Not a lot of hardwood experience here so pardon what may be just be an
ignorant question. I was edging a router table top with wood recently
purchased at a small aution. Assumed to all be white oak, several of
the boards are more brown and even colored and this was what I was
using. Open grained and creamy brown color and not a lot of figure in
the piece I was cutting. My wife pointed out to me that in the bright
sun light it sparkles. Lots of little glimers or points of light as the
wood is moved around reflecting the light. Is this oak or something
You're possibly looking at medullary rays in white oak. They are most
obvous when it is quartersawn, and may be quite large in some trees,
but they do catch the light. If you can locate a piece of Arts & Crafts
furniture in a dark finish, you'll see lighter rays through--still
dark, but much lighter than the base color. Those are medullary rays.
Thanks Charley. I'm familiar with quartersawn oak and this isn't that.
It looks like tiny bits of glitter or glass imbedded in the grain pores
and it's all over the surface regardless of the grain pattern. When
sunlight hits it gives a quick flash like, well like glitter. Don't
know what else to compare it to. Under normal inside lighting the
effect is not noticable.
I have seen what you are talking about in white oak. It appears to be
a mineral of some sort, possibly silica. The amount is likely
dependent on the soil content where the tree grew, so it will vary from
tree to tree. At least that's what I've always thought when I see it.
Whoa Dave, whoa. It is very common and is one of the hallmarks of White
Oak - and one of the distinct features that distinguishes it from Red
Oak. The "crystals" are called tyloses and are in the pores of the wood.
Red Oak has very few and such you can blow through the endgrain; White
Oak has abundant tyloses so you can't blow through it - also is the
reason White Oak is used for barrels and other liquid tight containers
while Red Oak isn't.
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