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.
Get the free "Finishing Touch" CD from the Hardwood Council at
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
Wichita, KS USA
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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