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Forum topic by jaedwards575 posted 01-11-2010 09:53 AM 1359 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jaedwards575

90 posts in 2519 days


01-11-2010 09:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

A 400+ year old White Oak tree finally fell in my parents yard this past summer. For some reason my father was very partial to this tree, and it devastated him with the fall. A doctor friend of his has had a pen set made for him from the wood, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of something I could build him from the lumber that would be more respectful of such a tree. I am new to woodworking, and have a Shopsmith and a planer at my disposal. Any suggestions?

-- Aaron Possom Town, TN


19 replies so far

View SwedishIron's profile

SwedishIron

142 posts in 3102 days


#1 posted 01-11-2010 10:04 AM

Well.. I would first think about getting the lumber milled.. A white oak that old is bound to have tight grain on it.. and would look amazing quarter sawn… Once you have the lumber.. the sky’s the limit..

Do your parents like a particular style of furniture? Craftsman, Mission, Greene & Greene? It should have enough lumber to make a dining room table, set of many chairs, hunt board, hutch.. lamps.. :)

But seriously, I bet anything you make for him out of that tree would be special and be respectful of it.. Just save it from the fireplace and the landfill if at all possible.. Post some pictures of the tree along w/ some dimensions of those logs.. must be impressive.

Good luck.

-- Scott, Colorado

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17656 posts in 3137 days


#2 posted 01-11-2010 11:04 AM

Quater saw it all and fill the house with Greeene and Greene furniture.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Julian's profile

Julian

880 posts in 2987 days


#3 posted 01-11-2010 02:55 PM

Quarter saw it! With a tree that old you should get a LOT of lumber out of it. I’d love to get my hands on a white oak that large so I could finish the rest of the pieces I want to build for my house.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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CaptainSkully

1430 posts in 3020 days


#4 posted 01-12-2010 02:46 AM

Yes, quarter saw it. You’ll get a bit less lumber, but you’ll be much happier with it. QSWO moves much less across the grain, so whatever you make will be considerably more stable.

As far as what would honor a fallen tree, that depends on a lot of things. Does you father like craftsman furniture? Do they have room for pieces of furniture? Could he use a Morris chair, ottoman and side table? What about a nice dry bar? Coffee table and end table set? Dining room set? Humidor? What are you willing to tackle? Depending on how many board feet you get out of the tree, you could save hundreds of dollars on lumber. Of course, you’ll have to let it dry for quite a while, but that’ll give you time to plan your attack.

Good luck. Sorry about the tree. One of our fellow LJ’s signature says that a woodworker’s responsibility is not to create something beautiful, but to bring out the natural beauty of the wood. I find that this is actually a pretty serious task.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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thudpucker

35 posts in 2882 days


#5 posted 01-12-2010 04:07 AM

Boy I wish I was closer. I’d take a lot of the quarter sawn, 1” by 4 or 5” at least 12’ or more long. I’m intending making a small wood Rowing skiff and that sounds like just what I want for the pieces that are not Plywood.

Down here in the Hurricane belt there is lots of Oak still laying out in the land that will rot before anybody gets to it.

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jaedwards575

90 posts in 2519 days


#6 posted 01-12-2010 08:34 AM

Thanks for the comments. As far as the tree goes the trunk (approx 25ft in diameter) is hollow and rotten, probably from years of lightening, some kind of white mold, and whatever else mother nature could inflict; but some of the larger branches are set aside for milling. The furniture in my parent’s house is primary the same as it was the day I was born, so they aren’t much on change. Once milled and dried, is a rocker that hard to build? I am very new to woodworking, and need to start simple. thanks again

-- Aaron Possom Town, TN

View interpim's profile

interpim

1158 posts in 2920 days


#7 posted 01-12-2010 09:13 AM

to be honest, a rocker is about one of the most difficult things for a beginning woodworker to make, but don’t let that discourage you. If you take your time and take a methodical approach you can do it. Read up on joinery techniques, and watch lots of videos to prep yourself.

-- San Diego, CA

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thudpucker

35 posts in 2882 days


#8 posted 01-12-2010 09:28 AM

Boy I wish I was closer. I’d take a lot of the quarter sawn, 1” by 4 or 5” at least 12’ or more long. I’m intending making a small wood Rowing skiff and that sounds like just what I want for the pieces that are not Plywood.

Down here in the Hurricane belt there is lots of Oak still laying out in the land that will rot before anybody gets to it.

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thudpucker

35 posts in 2882 days


#9 posted 01-12-2010 09:30 AM

Some Lumber mill guy told me a tree dies from the inside out because of Carpenter ants. You can kill them and save the tree with some kind of expensive poison the Chicken growers use.

Every year in the fall I put three rows of 13-13-13 around the trees I want to save. I have two massive Oaks for shade.

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1430 posts in 3020 days


#10 posted 01-12-2010 06:33 PM

That rocker idea is really cool. The good new is that because they’re so advanced to make, there’s lots of books and videos on the subject (and they don’t take a ton of wood). If you really want to go crazy, go Maloof. That’ll be like skipping grade school and just writing your doctoral thesis of woodworking. After that, you can make candle holders and pencil boxes ;)

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View maryetta's profile

maryetta

7 posts in 2644 days


#11 posted 01-12-2010 07:03 PM

Book cases are like diapers and dish towels; one can never have enough. Look around or ask what size they might like. Side tables or end tables (ones by couches or by beds) are also very versatile. A wall hung curio cabinet, with or with out class doors can fit almost any where and someone of their age may have things to display for which they don’t have a means. Good luck. I would still try to quarter saw the trunk (don’t listen to the miller cuz they often don’t like the extra work it takes.) I’ve heard from an experienced woodworker that limbs are difficult to work with as they grow under constant pressure from gravity and can curl or twist when drying. Let us know what you decide to build.

-- Maryetta, Alabama, maryettapalmer@yahoo.com

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rtb

1101 posts in 3174 days


#12 posted 01-12-2010 07:46 PM

After this wood is milled it still will need to dry. unless you have a kiln available you will have to stiker and stack for at least a year which will give plenty to learn, practice and even make a model of what ever your project is going to be.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Julian's profile

Julian

880 posts in 2987 days


#13 posted 01-13-2010 04:36 AM

As was already stated, limbs are no good for lumber.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4808 posts in 2635 days


#14 posted 01-13-2010 04:52 AM

Wow. Talk about a good problem to have ;-)

Good luck … with whatever you choose. Should be a labor of love.

-- -- Neil

View studie's profile

studie

618 posts in 2608 days


#15 posted 01-13-2010 06:02 AM

At least it didn’t die like this. An antique refinisher learned of using lye & water mixture to strip furniture as it was very effective and of low cost. So he got a metal water tub for livestock, elevated it to make a fire underneath and when hot tied a rope to an old worthless chair threw the rope over a limb of the old oak tree & after a few minutes pulled the chair out to see all the finish was stripped just fine. So a chair from a 8 pc dining set was tied with the rope to the top rail, dunked & pulled out only to find the rope had disintegrated! Desperately stirring around for the parts and getting lye burns he gave up as the chair was destroyed. He then used a chain to tie the top rail of the second chair. After dunking the chair for a few minutes he pulled the chain only to find the top rail come out as the glue joints let go of the rest of the chair! While out of his mind with rage he took a 2×4 and dumped the tub over. Well the tree never grew again. OUCH

-- $tudie

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