Sawing a Live Oak Crotch

This live oak log was brought from Mississippi last November by Phil.  He drove up for the day, froze to death, sawed one pecan log, and left a second pecan log and this live oak log before heading back south.

That log sat in the driveway until the following July.  I loaded it onto my trailer to be shuttled over to the sawmill.

I back the trailer up to the saw and use the winch on the saw with my set of tongs to skid the log onto the sawmill bed.

The log was sitting in the middle of the bed and because it’s so dense, it wasn’t going to be very easy to slide up against the stops.  In cases like these, I used the holes in the cross members as dogs.  This log also had a curve in it so I raised the crotch end to make it a bit more level.

Time for the first cut.

I was really surprised by the colors in this oak.  The sapwood is completely yellow and the heartwood has a beautiful blue-purple hue.  The grain was also finer and very fluid – something I’m not accustomed to with regular oak.

I made another cut to remove a 1″ thick board which got me down into the top of the crotch limbs. Again, beautiful color and grain.

Since the log was sitting nice and stable, I went ahead and made all the cuts in one go.  Keeping the slabs in place keeps the log heavy which keeps it from moving so clamping isn’t necessary.

This are of the slab was quartersawn revealing the medulary rays.  I really like the look of this ray fleck.  I’m much more subdued than regular oak.

The amount of figure in these blew me away.  In these slabs there are bands of curl that travel all the way through the cut.

A closer look at those bands of curl.  The crotch figure in these slabs was also different than anything I’ve seen before.

Towards the end, there was this interesting slab that looked like a slab floating inside of another slab.  The difference between the sap and heart wood is stark.

The last slab towards the outside had some interesting areas where the sap and heart looks to blend together.  We can also see how unique the grain is.

Since this log traveled so far, I got as much as I could out of the offcuts.

And there we go.  One live oak crotch log sawn into 6 8/4 slabs and a few pieces of 4/4.

This post is sponsored by Audible. Listening makes us smarter, more connected people. It makes us better partners, parents, and leaders. And there’s no better place to start listening than Audible and now members get more than ever before. Members choose 3 titles every month: 1 audiobook plus 2 Audible Originals that you can’t hear anywhere else.

I’m currently listening to How To by Randall Munroe.   How To is all about applying absurd scientific solutions to common problems.  Absurd is correct but what I’ve been enjoying is the odd outside of the box thinking. It’s both entertaining and thought provoking – and you know I like solving problems like moving big logs around!

You can start listening with a 30-day Audible trial and your first audiobook plus two Audible Originals are free. Visit or text cremona to 500-500

Thanks Audible for sponsoring this video!

Products Used

Log Tongs:
Cant Hook:
Hearing Protection:
[Amazon links are affiliate links]

Home Addition & Renovation

Upper Cabinets and Range Hood Surround

Welcome back to our home renovation.  Today I am going to be working on this wall. It needs some upper cabinets and the surround for

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.