow for only about 10", then sharply tapers shut. There aren't any other openings evident.

[URL="http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/attachments/f26/49934d1346128245-monster-live-oak-help-im-newbie-pics-2.jpg"]
Length = 126" Diameter = 49"( narrowest) to 64" (widest)

;)
How - or - if it Died of Natural causes Is Unknown. Very little rotting is evident. Central Texas soil,Dry,Very Rocky. Zip code 78620

when the rest of the tree was cut down >> unknown, but most agree approx. 12 - 18 mos. ago.

The next day, I pinched off a quarter size chip, and spent 15 minutes putting a finish on it. You could say i was kinda excited !!
Thanks for the input. See Ya at the Saw Mill !!!
 

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Nice find.

I would be slabbing that in 1.5" and 3" thick slabs, and selling off a few. If you were close I would personally be interested in a few slabs for kitchen table tops. But your 2/3rds of a country away. Many will be looking for similar reasons.This will likely have some damage through the center. Who cares? That sells as well. Personally I love working damaged and twisted grains.
I am seeing conference or kitchen tables 126" x 49"+
When milling and getting to narrower boards, you mark em and book match em.
Sure, you'll have some mill $$$'s spent but it will come back to you many times over.

Then you or the next person also needs to consider drying them. Thinner pieces are harder to keep straight in the drying process, due to radical twisting grains.
 

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Mason, there is a fellow outside of Austin who specilizes in milling and drying many of your native species, including live oak and pecan and especially large diameter logs. His name is Brandon Berdoll; send me an e-mail if you would like his contact information.

Live Oak has interlocked grain, and is extremely difficult to dry straight. It needs to be dried extremely slowly too! If you're not careful, you will end up with a lot of firewood...

One of the first things that you want to do (if you're going to have the log milled) is to apply some end sealer to the ends of the logs. You're probably going to need about a half gallon. Many people may suggest latex paint or roofing tar; personally I would suggest a 5 gallon pail of either Baileys End Sealer (www.baileys-online.com) or Anchor Seal Classic from US Coatings. Brandon should have end sealer in stock
 

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I'm down in San Antonio and I've got some piles of live oak in the back yard I scored off a construction site. As was mentioned, its hard to dry...I cut some thick cookies, waxed them and they are still disintegrating. I painted some large trunk sections with latex I had lying around and they are cracking on the ends but might be alright on the inside. The slabs I cut are sealed and under a tarp and up off the ground. I'm hoping they turn out okay.

I turned a mallet the other day for my own use and its not cracked at all yet unlike the goblet from three weeks ago so that's a good sign.
 

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I speed dry everything in a makeshift kiln.Reason being is I don't have space or time to wait for woods to come of age at ~1" per year.
I need them next week, but have had some stubborn 6" thick pieces take 3 months to dry to an internal M.C. of 8-9%.
I do buy some slabs that have set for 3+ months, and then finish dry them when I get them home. That has been very successful.

On some species and woods with radical grains, I've had a few things blow apart and crack up, but the name of the game for me is chance it and get to work. If I lose 1/4 of the wood to crack/twist/whatever, so be it. It isn't a financial loss, since shop space is a premium, and you figure said space as wasted and unusable. Also much of what I use is "junk wood" that has some bug chew or damage. Not suitable for fine straight grained boards. Those are usually burn piled or for firewood. I get those free except for transporting them home.
Last fall, I got 35ft of silver maple hollow logs, that were from 30" - 45" dia., and the sides were only 3" to 8" thick. Chewed to hell by carpenter ants. It cost me $125 for cutting them unto moveable sizes and transport. 1/2 of them split apart but we still used em. The other 1/2 are good bases for kitchen/coffee tables w/ glass tops, and oddity pieces. The grain are stunning.

So I don't know about live oak, but if you slab em, get weight down on em after stickered, coat the ends and any radical areas that might split and dry em....fast or slow...your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
It's nice to see neighbors here as well. It can be kinda nerve racking making decisions on thicknesses,drying process,mills,etc..
I have decided that the drying process is just too much of a gamble for me to try to tackle alone. I am going to seek out a professional fore this one. I know that there is no guarantees, but figure it would better my odds & decrease losses.
Aardvark: I agree with those thicknesses, gonna go for it soon.
Horatio: if your ever near Wimberley, come on by and take a peek.
Scsmith42: Ordered the End Sealer today. I am going to email you about the info.
-- Keep the info. coming, " Puttin All my Ducks in a Row!" -- Thanks Ya'll !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
scsmith42 said:
Mason, there is a fellow outside of Austin who specilizes in milling and drying many of your native species, including live oak and pecan and especially large diameter logs. His name is Brandon Berdoll; send me an e-mail if you would like his contact information.

Live Oak has interlocked grain, and is extremely difficult to dry straight. It needs to be dried extremely slowly too! If you're not careful, you will end up with a lot of firewood...

One of the first things that you want to do (if you're going to have the log milled) is to apply some end sealer to the ends of the logs. You're probably going to need about a half gallon. Many people may suggest latex paint or roofing tar; personally I would suggest a 5 gallon pail of either Baileys End Sealer (www.baileys-online.com) or Anchor Seal Classic from US Coatings. Brandon should have end sealer in stock
I don't have permission yet to PM you. - guess cause I'm a Rookie. -- So, here's my work email :
[email protected]. Thanks in advance for the Assist. .
 

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Mason, there is a fellow outside of Austin who specilizes in milling and drying many of your native species, including live oak and pecan and especially large diameter logs. His name is Brandon Berdoll; send me an e-mail if you would like his contact information.

Live Oak has interlocked grain, and is extremely difficult to dry straight. It needs to be dried extremely slowly too! If you're not careful, you will end up with a lot of firewood...

One of the first things that you want to do (if you're going to have the log milled) is to apply some end sealer to the ends of the logs. You're probably going to need about a half gallon. Many people may suggest latex paint or roofing tar; personally I would suggest a 5 gallon pail of either Baileys End Sealer (www.baileys-online.com) or Anchor Seal Classic from US Coatings. Brandon should have end sealer in stock
Is Brandon’s contact info still available? I also came across a nice live oak that I’m looking to mill.
 

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Seems like comparing apples and oranges. Milling a tree would be up to the capabilities of your local mill. Still, is it worth it. They would probably charge you around half what the wood would cost come from a hardwood supplier, already kiln dried and surfaced. You have the wood milled then you need to stack it up and let it sit for around a year for every inch the lumber thickness is and air dry. If you had a lot of trees to mill and your own mill I could see it being worth it. If it's a huge tree it might be necessary to use a chainsaw and rip it to a manageable size. I've been cutting oak logs on my place and I had one that was about 18" in diameter and 12' long and my tractor wouldn't lift it. I had to cut it to an 8' length to get it off the ground.
 

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Seems like comparing apples and oranges. Milling a tree would be up to the capabilities of your local mill. Still, is it worth it. They would probably charge you around half what the wood would cost come from a hardwood supplier, already kiln dried and surfaced. You have the wood milled then you need to stack it up and let it sit for around a year for every inch the lumber thickness is and air dry. If you had a lot of trees to mill and your own mill I could see it being worth it. If it's a huge tree it might be necessary to use a chainsaw and rip it to a manageable size. I've been cutting oak logs on my place and I had one that was about 18" in diameter and 12' long and my tractor wouldn't lift it. I had to cut it to an 8' length to get it off the ground.
 

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The question remains though can you get that log to the mill and can the mill handle something that big? My tractor has about 1200 lbs lift to it and it would be all it could do to get an 18" section of that log out of there.
 
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