Milling - Red Oak

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Forum topic by Fiddy posted 09-22-2019 11:55 PM 509 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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230 posts in 2472 days

09-22-2019 11:55 PM

My wife’s uncle is having this Red Oak taken down and is offering up whatever I want to have milled. I’m not completely adverse to red oak, but have been looking up QSRO and that I can say I’m attracted to that. Few of the guys projects on here where stunning, Campd I believe was one user and he had some awesome work. Based on the size of this monster it seems like QS will be a good option. I also would like to get some large slabs from a section that I could make some tables to sell, or just sell some of those slabs to help cover some of the costs. Lastly, I was thinking I’ll have some milled heavy for my future workbench since I’ll have the opportunity.

Any thoughts, feedback, or suggestions on what else I might plan for. Anyone have QSRO projects they could share.

Lastly, if anyone has a reputable sawyer in mind, I’m open to referrals. I’m in NE Ohio. Would love a portable mill to come on site, but could trailer as well. Estimated it’s around 40” or so. Have to head out this week to get some better measurements.

4 replies so far

View Fiddy's profile


230 posts in 2472 days

#1 posted 09-24-2019 04:12 PM

Any feedback?

View LesB's profile


3031 posts in 4604 days

#2 posted 09-24-2019 04:36 PM

Quarter sawn oak produces very attractive lumber. Another alternative is riff sawn for a more consistent grain pattern. Both of those produce less usable lumber than flat sawn. A flat sawn log will produce some of all three types. You may want to wait for the first cut on the log to see what the grain looks like and consult with the sawer on the best way to cut that particular log. In addition how thick do you want the boards. I assume you intend to sticker and air dry the wood. Then you will need to plane it smooth. Do you have a planer that will work on wide boards or will you have to take it to a planing mill? This looks like maybe 18 month or more for a finished product depending on the thickness of the boards. You may find it easier to sell the log and use the proceeds to buy lumber (or other things) you need.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Bill_Steele's profile


771 posts in 2893 days

#3 posted 09-24-2019 05:32 PM

QSRO can have some amazing grain. Here’s a video of someone quarter sawing a Red Oak log with a portable mill. At around the 26-minute mark you can see the QSRO grain.

My first thought was that it might be expensive to have someone bring a portable mill to your location and mill a single log—but maybe I’m wrong. When you find out more about cost and other details please post something back—I’m interested.

To air-dry wood down to a useable moisture level, I think it takes about a year for every inch of thickness. Having the lumber kiln dried would shorten that time period.

View Fiddy's profile


230 posts in 2472 days

#4 posted 09-24-2019 05:37 PM

Thanks guys – I agree the QSRO I saw had a great look to it, completely different than the plain sawn I’m used to seeing. The yield will be less, but this tree is massive so not worried about it.

I do have easy access to a larger planer if needed, 20” – also an industrial wide belt sander for final treatment on large slabs.

As for costs, I’ll follow up here with a breakdown and a yield for anyone who’s interested. I know I’ll have some money in it, but I’ll also have a fantastic stock pile. Fairly certain I could knock out some large slab tables myself to help offset.

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