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random #34: the straw-like nature of red oak

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 1568 days ago 2622 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 33: To the Xylarium! Part 34 of random series Part 35: birch... juice? »

I just had some thin CA glue seep from one end to the other of a 13.75” long red oak board.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator



12 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

9921 posts in 2341 days


#1 posted 1568 days ago

A guy once told be that you can tell the difference between red oak and white oak by by taking a puff from a cigarette and blowing it into the end grain of a short piece of the wood. If the smoke comes out of the other end, it’s red oak.

I guess this is good to know because white oak is often used for boat parts. Red oak would make for lots of leaks.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 1968 days


#2 posted 1568 days ago

Ha, true! I’ll have to find it again, but there’s a specific structure that pokes into the pores of white oak that look like little white puffs. You can see them pretty easily. There’s a biological name for them, and they’re what stuff up the pores and basically clog them up, making it harder for air and liquids to penetrate.

Edit: Found it! Tyloses. I am quite organized in my wood research bookmarks. This was under making->woodshop->wood research->wood science :)

Looking up tyloses, I found wikipedia’s page on Quercus (oaks), and under uses there’s a nice blurb about it:

“White Oaks have cellular structures called tyloses. Tyloses give the wood a closed cellular structure, which does not allow water to pass. Tyloses are cell ingrowths of living wood parenchyma into the cavities of xylem conducting cells. The white oaks, with tyloses, are used in making wine and whiskey barrels as well as outdoor furniture. Red Oaks do not have the tyloses, thus white oak barrels are used in wine and whiskey production to prevent leaking, which would be the result of using red oaks.”

I remembered and found this page again on “Distinguishing Red and White Oak,” too. It has a good image of red (left) and white (right) oak end grains. The red has nice, big, open pores, and the white seems kind of plugged up.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View lew's profile

lew

9921 posts in 2341 days


#3 posted 1568 days ago

That is some neat information, Gary.

About a 30 minute drive from where we live is a park that has a Wye Oak descendant growing there. Apparently the state of Maryland collected acorns from the Wye Oak and planted them in various parks throughout the state.

This area was rich in both Red and White Oak but the Gypsy Moths have really devastated the forests. They spray every year but it seems like a hopeless battle.

I appreciate the links. The information is really interesting.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Mark Edmondson's profile

Mark Edmondson

39 posts in 1789 days


#4 posted 1568 days ago

If red oak is so pourous, would it be possible to soak one end in polyurethane or some other sealer, then have it wick all the way through it? If so, it would be a good way to make a nearly indestructible piece of lumber that wouldn’t expand and contract with the humidity.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 1968 days


#5 posted 1568 days ago

Sounds like something we ought to test out, Mark! I was thinking of related ideas, like making a decorative oak pillar that sits in a water tub and wicks water up to plants growing on top, or to some kind of diffusion watering system wherein water is pumped across an end-grain butcher block trough and weeps out of the bottom like rain drops. I don’t know if the oak would hold up, though.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2583 posts in 1604 days


#6 posted 1568 days ago

So what happened to the 13.75 piece of Red Oak that the thin CA glue went through? What was the end result? Did you use it for something or just got disgusted and threw it away?? Did it get stuck to something else?? You wrote a sentence and left it hanging with all kinds of possible endings! If you had added “Isn’t that amazing?” then I would have understood completely! LOL

Erwin

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View OutPutter's profile

OutPutter

1194 posts in 2576 days


#7 posted 1568 days ago

Or maybe we heat up some tung oil, or wait, how about we take an old DeLorean and a flux capacitor…

I love LumberJocks,

-- Jim

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 1968 days


#8 posted 1568 days ago

Erwin: I mention it again, and show it at the end of this new post that I just put up. Basically, I jointed and planed some junk boards from a pallet and glued them up into a block, then jointed, planed, and squared that up, and I didn’t have any reason :) I just wanted to play with my repaired planer, and I like the look of composite blocks of glued-up wood pieces, like large plywood. There was a check in one of the inner pieces, so I poured in some CA glue to seal it up, and it just kept taking more, and then after it finally hardened over, aided by a spritz or three of the activator, I flipped it over to seal up 2 tinier checks in the other side and found a pool of CA glue seeping out of that side. A spritz later it, too hardened up. I sealed the other checks, then ran the ends against the belt sander to get them (and their CA glue fills) perfectly flush. Very enjoyable. I should work on a real project soon!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2583 posts in 1604 days


#9 posted 1567 days ago

Thanks Gary for the clarifications and new post. It looks like if you would cut it in 1 1/2” or 2” slices you would/could have a very nice looking end grain cutting board. Of course you may have to pour a lot of the CA glue to seal the pores. Good luck with the piece and congrats on your wood score.

Erwin

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 1968 days


#10 posted 1567 days ago

Irwin – I like that idea the best so far! I made a new post that talks about just that. Thanks!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

885 posts in 2199 days


#11 posted 1566 days ago

Gary -

That is just f’ing fascinating! A tip of the hat to ya!

What’s even more amazing is that you could find it. I have my woodworking links pretty well organized too but the “miscellaneous” folder is the biggest and where all the interesting tidbits like this end up.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 1968 days


#12 posted 1566 days ago

EEngineer – I am a bit manic about my organization. It’s highly organized now, and I’m still not satisfied.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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