Red Oak Tare out

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Forum topic by gpastor posted 05-08-2014 04:14 PM 1319 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View gpastor's profile


184 posts in 3056 days

05-08-2014 04:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tunning red oak question oak lathe turning victorian

I have just started building a platform rocker for my wife (just like Knotnow’s )
It is made mostly of turned pieces 33 to be exact. Have done some turning in the past but this the biggest project by far and my first out of red oak. As you can see from the pictures I am get some tear out. It not real bad put I don’t know if I can over look them.

I am using very sharp skew and ligh cuts. I could see that I was getting tare out when I was roughing it out with a gouge. So I stop a 1/8 short of finished diameter and used 80 grit sandpaper to get to finished size .

Should I just overlook the tear out and try to fill it in or start over. I got a ton of this red oak so it’s not a big deal to start over. I am hoping to find a way to avoid the tare out any ideas ?

-- Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

9 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2132 days

#1 posted 05-08-2014 04:53 PM

I would ask the wife what she thinks! You can always orientate that tear out so not so noticeable. Depending upon what you use to fill may just make that tear out more noticeable.

-- Bill

View Redoak49's profile


3242 posts in 1986 days

#2 posted 05-08-2014 05:28 PM

I would make certain the the tools are very sharp and taking light passes to start with.

What tool were you using when this happened? Figuring this out can help you determine what changes to make i

I find that the angle of the tool to the work piece makes a difference and a more scraping action reduces tear out. Also in my experience old wood that is very dry tends to have tear out.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1519 days

#3 posted 05-08-2014 05:39 PM

Unfortunately, that’s kind of characteristic of red oak. With the steps you are already taking, it’s certainly not a shortcoming of the woodworker. It’s great that you have a good bit of wood. Maybe try wood that comes from closer to the center of the tree.

View pastorglen's profile


267 posts in 2688 days

#4 posted 05-08-2014 05:52 PM

First, I think this project is a real gem! My grandmother had one that was similar, and it was clearly her favorite chair.

Second, I agree with Redoak49 and others. That’s part of the challenge of working with the oak family. Make sure your tools are REALLY sharp. You might even consider buying a set of carbide tools for your lathe.

Third, have you contacted Knotnow? He might have some insight for you that will help in this project.

Good luck, and I can’t wait to see the finished results!

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

View mahdee's profile


3883 posts in 1765 days

#5 posted 05-08-2014 06:10 PM

Yes, oak does that; especially red oak. Leaving a 1/16” extra is a good idea. Use a belt sander. sand paper to finish it.


View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2969 days

#6 posted 05-08-2014 06:22 PM

“Tare” is what you do to zero a scale.
“Tear”out is what your wood is doing.

Sorry, but this just drives me crazy sometimes.

View mahdee's profile


3883 posts in 1765 days

#7 posted 05-08-2014 06:26 PM

Crank49, Obviously you are not from the south! He spelte it just fine.


View gpastor's profile


184 posts in 3056 days

#8 posted 05-08-2014 09:04 PM

Yonak I think I will give that try. Wood closer to the center of the tree may work better

Crank49 thanks for the help and remember you choose to make you crazy, that’s not on me :)

-- Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2378 days

#9 posted 05-08-2014 09:16 PM

Sometimes it has more to do with the direction you are cutting. When hand planing you should always plane with the grain otherwise the blade lifts the grain and tears it. Turning is similar. If you are getting tear out while cutting left to right, go right to left instead and see if that helps.

-- Rick M,

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