Wooden Window

Craftsmanship making history.

White Oak

December 8, 2013
Wooden Window, Inc

General Description

White oak is similar in color and appearance to European oak. The sapwood of American white oak is light coloured and the heartwood is light to dark brown. White oak is mostly straight grained with a medium to coarse texture, with longer rays than red oak. White oak therefore has more figure.

Physical Properties

A hard and heavy wood with medium bending and crushing strength, low in stiffness, but very good in steam bending. Southern white oak is faster grown with wide growth rings, and tends to be harder and heavier.

  • Specific Gravity: 0.68 (12% M.C.)
  • Average Weight: 769 kg/m3 (12% M.C.)
  • Average Volumetric Shrinkage: 12.6% (Green to 6% M.C.)
  • Modulus of Elasticity: 12,273 MPa
  • Hardness: 6049 N

Distribution

Widespread throughout Eastern USA. The white oak group comprises many species, of which about eight are commercial.

Variations

Like many wood species, the appearance of white oak can vary considerably, depending on how it is cut, or milled, for use.

 

rift

Rift Sawn, or Rift Cut White Oak

Rift sawn white oak exhibits straight, close grain.

quarter

Quartersawn White Oak

Quartersaw white oak exhibits random figuring throughout.  Figured areas vary in color and tone from lighter shades of the surrounding wood color to a nearly metallic or pearlescent appearance.

flat

Flat Sawn White Oak

Flat cut white oak exhibits random, broad grain swirls.

Working Properties

White oak machines well, nails and screws well although pre-boring is advised. As it reacts with iron, galvanised nails are recommended. Its adhesive properties are variable, but it stains and polishes to a good finish. The wood dries slowly and care is needed to avoid checking. Due to its high shrinkage, it can be susceptible to movement in performance.

Durability

The heartwood is resistant to decay, extremely resistant to preservative treatment, and the sapwood is moderately resistant to treatment.

Availability

USA: Readily available but not as abundant as red oak. Export: Very widely available in lumber and veneer, in a full range of qualities and specifications. The most important hardwood export.

Main Uses

Construction, furniture, flooring, architectural joinery, exterior joinery, mouldings, doors, kitchen cabinets, panelling, railway sleepers, timber bridges, barrel staves, coffins and caskets. White oak can vary in colour, texture, characteristics and properties according to the growing region. It is therefore recommended that users and specifiers work closely with their suppliers to make sure the wood they order is suited to their specific needs. Northern and Southern may be sold separately.

 

Source:

Ahec.org

American Hardwood Export Council

Ahec.org. “American Hardwood Export Council.” 2002. http://www.ahec.org/hardwoods/guide/index.html

(accessed 6 Dec 2013).


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About the author: Wooden Window
Since 1980, Wooden Window has been constructing and restoring fine and custom-made wooden doors and windows for residences and commercial buildings throughout California. Whether a homeowner or building pro, you’ll appreciate our decades of experience and unique mix of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.

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Since 1980, Wooden Window has been restoring and constructing fine wooden doors and windows for residences and commercial buildings throughout California.

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