Red Oak

Scientific name:  Quercus rubra

Description:  Heartwood is a light to medium brown, commonly with a reddish cast. Paler sapwood is not always sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Quartersawn sections display prominent ray fleck patterns.  White oak (Quercus alba) tends to have a slightly more olive cast (as opposed to red), but colour alone isn’t always a reliable method of determining the type of oak.  Grain is straight, with a coarse, uneven texture, with large pores.

Properties:  Produces good results with hand and machine tools. Has moderately high shrinkage values, resulting in mediocre dimensional stability, especially in flatsawn boards. Can react with iron (particularly when wet) and cause staining and discoloration. Responds well to steam-bending. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

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