I trimmed my house several years ago from a couple old oaks (one white, one red) that I had to cut down to fit the house in. It brought back some memories hearing about your tools and the sharpening. I went through that too, and like you, wouldn't trade it. As my boys grew up, the baseboards withstood many toy truck and car crashes. And it still looks like the day I installed it - those toys however....
A couple years later I was working on someones house and picked up some red oak lumber from the lumberyard - no comparison. Much softer (still hard though). I was told that was due to it being a quick grown/harvested product. And SD John - thanks for the info. I have wondered for a while now why those marks are in the wood.
Good Luck with the project Roger.