This Oak has traveled thousands of miles, is hundreds of years old and has a story to tell.


Not long ago my friend Peter came to me with a bunch of oak that had a wonderful history.

The story goes that decades ago Peter’s uncle was in the wine making business and had got his hands on a 10’ tall 20’ diameter cask that was made in Europe in the 1920’s.
After the cask was made it was then disassembled and shipped to Chateau Gai Wines in the Niagara area. The cask was dedicated to red wine and at some point white wine was introduced into the cask rendering it useless.

The unusable cask was then disassembled and the wood was shipped to Peter’s uncle’s place in Lake Rosseau. Peter’s uncle tried on three occasions over the years to have the oak milled but no one would take on the job, all said the oak was not mill-able.
The wood sat around for decades until it reached Peter’s hands. He in turn had made flooring out of it for several rooms of his home and offered me some of it. When I first saw it, the material didn’t look promising at all but Peter assured me that with a little effort on my part I would be richly rewarded………….Peter was right.

When I milled the wood, the aroma of wine filled my shop; I could even see sugar crystals in some of the grain of the wood. This material splintered easily and on more than one occasion, I had to scrap a piece or two. Despite all the hard work in bringing this material to a stage where it was usable, I was richly rewarded indeed.

I had enough material to make a Mission coffee table and a pair of end tables. And with a little bit of extra coaxing, I was able to mill up enough material for a pair of table lamps.