Oak is an amazing wood and has been used in construction for centuries. If you are looking at buying an oak beam for your property, there are a number of factors that you should consider. Buying the first oak beam that you see is not the best solution and you need to take the time to evaluate each oak beam before you buy.
Green Oak Or Air Dried?
Many people believe that green oak and air dried oak are interchangeable. This is true to a certain extent as air-dried oak can be used for applications that generally require green oak. However, you green oak cannot be used for projects that require air dried oak and this is why you need to know the differences.
An oak beam that has cracks in it will generally be air dried. Green oak will not have any visible cracks and should not be used for any internal construction. This is very important for rooms such as the kitchen where the heat will cause the green oak to shrink, twist and split as it dries.
Size Is Important
The size of the oak beam you are buying is important and will affect where you can use it. Large oak beams which are air dried will generally have an unsightly appearance. This is due to the fact that they will have a large number of cracks in them. An oak beam which is 6-inch x 4 inch or smaller will have fewer cracks and could have a better aesthetic.
Oak beams which are within the 6 inch by 6-inch range should be taken from the center of the oak log. This will make the beam stronger and ensure that it can be used in heavy construction projects. The smaller beams you can get will generally be made from the remains of the log. This means that they are not as strong and should be used for lighter construction projects.
Know The Grade
Before you buy an oak beam, you need to know the grade. The best grade is QP1 which is the highest quality of oak beam available. This oak will have a straight grain, mall knots and fewer cracks when air dried. They also provide the best aesthetics which can be important depending on how you are going to use the beam.
If you are not worried about the aesthetics of the oak beam, you can look at QP2 grade beams. These beams offer the same level of sturdiness as QP1, but they will have larger knots and more cracks.