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Can you rive dry wood?

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Forum topic by BrindleDog posted 12-31-2020 06:54 PM 606 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BrindleDog

79 posts in 90 days


12-31-2020 06:54 PM

I found a round and a half round of white oak for free on craigslist. The full round has been split like they were preparing to make something out of it. It still has the pencil line layout on the end grain for the parts. These pieces are both four feet long and about 20in in diameter.

I would like to use it to make handles for some of my tools. Am I still able to split it into those segments now that its dry?

Can you steam bend dry wood or is it done green?

Thanks for any info.


23 replies so far

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Newbie17

168 posts in 1473 days


#1 posted 12-31-2020 07:00 PM

The steam is rewetting the wood, so it doesn’t matter if it is wet or dry to begin with.

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Newbie17

168 posts in 1473 days


#2 posted 12-31-2020 07:13 PM

The steam is rewetting the wood, so it doesn’t matter if it is wet or dry to begin with.

I don’t see why you couldn’t cut the oak into parts. Remember they will warp/twist/move after being cut, so leave enough to dimension it after letting the cut parts sit for awhile.

Here is an informative video about the steam bending process. https://youtu.be/nuUBEIXjzxU

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5953 posts in 3364 days


#3 posted 12-31-2020 08:40 PM

Yes, you can split it and steam bend it. Whether it works well depends on the grain, straight is best.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Phil32

1327 posts in 916 days


#4 posted 12-31-2020 08:44 PM

What sort of tools would have steam bent handles?

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

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BrindleDog

79 posts in 90 days


#5 posted 12-31-2020 08:59 PM

It would be bent for hewing axe handles. Im not sure if hewing hatchets have offset handles, but I have a couple of those heads too.

I’m going to need to do some research on handle making.

Thanks for the replies.

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BrindleDog

79 posts in 90 days


#6 posted 01-03-2021 06:30 PM

Before I go any further with this little project, could any of you tell me if this indeed looks like White Oak to you?
I have a plant identification app on my phone that keeps telling me the bark is Japanese Persimmon. I mean at this point the bark it pretty chewed up so I’m not sure how accurate the app is. Thought maybe you guys can identify by the color of the wood.

You can see that whoever gave this away was going to work with it at one point. The log was partially split but seems to be really dry like it sat for a while.

Is there much I can do with this? My plan was to make some handles because I read that White Oak is suitable for this. Other than that, I figure I could get practice in milling on a small scale. Anyway, I’m open to suggestions, including “you’re an idiot, burn it”. Haha

The logs are 18” diameter and 4ft long. Not sure why it’s rotating the image…

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2866 posts in 1175 days


#7 posted 01-04-2021 01:03 PM

I’m with Phil – please go into a little detail of what tools
you will be making handles for. (even photos of the tools would be nice to see).

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View drsurfrat's profile

drsurfrat

489 posts in 199 days


#8 posted 01-04-2021 01:25 PM

All the axe and hatchet handles i have seen were not round but oval. This is possible on a lathe with 3-cneter turning, but to me not worth the trouble (or off-center anxiety). I just use a draw knife and spokeshave to shape mine. Of course you will want to make a shave horse to do this :)

I can’t tell what the wood is. But if it were me, I’d quick make a stick about 1” round and 18’ long, clamp one end in a vice and see if I cold break it. If I couldn’t, I would use it for handles.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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HokieKen

16717 posts in 2151 days


#9 posted 01-04-2021 01:50 PM

I can’t tell from your pictures but, if it is Oak, I’d guess it’s Red Oak from what I can see of the bark in your photo. White Oak has bark that overlaps like shingles on a roof. Red Oak doesn’t.

As far as making tool handles, just try it! If it breaks, all you’re out is some time and a good learning experience. Like Mike said, I prefer to shape tool handles by removal (draw knife/spokeshave/rasps/sanding) than by bending.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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BrindleDog

79 posts in 90 days


#10 posted 01-04-2021 02:08 PM

Those lay out lines are from the guy who gave this away. He is also the one who said it is white oak.

I have an app called PictureThis that is an artificial intelligence plant identifier. It will usually identify tree bark but I think it’s being thrown off because the bark is damaged. The most consistent identification it’s giving me is Persimmon. I don’t know if I can check the endgrain with a loupe to help me identify.

I was planning on making the handles on a shave horse. The tools are a number of axe heads, hatchet heads, hewing heads, a froe, and adze.

View drsurfrat's profile

drsurfrat

489 posts in 199 days


#11 posted 01-04-2021 05:46 PM

You already have a shave horse! You’re no rookie, sorry if I answered that way.

Now you need a handle for your froe to split the log to make a handle for your froe…

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

View BrindleDog's profile

BrindleDog

79 posts in 90 days


#12 posted 01-04-2021 06:57 PM

Oh I’m definitely a rookie. That shave horse was a craigslist find I was lucky enough to buy. I’m a fan boy who is trying to use the tools I’ve collected.

I do have a froe with a handle already on it.

In splitting this wood for the first time I noticed that it is much harder to rive something in a controlled manner than I expected. Also, the wood seems to be pretty wet as I break it open.

Am I better off sawing it so that I don’t waste so much material?

Should I still seal the end grain even though cracks have already developed? I assumed the the cracks penetrated deeper and was going to use them as riving points. However I’m thinking maybe I should ignore the cracks because they are only a few inches deep. Again, total newbie here.

Here are a couple pictures of the grain if it would help anyone identify the wood.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)

HokieKen

16717 posts in 2151 days


#13 posted 01-04-2021 07:02 PM

The reason for riving blanks for things like handles is that you are splitting along grain strata that naturally occur in the wood. In theory, you’re breaking the weakest bonds so that they won’t break down the road. I rive wood for handles and for carving blanks but it certainly isn’t a simple chore. I believe it’s worth the effort though.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2275 posts in 3806 days


#14 posted 01-04-2021 07:13 PM

If those are pores in the rings, it is red oak. The hollow pores/straws are what allows water into the wood so it rots. White oak had no pores and is very rot resistant. You can see daylight through the pores in a thin sliced of red oak.

View BrindleDog's profile

BrindleDog

79 posts in 90 days


#15 posted 01-04-2021 08:50 PM

I’ve been looking at the wood database website guide to differentiating between red and white oak. It appears to me that there are tyloses in the pores of the wood that I have which means white oak. It also looks like some of the rays are longer than would be found in red oak. This is assuming that this is an oak to begin with. My app continues to recognize the bark as persimmon.

My thinking about sawing was that if this isn’t suitable for handles that I could maximize the useful material by sawing it.

If I am to rive it for handles, how much bigger than the final object should I make the bolt or whatever you what to call it? Also, because it does seem to contain some moisture, should I rive it and then let it sit for a month or so?

Same goes for sawing. Saw bigger and then let it dry? I’m guess I should keep it outside.

Here’s a couple more photos after cleaning it with a plane and using a loupe on the endgrain.

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