View Full Version : Looking for Live Oak

Kevin Riley
03-27-2009, 2:36 PM
Years ago I used to make caulking mallets for boat builders.
I made them from Live Oak (Quercus virginiana (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_virginiana)) but I'm long out of stock. I would like to get back into making them but the supplier I had in FL is no longer in business.
Iíve had no hits on the web for a source of Live Oak.
What I need are blanks 12/4 X 12/4 X 18Ē.
If anyone in the southeastern states knows of a source or can point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.


Larry Edgerton
03-27-2009, 7:01 PM
What is Live Oak like to work with? I used to live in Kerrville Tx. and was surrounded with it. Didn't do woodwork back then...... I bulldozed thousands of them out of the way building roads.

I want some mesquite as well.....

Frank Berryman
03-27-2009, 7:20 PM
Interesting reading from Wikipedia:

"Live oak was widely used in early American shipbuilding. Because of the trees' short height and low hanging branches, lumber from live oak was specifically used to make curved structural members of the hull such as knee braces. In such cuts of lumber the line of the grain would fall perpendicularly to lines of stress creating structures of exceptional strength. Live oak was not generally used for planking because the curved and often convoluted shape of the tree did not lend itself to be milled to planking of any length. Red oak or white oak was generally used for planking on vessels as those trees tended to grow straight and tall and thus would yield straight trunk sections of length suitable for milling in to plank lengths. Live oak was largely logged out in Europe by the latter half of the 19th Century and was similarly sought after and exported from the United States until iron and steel hulled commercial vessel construction became the standard early in the 20th Century. Live oak lumber is rarely used for furniture due to warping and twisting while drying. It continues to be used occasionally when available in shipbuilding as well as for tool handles for its strength, energy absorption, and density, but modern composites are often substituted with good effect. Dry southern live oak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_live_oak) lumber has a specific gravity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_gravity) of 0.88, the highest of any North American hardwood."

Scott T Smith
03-27-2009, 11:21 PM
Kevin, do a search for sawyers in Central Texas. Live oak is common in that area.

Pete Hay
03-28-2009, 12:05 AM
Come visit my firewood pile in Tampa, FL. I'm collecting a pile for the splitter and have several pieces a litle larger than what you're looking for. Just cut it last week

Kevin Riley
03-28-2009, 9:17 PM
Once dried it almost works like metal due to it's tight interlocked grain.

Having been a boat builder we where always looking for live oak for knees.

One actually contacted me, thanks.

Thanks but can't make it to FL any time soon.