Newbie needs help tellign difference between red and white oak boards


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I have some oak boards given to me that may be a mixture of red oak and white oak. I am an extreme newbie and dont fullunderstant what grain patters are and what they look like. What is the best way to determine what this wood is so I can segregate it?
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Do you smoke?
1. cut a piece of oak 1"x1"x4" with the grin going the 4" direction. 2. take hit off a cigarette, joint, whatever. 3. put you lips around the end of the test piece and exhale.
If smoke comes out the other end it is red oak, not white. Seriously.
You really don't need smoke, but it's just a cooler illustration that way.
The cellular structure of red oak has open cells that pass through the grain like a straw. In white oak the cell structure is closed and you can not "blow" through it. Incidentally, it is this characteristic that makes red oak unsuitable for exterior applications. Capillary action will transmit water a bit too easily/far onto the end grain.
Red also has a peach or pinkish cast to its fresh-sawn color. I find white oak to be grayish..

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I dont smoke nor desire too. Will the water trick mentioned previously work? You could actually cut a 1 inch by once inch piece and be able to suck water through the end of it if the other end was touching water?
Stephen M wrote:

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The holes on the red oak end grain are quite large when compared to those of white oak. Just make a clean cut across the ends and take a look.
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Cut a short piece of the end of the board. Stick it in a bit of water and suck on the other end. If it acts as a straw it is red oak

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Typically red oak has porous holes on the end of the board. White has a tight grain on the end.
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There were a few porus holes but not alot. Leon wrote:

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I don't believe in segregation.
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stryped wrote:

They must be pine...pine with blue stain.
If they were oak you would know which was which already since people told you how to tell the difference the last time you asked.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Maybe one of your kids poured detergent down the dryer vent and it leaked onto the boards?
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oops, obviously this was supposed to be in response to your other post.
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Around here, red oak smells like cat pi$$ when you work it. Haven't had any white oak to know how it smells.
Walt C

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