The oak tree comes from the genus Quercus native to the Northern Hemisphere and includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa.
The best way to identify oak trees is to check for spirally arranged leaves, with lobate margins in many species, while others have serrated leaves.
Is oak good for carving spoons? That depends. When choosing the best spoons for carving, you are looking for durability, strength, and, hygiene. As you all know by now, all hardwoods are porous and porosity classification depends on the size ad the arrangement of the pores.
Oak wood is classified under ring porous and in this classification, species like oak and ash have the largest pores in the earlywood while those in the latewood are more evenly distributed and uniform in size.
Thinking about the uses of a spoon for a second, you will understand that wood with large pores won’t be a good suit for carving spoons. Large pores are not good because food remains would be left in the pores even after cleaning and lead to the wood rotting and molding.
Is Oak Hard To Carve?
There are 4 common species of oak namely; White oak, white ash, American beech, and red oak. White oak is the hardest among the listed species with a Janka hardness of 1360lbf, followed by white ash with 1320lbf, American Beech with 1300lbf, and lastly red oak with 1290lbf.
So, is oak hard to carve? using hand tools, yes it will be hard to carve. The best methods to use when carving oak are power carving. The reason this method is best for oak carving is that, unlike whittling, is powered by electricity, and batteries.
If the carving would be larger, I would also recommend chainsaw carving but because you are carving a spoon, a chainsaw will not be a good option.
Power tools have the ability to give the tiniest details because it has variety of blades for carving.
Finishing Spoon carving
My view on finishing spoon carvings is to limit the finishes used on other carvings if you have to use any for starts. The only finish I would use is a sanding sealer if I can only access wood with large pores.
I personally have not applied any finish in the spoon carving projects I have carved and they serve me just fine. I
Oak is a good choice for spoon carving and using closed grain is the part where you will want to use. The reason for this, is because the pores on the closed grain are so tiny to store