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Hello, I am a very green beginner in the wood working world. Why am I here?
Well that is a long story. I grew up on a farm and my Grandfather made some furniture. In the late 1970's we felled our woods on the farm. Dad had the Oaks sawn into rough cut lumber and we were AD. Then we lost the largest quanity in a large fire on the property. My Grandfather had approx. 8 Oak boards (Sorry, I will add the dimensions on a later post) at his place that survived. I am now the proud owner of this rough cut oak 3" thick x 20' lumber that I am suspecting is over dry. I want to have it cut into boards but not sure about the moisture content, planer splits and the overall quality of the wood. Then if I do find it is too dry can it be remoistened? If that is even possible.

My plans. I want to eventually make something with this wood. I will probably start with some simple projects.

So here I am asking ..... what are my options?
 

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G’day Kathy

Welcome to the router forum.

Thank you for joining us

I have not before heard of oak being too dry. I believe it dries down to a level set by the outside humidity then fluctuates up and down from there.
 

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Yes it can be remoisterized. It may not be necessary if you can slow down the planer feed rate. I am just not sure about oak. I have had problems with Canadian western white birch chipping through the planer but it is 20 +years old. If you do try to re-hydrate the lumber, be careful. Too much water can cause spalting.
 

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Greetings Kathy and welcome to the router forum. Thank you for joining us, and remember to have fun, build well and above all be safe.

I am not sure what too dry means or is, but then there i more that I don't know then I do know. 3" thick and 20' long says to me that you will first need to get cut to a manageable length and then re-sawn to 5/4 (1 1/4" thick) then you can think about working with it. Depending upon where you live, you might find a small wood mill that could help you get that done.
 

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I am at present, and have been using for quite a while, a quantity of Oak that is way over 150 years old, and very dry indeed, I hav found no problem whatsoever in thicknessing and routing this timber, it is exceptionally dense and very very hard, but makes superb furniture, as for moisturising it, I tried to steam some pieces for bending and found that the oak was too dense for the steam to penetrate, I recently read that, Oak becomes denser with time even after it has been felled and used, apparantly, the fibres grow closer together and form a barrier.
I hope this is of somwe use to you.
 

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welcome to the site the only thing i know about oak is it get harder with age & you need very sharp tools to work with it. & again keep them tools sharp. sorry that is all i know.
 

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Hi, Kathy. I'm among the too-dry-is-an-oxymoron group. Wood will reach a natural equilibrium with the environment in which it is stored. How long it takes to reach that point depends on thickness, but it is a fairly rapid process - days or weeks, depending. In contrast, air drying from fresh cut, it takes about a year per inch of thickness to bring the stock to workable relative moisture content.

If you use a local mill to cut the wood down to more usable thicknesses, you might want to have them store it for a few weeks in their environment prior to resawing. Note, too, that resawing may release internal tensions that have been hiding in the wood all these years. So, there is no guarantee that you'll get 100% usable stock out of the process. A good sawyer can help with specific recommendations based on an examination of the rough stock. Look for a sawyer who does small batches, perhaps as a sideline. Larger mills likely won't be interested in resawing just a few boards.

I would suggest, however, that you think in terms of keeping some thicker stock for legs and such. 4/4 (rough) is good for most things; 5/4 is good if further resawing is anticipated, or for thick panels; but, you'll need something like 10/4 to yield 2" finished legs.
 

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I don't believe you'll need to re-moisturize either although I agree the internal stresses may be pretty high.

If I were going to plane them and trim the lengths I'd first plane and trim them oversized and let them stand for a week to a month before planing / cutting to final dimensions since the planing / cutting will release some of the internal stress. This will permit you to compensate for any wood movement in the second round of cutting.

I'm sad to hear of the loss of the large amount of wood but glad to hear some survived. Great score!! :->
 
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