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AMERICAN WHITE OAK

V. Ryan 2008

 

Quercus alba/prinus/lyrata
Family: Fagaceae

Commercial names: White Oak, Overcup Oak (USA). Also marketed with regional names, e.g. Appalachian Oak, Northern and Southern Oak.

 
 
 

Distribution: Eastern USA and South Eastern Canada. General Description: Varies in colour from pale yellow-brown to biscuit with a pinkish tint, similar to European Oak. Straight grain, with the characteristic silver grain on quartered material. Appalachian Oak is slow grown producing light weight, mild wood, but Southern States produce fast grown Oak with wide growth rings, and a harder, tougher timber. Medium to coarse texture. Weight averages 760 kg/m3 (47lb/ft3); specific gravity 0.76.


Mechanical Properties: The wood has medium bending and crushing strengths with low stiffness which makes it an excellent steam bending material.

Working Properties: Vary according to rate of growth. Slow grown oak being much easier to work with hand and machine tools. The timber takes nails and screws well, although pre-boring is advised; its gluing properties are variable; stains and polishes to a good finish.

Durability: Logs are liable to severe insect attack. The heartwood is durable and extremely resistant to preservative treatment, and the sapwood is moderately resistant.

Uses: Milder than European Oak to work and suitable for furniture and cabinet making, joinery, heavy construction, parquet and strip flooring, pews and pulpits, boat building, ladder rungs, agricultural implements, wagon bottoms, cooperage and coffins. Has now become one of the most popular timbers for use in shop fitting and high class joinery.

 
 
 
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