White Oak (Quercusalba)
White Oak is an outstanding US hardwood that is widely available and therefore quite affordable. It is a very strong wood that displays a very straight and consistent grain. This feature makes White Oak very versatile and easy to match when making wider panels, and as such it is widely used in building furniture and cabinets.The characteristic that has made White Oak famous is the presence of striking medullary rays that appear when the wood is quarter sawn. Quarter sawn White oak is highly stable.
White Oak retains its popularity as a furniture wood, but its uses have expanded to include many more applications. Its unique cellular structure makes the wood highly water resistance, and it is therefore used in great quantities for exterior applications from trim and general construction to furniture and garden structures.
Essentially White Oak is the perfect species for many applications. It finishes beautifully and can take stain well better than any other wood.
Color/Appearance : Heartwood is a light to medium brown, commonly with an olive cast. Nearly white to light brown sapwood is not always sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Quarter sawn sections display prominent ray fleck patterns. Conversely, Red Oak tends to be slightly redder, but is by no means a reliable method of determining the type of oak.
Grain/Texture : Grain is straight, with a coarse, uneven texture. : Ring-porous; 2-4 rows of large, exclusively solitary earlywood pores, numerous small to very small latewood pores in radial arrangement; tyloses abundant; growth rings distinct; rays large and visible without lens; apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates (short lines between rays)..
Rot Resistance : Rated as very durable; frequently used in boatbuilding and tight cooperage applications.
Workability : Produces good results with hand and machine tools. It has moderately high shrinkage values, resulting in mediocre dimensional stability, especially in flat sawn boards. Can react with iron particularly when wet and cause staining and discoloration. It responds well to steam-bending. Glues, stains, and finishes well.
Pricing/Availability : Abundant availability in a good range of widths and thicknesses, both as flat sawn and quarter sawn lumber. Usually slightly more expensive than Red Oak, prices are moderate, though thicker planks or quarter sawn boards are slightly more expensive.