Air Dried Oak Beams
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Air dried oak beams are machine-sawn beams which have been specifically dried by exposing them to the air.
This process involves creating a stack of newly sawn timber in a cool and dry place. The rate at which these beams then dry is dependent on the climatic conditions of the area and the airflow around them. For an increased rate of air drying, a continuous and uniform flow of air should pass through the pile of timber. The rate at which the moisture is lost can be controlled by coating the planks with an impermeable substance.
Depending on the climatic conditions, air dried oak beams can take anything from several months to a number of years to become ready to use. Although the process takes much longer than the likes of kiln drying, the natural method results in a much higher quality oak beam. Air drying the beams also makes the wood much easier to work and so much better when looking to create difficult shapes or structures.
Unlike green oak beams which often shrink once fitted, air dried oak beams do the majority of their shrinkage naturally before they are fitted.
Natural characteristics such as knots, splits, shakes and cracks are all present in air dried oak beams. These features really add to the character of the beams, and result in each one having its own unique look.
Here at Peak Oak, all of our air dried oak beams have air dried for a number of years, giving them time to harden ensuring maximum stability.
The air dried oak beams have been specifically stacked into a number of layers with gaps in between. This gap allows air to circulate around and through all of the oak beams. As time progresses the moisture content of the beams is reduced. Naturally the beams will also have expanded and contracted as the moisture content changes. This method of drying results in a much stronger oak beam.
Whether you are looking for an air dried oak beam for your new fireplace or for structural purposes, we have a beam for you.
In stock our oak beams range in size from 6" x 6" right up to 12" x 12".
To find out what air dried oak beams we currently have available, please call us on 01538 304584.