I feel this is often overlooked by many who don't deal with wood very much. Time is about the only way I know for wood to dry. And it does takes years for it to dry completely if it is very thick at all. A piece that is 1/2" thick may dry in 8-10 months but a 4 inch thick one may take years!Hey Sean C,
I see you're from Arizona - scrub oak is the common name and can refer to 4 or 5 different species in your area. Regardless, what PlantedRich said is correct - oak is a great hard wood with little to no tannins, especially when there isn't any bark on it. However, it does need a LONG drying period. I have a slab of white oak (Quercus alba) recently cut from a log (as per a forestry-lumber mill field trip) and it will take about 9-10 months for this to dry out completely in the open air. Now, I could do a kiln, but that would still take 2 months tops, to dry it out.