What is Air Dried Oak?
Your oak porch will be a focal point and as such, wants to be made form the best oak. Air dried oak or seasoned oak is the term usually associated with oak beams that have been left to ‘season’ over a period of time.
There is a large amount of water and moisture within an oak tree when it is felled. This oak is called ‘Green Oak’ and can have some advantages.
The advantages of Green Oak is its workability due to the moisture within it. It is kinder to joiners tools and easier to machine. It is also cheaper than Air Dried Oak (in the short term) as there are no associated costs of storing timber for later use.
Air Dried Oak can be called so when it has been stored outside for a minimum of 12 months. Your oak porch will always be machined using oak seasoned for 3 to 10 years. This drying time allows the oak to lose its moisture causing the fibres in the oak to become stronger.
During this time, the oak beams will slightly distort, possibly twist and change colour. All these characteristics are normal and are representative of a well-seasoned piece of oak.
Your oak porch will only be machined from seasoned, air dried oak. Why? Well, it has already gone through the ‘settling down’ procedure and after its machined, the clean, square oak beams retain character whilst remaining more stable.
An oak porch will benefit from being made from air-dried oak whilst adding character and stability at the same time.
Oak Porch Characteristics
Your oak porch made from seasoned oak will have the characteristics associated with maturity and quality. Depending on the weather and time of year, your oak porch will want to dry a little further and stabilise after about 1 year.
Seasoned oak dries at approximately 25mm per year. As the timber used to make your oak porch is already 3-7 years old, its appearance and dimensions will remain relatively static.
Over time, your oak will develop a colour change and maintenance will help enhance or remove these key characteristics depending on your requirements.
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