new oak log

I got a chance to open a new red oak this weekend. it’s 19” in diameter at the small end, and seven feet long. This is about a minimum diameter for joined work; and at that size, you want a first-quality log. And that’s what this one turned out to be.
scoring the end grain

This is the scoring that helps get the wedges set into the end grain.

Then I move back and start to swing the sledge hammer a bit; but it’s never really wailing back like John Henry or anything. the idea is to be steady and be able to work a while at this…

driving wedges

You can see the “green” in green woodworking here, the moisture escaping as the wedges do their job.
green wood
some wooden wedges, move the steel ones, and keep moving down the line. 
more wedges

This one popped open quite easily.

a real flat-splitting log.

When I break off the twisty juvenile wood, there’s more than 5” of width in many of the boards I’ll get here. Some pieces near the bottom of the log might get 8” panels; but nothing wider.

But otherwise, it’s a great oak log. You’ll see more of this log to come.

8 thoughts on “new oak log

  1. What do you mean by “twisty, juvenile wood”? is that the stuff near the 8/9″ marks on your photo with the folding rule?


  2. Take care striking metal wedges with metal mallets. I was hospitalised last year to have a small piece of metal, that split off from the wedge, removed from my thigh. An orthopaedic surgeon removed it under general anaesthetic. The metal cut through my jeans and the two leaves of the pocket material before entering my thigh.

    I guess I was lucky I didn’t need a vascular surgeon or a urologist – just another few inches to the right……………………….

    Take care.

  3. I have numerous large rounds (though cut short) that I wonder if I could use for a joined stool? Some are a good 24″+ in diameter but only 18-20″ long, all red oak, all cut in mid-Dec 2011. I’ve riven a few already for turning practice, and many of them have a nice ‘ping’ sound with wonderful straight grain.

    I guess at the very least I can get some practice in green woodworking.

  4. Thanks so much Peter for posting this. Its great to see your finished work and work in progress but its wonderful to show the world how it all starts!

    I have been doing some of the same with some fine red oak, nothing more enjoyable than splitting wood and preparing your stock totally by hand, it makes the finished product mean so much more.


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