is red oak firewood always extra smoky

In my experience red oak has a reddish tinge to the wood colour, while white oak lacks the red and is more brown. You can see photos of the woods if you Google.
I am certain that boat builders do not like red oak because it will turn black when it gets soaked especially around fasteners, as they react with the tannin in the wood.
Regarding smoke, I have no idea. Firewood sellers probably don't know nor care about the differences. For firewood, the heavier the wood, more heat is released by the wood. This is why high density woods are prized for burning and are often more expensive.
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Equivalently dry, white oak will have only about 10% more heating value than red oak, mostly owing to the white oak is roughly 5-7% more dense.
As for smoke, again, if they're dry there will be no discernible difference to worry about.
As for color, the reason red oak is called "red" is....
There's variability owing to particular subspecies and growth location (minerals content in soil can make significant difference, for example) so there are individual trees that will be lighter and basically mimic a white oak in color but as a general rule they are definitely pinkish to occasionally quite dark.
The prime difference between the two is the porosity and resistance to decay; red oak will rot quite rapidly in comparison to white and is so ring porous as to be useless for coopering or boatbuilding from that standpoint. White oak, otoh, is the cat's meow for wine casks and many other similar uses...
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I don't know how boat building and burning wood for heat are connected, but it makes no difference.
Red oak burns just fine. It is abundant around here and I've burned many cords of it. If I had a boat built with it I'd probably burn that too as the wood it too porous for water use. Red oak is good for cooking too, either in a fire pit or smoker.
Reply to
Ed Pawlowski
On Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:14:27 -0500
i saw a boat builder video comparing the two oaks porosity
to my eye the white oak looked reddish but maybe it was brown
the red oak looked lighter colored
according the video it was all about porosity the red oak soaked water like a sponge
i find that some seem to know and some do not
Reply to
Electric Comet
Why don't you just do as you suggest I do and go look (altho on that discussion I _have_ looked and can't find what you claim is so :( )...

If they're only cutting firewood, they really don't care and there's a good chance there are other hardwoods in the mix as well (and who know, they may try to slip in a little SYP if the customer doesn't know better). All in all, you don't really care as it makes hardly a whit of difference for virtually all excepting for a very few such as poplar and avoiding a _lot_ of pine owing to the pitch (altho if you burn it with some dry hardwood, it'll burn hot enough that creosoting isn't much of a real problem In VA and TN we burned quite a lot of all with simply some care to spread the pine out some).
If they're older woods kinda' guys they'll know from the bark and the wood 'cuz they'll just know one from another; if they're just a bunch of kids or hacks cutting wood for a few bucks they may have no klew what _any_ tree actually is, only if it's lost its leaves or not in the winter time.
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I may have mentioned this before, but one summer day a few years ago I saw some workers outside a wood flooring shop barbecuing steaks over some oak flooring cutoffs.
Reply to
Greg Guarino
i recall from a boat builder that red oak is actually white wood and white oak
is redder wood
i also thought red oak smoked a lot more when burned
i was considering getting some red oak firewaood but may pass on it
some places just say oak firewood for sale and no more
fyi boat builders i think like white oak more due to lower porosity

Reply to
Electric Comet
Nope! Red Oak has a pinkish cast when sanded. White Oak has a light brown cast and when sanded.
It will if wet.
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This is tree and why wine and whisky barrels are made from white oak. Old sailing ships were made from white oak.
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Got'a love that prefinished stained wood flavor. ;~) Hopefully they were working with unfinished wood. LOL
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New sailing ships too:
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I have some offcuts from this ship that I'm using to make a segmented salad bowl...
Reply to
Kevin Miller
Electric Comet wrote in news:n768lh$533$10@dont-
No. Red oak wood is kind of pink. White oak wood is brown.
Not that I've noticed, and I've burned three or four cords of it in the last eight or ten years. Of course, any wood will smoke when burned if it's wet, or the fire doesn't have enough draft.
If the price is good, and the wood is dry, go for it. It's decent firewood. Not as good as hickory or hard maple, but it's good.
I think a boat made of red oak wouldn't float very well....
Reply to
Doug Miller
In article , says...
White oak will do the same and boatbuilders love it for some purposes.
Reply to
J. Clarke
Red Oak has a lot of tanin so it does smell more when burned. Not sure why one would care, though. The stink goes outside. Wet Red Oak could easily be a no-no, though.
Red Oak is like a box of straws glued together. They don't build boats out of them, either.
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Electric Comet wrote in news:n768lh$533$
There are roughly 100 species of oak trees in the US. The color of the lumber is generally not a good indicator of whether a given oak is in the "red" group or the "white" group.
Boat builders favor white oak for two reasons: one is that it doesn't rot quickly since it doesn't absorb water easily (red oak rots very quickly if it's allowed to get wet). The other is that the live oaks fall into the white group, and they are far and away the best source of compass timbers.
Oaks of any kind make good firewood because it's fairly dense, and it splits easily.
Reply to
John McCoy
Red Oak has more tannin and decays faster. Large pore and such. It has reddish color and 'bleads' if cut when sap is running.
I just had a dozen logs sawed in the back yard. I had a massive 35" to 30" log that yielded a stack of 4x4's.
It was funny watching sometimes - he used a medium size tractor trying to pick up 22' log like that and it was to heavy. It drove the tractor into the ground with the weight. It was cut to 11 feet and he could just make it.
Not sure on what he was trying to say. Red is red when dripping sap. White like winter wood or dried.
I'd look at leaves and bark and cells to call an oak an oak. They morph easily between each other.
Reply to
Martin Eastburn
I have some fire wood that I'm picking out bolts to re-saw into small boards. I've never seen it before.
Curly oak. I've seen maple but in oak - can't wait till I get a board...
Some of the wood is very active in the waves of wood bulge out the side...
Any oak users see any ?
Reply to
Martin Eastburn
I've seen some real nice curly pattern in quarter sawn oak many times. cut at an angle a lot of the pattern dissapears, so I'd suspect that piece of lumber came from a tree with, among other things, a bit of a twist in the trunk in the area the log was cut from.
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