Spalted Black Jack Oak and Pecan Rustic Mantles...

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Project by SawDustnSplinters posted 11-04-2008 03:29 AM 10373 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Spalted Black Jack Oak and Spalted Pecan Rustic Mantles…

Been busy with the nice cooler weather…turning a lot of slabs that have been laying around stickered too long into something, furniture or BBQ wood. I had a lot of requests from the last show for natural edge fireplace mantles since I was in the Hill Country, lot of rustic cabins and big ranches, deer leases, tourists..etc…. I dug around and found some 3” thick candidates but the spalted pecan had a lot of wormholes and the Back Oak had a lot of deep checks, probably from the high heat this past Summer…but both had some unique grain so I figured out how to improvise and make them useable. On the Spalted Pecan I took a dental pick and a small burr bit and cleaned out for hours :} all the compacted sawdust (which was probably worm uhmm deposits) :) out of the worm holes and filled them with Turqouise “Inlace” the stuff you use on bowls and guitar inlays…..Note: Inlace is only good for about a year and then you need to use it up because it will start to harden…and I think the contrast worked well with the lighter color of the sapwood, kind of reminds me of Blue Cheese…hehe….(My Mom loves that cheese, the wormier the better) yuk…On the Black Oak I used about 10 ounces of clear Epoxy with about a teaspoon of Gloss Black enamel paint mixed well, this one took some time and about 4 pours before it leveled out, must have been deep cracks…..But I think the Black worked well with the black lines of the Oak…...I ground the epoxy flush with the surface of each slab and proceeded to sand out all the mill marks from 120-400 grit, I then used 2 coats of sanding sealer and then straight Poly as a finish and will probably build it up to ten coats , sanding with 220-400 between coats, with the last two being hand rubbed…I figure the poly will protect the wood from any favorite beverages :} that may be placed on them during deer or any season…You know when the buddies are all sitting around the fire telling the tale of the one they missed or not, or why Joe pulled a Dick Cheney on Bubba :)....

Dimensions are 6 foot long by 3” thick….

Be Well…

-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

12 comments so far

View TexPenn's profile


459 posts in 3713 days

#1 posted 11-04-2008 03:55 AM

Nice pieces! I cant wait to get back to the hills…. this feb!!!

-- Ted, TX or PA

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 3807 days

#2 posted 11-04-2008 04:11 AM

Thanx Tex, they were simple but functional for the Hill region. I have no doubt your carving skill and unique pieces you carve would fly out the barn doors there!!! I decided to quit straight-lining one edge for mantles except per request!. That way, if it doesn’t move and it is a nice figured slab, I can flip it over, rout out some mortises, put some legs on it and it is a bench. a table, a desk …or whatever the heck they customer wants :)...Look forward to seeing ya in Feb…..Be well my friend….And see ya in the Hills…

-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4008 days

#3 posted 11-04-2008 05:09 AM

Nice work … good tip on the epoxy and black paint

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4049 days

#4 posted 11-04-2008 07:43 PM

Nice work. You have a lot of time into these, will you make good wages to cover your hours when they sell?

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View Oak Designs's profile

Oak Designs

17 posts in 3409 days

#5 posted 02-19-2009 01:54 PM

these look really good!

-- Ben Bull, Oak Designs -

View toolman409's profile


20 posts in 3431 days

#6 posted 05-14-2009 06:32 AM

Hi Frank,
Love your gallery projects. You really know how to show off wood. I got to your gallery by goggling “blackjack oak”. Wow!

I have an opportunity to harvest a dying blackjack oak and am trying to find out what I can expect to use it for. The main log will be about 9 feet by 24 inch diameter. My understanding is that blackjack oak is very hard, used primarily for tool handles, farm machinery, ?.

I’m wondering if you can give me some first hand information about other characteristics of the wood. Checking, warping, relative width of heartwood to sapwood, evenness of stain uptake, turnability, ray fleck visibility …. whatever you have found to be significant. I must say, seeing what you have done with it has been the most motivating of what I have learned to date.

My friend has a manual bandsaw mill (that is, only the blade is powered). I’m concerned about blade wear. Can you give me a milling difficulty compared to red oak?

I appreciate any insight you give me.

-- Keith, NW Alabama

View a1Jim's profile


117118 posts in 3603 days

#7 posted 05-15-2009 08:12 PM

rustic beauty

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 3807 days

#8 posted 05-19-2009 07:16 PM

Thanx for all the kind comments…
Toolman: BlackJack Oak is kind like a box of chocolates as in you never know what you are going to get, like any wood it will check if dried to quickly, always seal the ends of logs and slabs with something like anchorseal immediately, I have never stained any wood, just goes against my grain :) Fashion a small 30 gal or so plastic barrel with soap and water above the blade, strap it to the frame, put in a faucet at bottom with a short hose and make a resorvoir so the blade runs thru the soapy water constantly while cutting, I have a friend who cuts up tons of Bois D’ Arc with a manual bandsaw mill and this works well.
Be well…

-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

View toolman409's profile


20 posts in 3431 days

#9 posted 05-31-2009 03:30 AM

Frank: Thanks for the encouragement. I have found out that since the Blackjack Oak is almost dead, it may have already split. I believe I am going to offer to put the tree down so I can see what shape the trunk is in. If it isn’t too dry and split to invest more time in it, I’ll take it from there. I would like to get some 2-1/2 ” slabs.

I have some Anchorseal, now, as you all have been insisting.

Maybe my friend will try dripping soap solution on the blade of his bandmill to see if he wants to rig a barrel. He thought it sounded like a good idea that would make the cutting easier.

I plan on borrowing your “just goes against my grain” pun. I might even get a smile out of my wife on that. She really thinks my humor is hilarious, ......but tries real hard not to laugh. I promise to give you credit.

Have a good week!

-- Keith, NW Alabama

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 3807 days

#10 posted 05-31-2009 05:21 AM

Your more then Welcome ToolMan…anytime…the tree more then likely has usable wood as it takes a 1 in thick slab a year to air dry…if you want to wind up with 2.5 in thick slabs then cut them a little over…about 2.75-3 in and allow for overall lateral cell shrinkage and give ya some planing headroom…yea the soapy water will let ya cut ten times more per blade…I will try to snap a pic of my friend’s rig and his solar kiln ( cut a year’s waiting time down to 6-8 weeks ?) he built himself….next time I go out to the lake fishing as that is where he has his shop..and where I need to move mine and fixing to … :)

Be Well and God Bless…

-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#11 posted 05-31-2009 06:37 AM

Some great looking wood. Nice collection and use.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 3807 days

#12 posted 05-31-2009 06:45 AM

Good to hear from you Karson my friend…and good to see ya..ya know I was stationed at Dover AFB before they sent me to Panama back in 78 and I caught some good size fish out there in farmers ponds before there dogs run me off :)

God Bless you and yours and keep you well….......


-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

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