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Thread: White Oak or Red Oak? I need and ID

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    White Oak or Red Oak? I need and ID

    I need to be sure have the right one. The photo is larger if you click on it.

    Oak Board.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I’d say red because of the open pores. White oak the pores are filled.
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  3. #3
    I’m with Steve. Open pores means Red Oak on freshly cut end grain as I understand it.
    Still waters run deep.

  4. #4
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    Here's a page about how to distinguish red from white oak, including end-grain photos. https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...rom-white-oak/

    To my eye, the OP's pics look more like the white oak on that page.

  5. #5
    Red oak . White oak does not have open pores. There are some red oaks that are easily mistaken as white .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    West Central Illinois
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    Voting red oak

  7. #7
    Red Oak , because of open pores .

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Thank you for the responses.
    I needed White Oak for exterior work, and this didn't look right. On the plus side, I now have a 4" x 6" x 10' piece of Red Oak in case I ever need it.

  9. #9
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    New Hill, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Hodge View Post
    I need to be sure have the right one. The photo is larger if you click on it.

    Oak Board.jpg
    Based upon the color, I'm thinking that it's chestnut white oak, which is an open pored white oak. It's not very common, so most folks don't realize that some white oaks can be open pored.

    The open pores in your photo do resemble red oak, but not the color.

    Can you post a side photo of the board showing the rays?

    If you're intending to use this for an outdoor application, then chestnut white oak is not a good option.

  10. #10
    Cant we just email a photo to Kreskin?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Northern Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott T Smith View Post
    Based upon the color, I'm thinking that it's chestnut white oak, which is an open pored white oak. It's not very common, so most folks don't realize that some white oaks can be open pored.

    The open pores in your photo do resemble red oak, but not the color.

    Can you post a side photo of the board showing the rays?

    If you're intending to use this for an outdoor application, then chestnut white oak is not a good option.
    Not arguing with you at all, but the red oak from up here has a color very close to white oak. I can not use locally sawn red oak with red oak from say Indiana as it does not even look like the same thing, Indiana wood being a very nice deep red. Our walnut is the same way, much nicer when it is from 300+ miles south. Hope you are doing well Scott.

  12. #12
    Now we are down to color perception and not what kind of oak. SAW MILL recognizes the skill of skilled decorators !

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    NE Iowa
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    In the lumber trade, essentially everything oak gets labeled either Red or White Oak, when in reality there are a couple of dozen species of oak that are reasonably common in North American forests. Add to that the complexity introduced by hybridization (primarily within the White or Red Oak groups, not across them), and there is going to be lumber in the trade that doesn't really match the textbook definition of either Red or White Oak. This one may well be such.

    But, one thing is clear - this timber is open-pored, so it's not a good choice for outdoor use. The rot resistance of white oaks generally is closely related to the tylose-filled pores that radically slow movement of weathering, rot and water through the wood.

  14. #14
    You can also tell whether it's white or red when you plane it or sand it.

    If it smells acidic or like vinegar or very vaguely "funky" it is red oak.

    If it smells more like burnt coffee or very vaguely "creamy" it is white oak.

    Show a pic of the face as well.

  15. #15
    I used to buy wood from different states based on some ongoing work. Some was from Michigan and it was one thing. Rest was from Pennsyvannia area and both were red oak, they were quite different.

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