The Seasoned Oak

Okay so, we’re guessing you’re here because you were SO impressed with our green oak blog, that you just needed more mind-blowing information – we appreciate it, thank you!

In this blog, you will find all you need to know and more about seasoned oak and what it is good for.

Now, some people call it air dried, some people call it seasoned. Be warned, there is a massive difference, so don’t mix them up!

  • Air dried means it has had 1 year per inch of thickness in a stick. It is now in balance with the external environment.
  • Seasoned is how we describe structural timbers, it is called this due to the time it is left ‘in stick’ meaning, the beams have just sat around chilling out waiting to be used. Only when they have sat around for over a year can they be used.

We will stick to seasoned – mainly because we are talking about the structural uses and not the joinery aspect (completely different kettle of fish that stuff!)

Anyway, back on point – Seasoned oak. The reasoning behind this is because the tensions on the timber start to relax and splits will form as the oak dries – normal, this is very normal! Some people will specify Dry (seasoned) structurally graded beams, with a moisture content of less than 25% – and with sections over 200x200mm this will NEVER happen, even if you store them for 150 years under a good roof. So, don’t make yourself look silly by asking for it. Seasoning oak beams are about improved stability, not moisture content, these are not the same thing.

But, you should always remember that a seasoned beam will not look as pretty as a green one, partly because of the splits and knots which will open and partly because during its time in stick, builders will come to buy beams from the pile and they will try to take the prettiest ones first. We will make sure it is structurally sound, but it probably won’t look like the beam you always dream about!We spoke about moisture content in the green oak blog, we have loads more to tell you … we will wait but not for too long!!

To be continued…

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