In our 360 with 360 podcast #36 (listen to it here), Chuck, our podcast guest Ron Herman and I all agreed that red oak was our least favorite wood. We each gave reasons for our dislike of this wood. But during a recent trip to Tampa for the final Woodworking Show of the year, I found reason to rethink my distaste for red oak. It’s not that I like this material any more than before for woodworking. It has, however, move up in position. Yes, it’s still way, way down there – it’s a long slow crawl out of the basement.
While in Tampa, I force Chuck to drive over to St. Petersburg so I could relive a few fond memories; my family often visited relatives who lived in the area long ago. One of those memories was eating at Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish on Pasadena Avenue – actually he was happy to do so after I assured him that he would not have to eat the fish.
While waiting for the smoked mullet and damn-good German potato salad to arrive, I read the four-star-caliber paper place mat only to discover that the fish I so fondly remembered from my adolescent days was smoked using red oak. Imagine my surprise.
If I can discover a few more uses for red oak outside of furniture, flooring or cabinets, it may just dig itself out of the basement. But I’m not holding my breath.
Below, for your reading enjoyment and wood educational development, is a close-up of the text found on the place mat. If you have a great use of red oak not mentioned above, please leave a comment. I’m pulling for the species, but don’t think I have to worry.
Build Something Great!