question on white vs red oak

We went up to St. Louis today and went by Rockler to pick up some supplies. While there we asked about their new Mission Gel stain. We were showed some QS white oak boards that were treated with this stain and SWMBO loved the look. When we got home I checked my price list from a place I buy my rough lumber from and they only listed red oak and white oak. The white oak was 52 cents cheaper. Figure I'd ask the group if they know why. Is the white oak more abundant? Does regular cut white oak look crappy ? They don't have QS white oak listed. I think it's a special order thing. The only wood I've worked with since graduating from pine is red oak. Thanks
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Mike S.
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Personally, I like the look of white oak vs. red oak. My local place charges (for 4/4 S2S) $3.75 for WO and $3.59 for RO. QSWO goes for $5.78 and QSRO gets $5.55.
todd
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That's about the same ratio of prices in my neck of the woods. Nothing wrong with white oak but you will need QS to show the rays to full effect. Cheers, JG
todd wrote:

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JGS responds:

QS red oak also shows rays, for those who are interested.
Charlie Self "Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure." Ambrose Bierce
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-snip-

Get the free "Finishing Touch" CD from the Hardwood Council at
http://www.hardwoodcouncil.com/contact/default.asp
There is some pretty decent pictures and other reference materials in there. Most of it can also be found on the website also, but it's probably faster accessing the CD (especially if you're stuck with dialup like me.)
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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wrote:

there. Most of it can also be found on the website also, but

dialup like me.)

Tom, Thanks for the link, very useful.
Bernard R
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Isn't white oak better than red for outdoor use? Ed
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Ed Pawlowski asks:

Much better.
Charlie Self "Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure." Ambrose Bierce
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Yup, for some reason white oak always gets the nod for outdoor use. IIRC, it has something to do with the closed grain structure. Red oak has a high capillary action, water will soak up easily through the end grain. But white oak has a tighter grain and won't soak up as much water. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me. Mark
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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I think that is why it is used for wooden boat frames and transoms.
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And barrel staves
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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The pores of white oak are filled with deposits called tyloses, which makes it impervious to water and therefore good for barrels and such. Red oak doesn't have them, and won't hold water.
Take a board of red oak a foot long and put one end in water. Try to blow through it like you would a soda straw. You'll see lots of bubbles. None with white oak.
John Martin
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Tom Veatch wrote:

Thanks!
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Morris Dovey
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Thanks for the info guys, I just assumed that white oak would be more expensive then read. If I used QS or regular cut white oak would white oak ply look ok with it?
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Mike S.
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that depends on how the veneers on the plywood are cut. What you need to remember is the different way of slicing up a log yields a different look to the grain on a board or veneer.
http://www.hardwoodcouncil.com/display_tip.asp?artID 6
To answer another question concerning pricing of red oak vs white oak it depends what part of the country you are in. White oak is more prevalent up north whereas red oak is more prevalent down south. Here in Texas I pay a premium for white oak.
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regarding the plywood questions:
IMO, the best investment you can make is to find yourself a good hardwood dealer, at a slow time of the week, and spend maybe twenty minutes with one of the folks who has spent a good part of their career in the business. See what they offer, listen, and then buy a sheet of what looks best to you. Take it home, and make a couple of small, unimportant projects, learning how to cut it, color it, finish it, fasten it. Just play with it.
It should cost you maybe, between $50 and $85 or so, for decent quality goods, and be a cheap education, even if all of it ends up in the burn bin.
And when you need to go back and buy that big stack of goods for the project SWMBO wants you to do, you won't feel like such a rookie. You'll get closer to what you want the project to look like, and you're less likely to make a really expensive mistake.
Patriarch
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Location has more to do with it. In SE Texas, Red Oak is cheaper than White Oak.

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wrote:

Prices vary for place to place. I happen to like white oak more than red oak, but that's me. Whatever is in higher demand gets a higher price. White oak is closed grain and (unlike red oak) is a very good outdoor wood.
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