Are cracks like this in QSRO common?

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Forum topic by 1tacoshort posted 01-01-2019 02:28 AM 1073 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 1791 days

01-01-2019 02:28 AM

Hi all,

About 3 years ago, I bought this beautiful piece of quarter sawn red oak – it was fine when I bought it. I stored it in the garage, vertically. I live in Southern California so we’re not getting drastic swings in humidity or temperature. I break it out, today, to cut it into panels and resaw it and there are several cracks (splits?) like this one. Some are a couple feet long and some of them go all the way through. Did I store it improperly? Was there something wrong with the wood to begin with? Does QSRO do this?

I asked over on Reddit and was told that RO does this pretty frequently. I haven’t been doing this that long but this is the first time I’ve ever seen it. Is this really common?

And, at this point, does it make sense to cut-off the split sections and try to salvage what’s left or should I treat the whole board as a goner?

And while I’m asking way too many questions, if this has to do with the way the wood is dried, do I trust the board vendor or do I try another?


-- Wade

17 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


3495 posts in 2710 days

#1 posted 01-01-2019 03:55 AM

I believe that crack was there when you bought the wood. Because I live in so cal also and have bought white oak many times from different places and never had it crack across the grain like that,
What you can salvage is your call there’s no way to tell from a picture what good or bad.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4233 posts in 4021 days

#2 posted 01-01-2019 04:25 AM

I’ve had red oak do this, but I don’t have any that is QS to compare it with. I believe the piece I have left is rift sawn. I’ll try to remember to dig it out to see. That’ll be tomorrow at the earliest, but I’m going to the gun range and a wrecking yard tomorrow for the deals, so it may be later than that. I’m also in so Cal, where the relative humidity doesn’t change all that much.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Sunstealer73's profile


192 posts in 3005 days

#3 posted 01-01-2019 04:45 AM

I see it quite a bit in both red and white oak. Sometimes it won’t look bad until you start milling and it will go at an angle across several inches. There will also frequently be darker areas around it which seem to indicate that it grew that way. If you look at the ends of logs, you’ll see cracks like that sometimes.

View 1tacoshort's profile


49 posts in 1791 days

#4 posted 01-01-2019 05:03 AM

Thanks for the info, guys! I guess the big take away for me is that I’m happy it didn’t happen in the project after I incorporated the wood into it. Time to go out and get some more QSRO.

-- Wade

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 3388 days

#5 posted 01-01-2019 01:42 PM

It is probable that the wood was dried a bit too fast. If oak is dried too fast, some of the wood fibers will fail internally due to the stress of the drier shell trying to shrink but the too wet core won’t let it. That stress is relieved by internal checking. I have dried thousands of bf of oak in my kiln, and so far, I have only messed up one load. I assumed the moisture content was low enough going in for the settings that I was running the kiln under, but I was wrong. Dried it too fast and many of the 2” thick boards honeycombed.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View bondogaposis's profile


5889 posts in 3264 days

#6 posted 01-01-2019 02:10 PM

I’ve seen that before in both red and white oak. I wouldn’t say that it is common but it is also not unusual. The cracks can be fixed if they are not all of the way through the board. In the first pic, you can inject a little bit of glue under the edge of the crack and then clamp it. Liquid hide glue is better than alaphatic resin glue for this as it is more compatible with most finishes. Sand it out and it will be invisible. Similarly in the second pic put some glue in the crack and then sand it to add dust to the filler, should be nearly invisible. If you carefully lay out your project so that both of these defects are on a less visible part of the project, like the inside of a cabinet or the back side of a drawer front, you won’t have to waste the wood.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View splintergroup's profile


4121 posts in 2135 days

#7 posted 01-01-2019 03:26 PM

I’m with Bondo as to the fix.

When this happens to me (I seem to find a similar problem in every 100bf, I buy), I;ll either cut around it if possible or snap the part along the crack and reglue it.

View tomsteve's profile


1089 posts in 2132 days

#8 posted 01-01-2019 03:47 PM

that top pic looks like one caused during felling of the tree.

View MPython's profile


316 posts in 725 days

#9 posted 01-01-2019 04:18 PM

Looks like wind shake to me.

View ArtMann's profile


1483 posts in 1729 days

#10 posted 01-01-2019 04:42 PM

Back in 2011, a series of tornadoes swept through the County where I live and uprooted thousands of large old hardwoods. Much of this wood was turned into lumber from the many band saw mills in the area. A lot of this lumber had defects like your pictures because the trees were twisted in very unnatural ways. I have been working with red and white oak for about 40 years and that is the first time i saw such damage.

View 1tacoshort's profile


49 posts in 1791 days

#11 posted 01-01-2019 10:34 PM

Yeah, when you back off from the board, you can see a lot of twist in the main crack. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was tornado shake. Kind of makes me want to do something interesting with it…

-- Wade

View Aj2's profile


3495 posts in 2710 days

#12 posted 01-02-2019 12:40 AM

That crack goes across the grain it’s not fixable. Don’t listen to those guys steering you wrong.
Looks like it was caused from falling the tree.
Just drive down to peterman lumber and buy a new board.

-- Aj

View 1tacoshort's profile


49 posts in 1791 days

#13 posted 01-02-2019 01:49 AM

Peterman Lumber, interesting. I’ve been going to Austin Hardwoods and Strata Forest Products. Is Peterman worth the drive?

-- Wade

View mramseyISU's profile


594 posts in 2458 days

#14 posted 01-02-2019 02:01 PM

Like the guys said that’s not an unusual defect in oak. When I was grading staves at my grandpa’s sawmill I used to catch a few of these defects every day. Oak likes to split if it gets smacked funny on the end grain.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View Aj2's profile


3495 posts in 2710 days

#15 posted 01-02-2019 03:54 PM

Peterman Lumber, interesting. I ve been going to Austin Hardwoods and Strata Forest Products. Is Peterman worth the drive?

No Peterman lumber isn’t worth the drive. They do have have a good selection of veneer core plywood’s. But we won’t go there. :)
Austin Hardwoods in Santa Ana is just as good maybe a little bit more expensive.

-- Aj

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