White oak vs Red oak?

Other than the color is there a lot of difference in working with red oak instead of white? What are the major differences between the two woods?
Thanks Ron
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One difference is resistance to rot. White oak is much more rot resistant than red.

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Ron, The major difference is the looks and the style. Mission furniture is mainly quartsawn white oak. This doesnt mean that you cant substitue red oak...it just wont have the same look. Kitchen and bath cabinets are often red oak because it is in ample supply and less expensive. But, red oak can be more difficult to mill. When shaping with a router, you often get tear outs...they can be minimized if you read your wood before shaping but experience is great to have.
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John Lucas writes:

Similar, though. QS red oak often has more spectacular rays than does QS white oak. But don't try to fume red oak: turns a greenish color.
Charlie Self "If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to. " Dorothy Parker
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I always thought the rays were longer in white oak than red, could be wrong, I guess doesn't mean they're more spectacular.=)
In addition to what has been said, white oak is more of a light brown, red oak has a pinkish tinge to it. I find that white oak has a finer grain, less course than red, easier to work or more predictable? I love hand planning qs oak, wonderful lacy shavings, I've been trying to think of a use for them. White oaks are a much slower growing tree than reds so that may account for some of the differences.
Happy New Year, Jeffo
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Jeffo writes:

I think most of the QS red oak I've seen has thicker rays, not much difference in length, but often with an arch that is greater than any I've seen in WO.

Pink is it for red oak. WO does not require filler for a smooth finish, while RO does because of its open pores.
Both are easy to use, IMO, readily available, and reasonable in cost. Where I live, RO is cheap, as well as abundant. Very chep if you buy green and rough. Should say where I lived, and will again as soon as someone buys this house.
WO has tyloses that plug the pores, too, which contributes to its durability.
Charlie Self "If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to. " Dorothy Parker
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True, I get what you mean now. Where I usually buy, qs ro and qs wo are the same price. Since I've come to prefer the white I just go for it. RO is handy for edging and moldings for oak plywood and such.
What are you paying for qs if you don't mind me asking? I haven't shopped around because I like what I've been getting, but 4/4 has been about $6.25bdft, w/ shorts (under 48") $3 on a good day, and $5 for some 'miscuts', slightly undersized on one edge. Tho that's Canadian dollars.
Cheers, Jeffo
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Jeffo asks:

I seem to recall getting my last bit for around $4.25, but don't hold me to that (USD). I've been trying to talk a local (Virginia) sawmill owner to QS both red and white oak, and maybe a little beech, for several years. He doesn't like the wasted material and time, so no luck to date. I even went so far as to offer double price for the stuff. It's good to remember though that he's been charging half a buck a bf for log run plainsawn.
Charlie Self "If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to. " Dorothy Parker
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Charlie Self wrote:

I finally figured out what you guys are talking about, I think. I've never seen QS anything, but I turned some mallets out of a chunk of red oak heartwood. It has these weird dark lines in it that have nothing to do with the obvious open-pore patches. I guess these must be the "rays." I think I must have revealed some of the "quartersawn" stuff.
I've seen this in maple too. Weird little flecks that don't look like "face of a board" grain or "edge of a board" grain.
Maybe I just need to get some sleep though.
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I've worked a good deal with both (lots of quarter sawn white oak the past year or so) and to me they have similar properties with regard to machining ... probably a bit less tendency for white oak to tear out, but that may just be my luck/imagination.
They do finish differently ... probably because red oak as coarser pores.
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Red Oak = Ugly.
White Oak = Pretty.
Your Mileage May Vary.
UA100
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What. Ever. Dude.
-Phil Crow
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wrote:

Not much working difference. White oak has a closed grain (good for outdoor wood projects). Red oak has an open grain and will rot quickly outdoors. Just the other day I cut down a white oak.
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I work almost exclusively with oak, both red and white. As everyone else on this thread has pointed out, they both work pretty much the same. The biggest difference in my opinion is the finishing. The white oak wood pores are naturally plugged with tyloses, a waxy substance that repels just about any liquid (which is why it has a better resistance to decay). This also makes it extremely difficult to stain. On the other hand, you don't have to use nearly as much pore filler on the white oak as you do the red.
Jeff
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White Oak looks a little better in furniture but is much harder wood, harder on blades, bits, etc. I much prefer working Red Oak. Just my own opinion.
Walt Conner

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In rec.woodworking

5% harder and both are softer than hard maple.
http://www.rvhardwoods.com/exotic.asp?cat=5
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The best thing for Ron to do is try what is being sold in his area as Red Oak and White Oak then decide which he and his tools like.

This is misleading as the commercial sight listed specifically states the species listed is peculiar to the Appalachian Region. 5% would leave the impression the difference is negligible.
What is call Red Oak in common use includes a number of different species. I can assure you that the difference in hardness between what is sold in this part of the mid-West as Red Oak and White Oak is readily discernable by weight and the response of tools to each, experience, not tables, points up the difference.
Walt Conner
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I built a whitewater dory three years ago and a similar topic arose. It seems that white oak is extreamly water resistant compared to red oak. Each cell in White oak is sealed up . However glue doesn't work as well as it would with red oak. Depending on your project these factors may make the decision for you. If you use mechanical fasteners, white oak is fine. If it is for indoor projects with glueing... stay with the red oak. BTW, I've been playing with hemlock lately, and am impresses on the tight grain and strength. It isn't as open grained as the red oak.
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wrote:

red oak are open. Indeed the easiest way to tell which kind a board is is to crosscut a slice off the end and blow through it. If you can, it is red oak, whatever its color.
How much this matters depends on what you are using it for.
For boat building, white is much more resistant to decay, and lets water travel along inside planks..
If you are making a windchest for an organ, white oak will work the same way traditional French or English oak did. Red oak will leak air through the pores, possibly causing neighboring notes to murmer.
White oak is harder and requires more frequent sharpening of jointer and planer knives.
Both kinds are lumber designations. There are about six species in each group.
HTH
Rodney Myrvaagnes J36 Gjo/a
MOM CASTS TOT IN CEMENT
Most experts voice cautious optimism
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