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What are these marks?

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Forum topic by MalcolmLaurel posted 158 days ago 517 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MalcolmLaurel

210 posts in 225 days


158 days ago

This is a piece of oak from a tree I took down a few years ago. While splitting it for firewood, one piece split off almost flat, so last weekend I flattened it out with a hand plane, mainly as an experiment. Now it’s becoming a small chair side table. When I planed it, some odd marks appeared. At first I thought they were perhaps artifacts from the planing, but they’re still visible after sanding. I’m not complaining; they’re kind of interesting, but I’m wondering what causes these marks?

-- Malcolm Laurel - http://MalcolmLaurel.com https://www.etsy.com/shop/MalcolmLaurel


6 replies so far

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

679 posts in 1537 days


#1 posted 158 days ago

Ray flecks. They can appear in quarter sawn oak.

View BTKS's profile

BTKS

1967 posts in 2066 days


#2 posted 158 days ago

I have some oak with similar marks. I think they are a variation of the ray flecks that show up in quarter sawn oak. I’m not certain about this but it seems to make sense.
Do you know the exact sub-species of Oak this tree was?
BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View RogerInColorado's profile

RogerInColorado

286 posts in 557 days


#3 posted 158 days ago

These are medullary rays grow in a radial fashion, so when a board is cut, the cut is across the ray. They are more pronounced in some species and command a premium when it’s in a board and often the board is pulled out to cut a batch of veneer. They are spectacular in white oak.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1383 posts in 323 days


#4 posted 158 days ago

Those are a good thing, the closer you get to the wood being quarter sawn the more prevalent these become. Many like the look, but it also indicates a board that will yield greater seasonal stability.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1076 posts in 1078 days


#5 posted 158 days ago

All trees have medullary rays. Only a few domestic trees have very large rays that give a dramatic figure when quartersawn. These are the oaks, beech, and sycamore. Quartersawn lumber with the ray fleck is much more valuable than flat sawn lumber. It is a very good thing.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View MalcolmLaurel's profile

MalcolmLaurel

210 posts in 225 days


#6 posted 158 days ago

Thanks all… I’m not sure what species of oak it is. Most of it has gone up in smoke by now, except for an 8’section that I adzed a flat face on for a rough bench.

-- Malcolm Laurel - http://MalcolmLaurel.com https://www.etsy.com/shop/MalcolmLaurel

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