An experienced woodworker will know which type of wood is the best type for each particular project as well as if the outcome would be best with dried or seasoned wood. The following article will introduce the uninformed to the various characteristics of green oak beams for use in construction projects.
A small amount of research into oak in construction will show a great deal of exemplary projects using traditional kiln-dried timber and it is safe to say that the many premiere woodworkers will accept nothing less.
Nevertheless, there has been a considerable amount of interest in the use of oak beams that have not been treated in the kiln and sometimes not even dried at all. These are called green oak beams and have a different yet singularly attractive quality about them.
This is no new trend either. If you were to visit older farmhouses, churches and even barns across the country you will find examples of green beams used in various attractive ways. You will also notice that many of these beams have this split and twisted quality about them that adds a fantasy charm to these classic buildings.
These beams look this way because they were built into the structure without being dried or treated first. The oak was felled, sliced into beams and the building constructed.
This may cause many to think it would be safer and more sensible to use the kiln-treated option for their home. The truth of the matter comes down to the different aesthetics and styles attainable more than the structural quality. Dried oak beams are considerably harder than the green oak beam, but over time the green beams will attain that classic diamond hard surface and this is when the signature splits and twisting will occur. Nevertheless, the structural integrity of the green beam will not diminish and you home will be a perfectly sound structure.
The green oak beams can also be ordered in a great variety of sizes and dimensions. Furthermore, these are typically a more cost-effective option than the kiln-dried oak beams.
One final consideration for using green oak beams is their propensity for movement. For building furniture kiln-dried oak beams are preferable as the green wood may cause the furniture to take on a different shape and this can cause the furniture to become useless. It is always important to select the best wood and treatment for the projects you have at hand.