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Blunting Effect
Boring
Carving
Certified Source
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Drying Defects
Ease of Drying
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Gluing
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Schedules
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Numerical Data
Odor
Planing
Polishing
Product Sources
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Impregnation
Response to Hand Tools
Routing & Recessing
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Screwing
Staining
Steam Bending
Strength Properties
Substitutes
Texture
Trade Name
Tree Size
Turning
Veneering Qualities

Scientific Name
Quercus rubra

Trade Name
Red oak

Family Name
Fagaceae

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Common Names
American red oak, Black oak, Canadian red oak, Gray oak, Northern red oak, Red oak, Southern red oak

Regions of Distribution
Eastern Europe, Mediterranean Sea Region, North America, Western Europe

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iran, Slovakia, United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia

Common Uses
Agricultural implements, Bedroom suites, Boat building (general), Boat building, Boxes and crates, Building construction, Building materials, Cabin construction, Cabinetmaking, Canoes, Chairs, Chests, Concealed parts (Furniture), Construction, Cooperages, Desks, Dining-room furniture, Domestic flooring, Dowell pins, Dowells, Drawer sides, Drum sticks, Excelsior, Factory construction, Factory flooring, Fine furniture, Floor lamps, Flooring, Fuelwood, Furniture , Furniture components, Furniture squares or stock, Furniture, Handles: general, Hatracks, Heavy construction, Joinery, Kitchen cabinets, Lifeboats, Living-room suites, Millwork, Mine timbers, Musical instruments , Office furniture, Organ pipes, Parquet flooring, Piano keys, Pianos , Plywood, Posts, Pulp/Paper products, Railroad ties, Shipbuilding, Vehicle parts, Veneer

Environmental Profile
Rank of relative endangerment based on number of occurences globally.
May be rare in some parts of its range, especially at the periphery
Demonstrably widespread, abundant, and secure globally
Data source is Nature Conservancy


Heartwood Color
Brown
Yellow
Reddish brown
Pale red to pink
Pinkish to light reddish brown
Pale brown
May show a pronounced cast of flesh color
Light brown
Brown


Sapwood Color
White to yellow
Paler than heartwood
Well defined
Whitish to grayish brown
Pink to pale reddish brown


Grain
Figure
Even
Straight
Other (figure)

Straight
Other figure
Open

Plainsawn lumber usually exhibits a plumed or flared grain appearance, while riftsawn members show a tighter grain pattern and low figuring. Quartersawn red oak boards often have a flake pattern which is sometimes referred to as tiger rays or butterflies. Grain and color variation is usually pronounced and is dependent upon the origin of the wood and the growing season in that locality. Upland red oaks, which tend to grow more slowly, generally have a more uniform grain pattern than lowland red oaks.

Texture
Even or uniform
Uniform
Fine
Medium
Medium to coarse
Coarse

The texture depends upon the rate of growth of the tree. Red oaks grown in the north are less coarse textured than the faster-grown red oak from the southern states. Red oak rays are generally shorter, narrower and darker in color than White oak rays

Natural Durability
Perishable
Non durable
Little resistance to attack by decay and wood destroying insects


Odor
No specific smell or taste


Kiln Schedules
US=Upland T4-D2/T3-D1
UK=C US=T3C2/T3C1 Fr=3
Dry at a slow speed
Dry at a moderate speed


Drying Defects
Distortion
Slight surface checking
Ring failure
Moderate twist/warp
Honeycombing possible
Defects include:uneven moisture, chemical stains, iron stains, and are attributable to wetwood (usually in old growth)


Defects found in both upland and lowland red oak
Upland red oak is also prone to collapse during drying.

Ease of Drying
Thick Stock Requires Care
Medium to High Shrinkage
Moderately Difficult to Difficult
Moderate
Shrinkage is high
Heavy weighting of stacks is essential to prevent degrade
End coating is recommended to prevent excessive checking
Difficult

Dries faster than White oak

Tree Size
Tree height is 0-10 m
Tree height is 10-20 m


Northern red oak trees are typically smaller than White oaks (Q. alba )

Product Sources
Northern red oak (Q. rubra) and southern red oak (Q. falcata) are the primary sources of commercial American red oak, but their timber is often mixed and marketed together with that produced by other members in the red oak group without distinction. Supplies of red oak are plentiful, and the species is considered to be one of the most commonly available domestic hardwoods in the US. Oak in general, and particularly red oak, is the most popular timber for furniture, followed by cherry, pine, mahogany, ash, pecan, hard maple, and walnut.

Red oak is also a popular export to other countries, and is one of the most popular American oaks used in Europe.

Certified Source
Certified Source


Substitutes
White ash (Fraxinus americana) has superiod dimensional stability.

Blunting Effect
Moderate
High to severe
Moderate dulling effect on cutting edges


Boring
Fair to good results
Fairly difficult to very difficult


Although it is ring porous, Red oak has good boring properties. (Percent of bored pieces with fair to excellent results = 99)

Carving
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult


Cutting Resistance
Easy to saw


Gluing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Satisfactory gluing properties
Moderate gluing properties
Easy to glue


Mortising
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Responds readily to mortising
Bores readily with ordinary tools, with very good results

Percent of pieces with fair to excellent results = 95)

Moulding
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Very poor (25+% of pieces will yield good to excellent results)


Movement in Service
Unstable with Poor Stability - Large Movement
Medium
Small
Moderate dimensional stability after seasoning


Nailing
Pre-Boring Recommended
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Wood is heavy and hard
Pre-boring required
Possible if prebored
Holds nails well

Percent of pieces free from complete splits = 66

Planing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult


Red oak is hard, but it responds readily to sharp tools in planing to yield clean, smooth surfaces. (Percent of perfectly planed pieces = 91)

Resistance to Impregnation
Resistant sapwood
Resistant heartwood
Permeable sapwood
Heartwood is moderately resistant
Resistant


Response to Hand Tools
Fairly Difficult to Difficult to Work
Easy to machine
Works well with hand tools
Tools must be kept sharp for maximum efficiency
Moderate working qualities


Routing & Recessing
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult


Sanding
Yields clean surfaces
Sands readily

Percent of pieces with good to excellent sanding results = 81

Screwing
Pre-boring recommended
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Screwing yields good results
Possible if prebored
Holds screws firmly
Good screwing properties

Percent of screwed pieces free from complete splits = 78

Turning
Very Good to Excellent Results
Surfaces generally clean
Good results

Number of fair to excellent pieces out of one hundred = 84

Veneering Qualities
Suitable for slicing
Veneers easily
There is slight to moderate drying degrade and the potential for buckles and splits
Moderately easy to veneer


Steam Bending
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Poor to Very Poor Results
Very good
Often used for steam bending

Percent of unbroken steam bent pieces = 86

Polishing
Very Good to Excellent Results
Satisfactory results


Staining
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Good characteristics
Finish is generally satisfactory

Large pores tend to produce strong contrast in staining. Consistent use of a batch of either quarter sawn or flat sawn stock for a given project is recommended since prominent rays can render seams in edge-glued stock very obvious. A darker colored stain preceded by a light colored filler is reported to produce the 'lime' look, and high tannin content allows the wood to be treated with ammonia to yield a nearly black or 'Jacobean' finish.

Strength Properties
Weight = high
Hardness = medium
Crushing strength = high
Bending strength (MOR) = high

Anatomical differences which correspond to important botanical differences in the trees allow oaks to be separated into two main classes, red and white. Red oaks are found mainly in eastern Canada and the United States. They are made up of several very similar species which include American red oak or Northern red oak (Q. rubra ); Southern red oak (Q. falcata ); Spanish oak, Swamp red oak, or Cherrybark oak (also Q. falcata ); Shumard oak or Pin oak (Q. palustris ); Nuttal oak (Q. nuttallii ); Scarlet oak (Q. coccinea ); Canyon live oak (Q. chrysolepis ); and sometimes Black oak (Q. velutina ). Red oak is regarded as one of the most beautiful woods to work with because of its grain pattern and character. Smaller rays give the timber a plainer figure than white oak, and its open pores make it less water-tight. Red oak is comparable to white oak in strength, and both are used in steam bending applications. Red oak is, however, less decay resistant than white oak or European oak. Also, red oak acorns are more bitter in taste than white oak acorns.

Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength867213730psi
Crushing Strength6811117psi
Density43lbs/ft3
Hardness1152lbs
Impact Strength5347inches
Maximum Crushing Strength39336804psi
Shearing Strength1738psi
Static Bending41168134psi
Stiffness143017011000 psi
Toughness470inch-lbs
Work to Maximum Load1315inch-lbs/in3
Specific Gravity0.560.62
Weight4742lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage3%
Tangential Shrinkage8%
Volumetric Shrinkage13%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength609965kg/cm2
Crushing Strength4778kg/cm2
Density689kg/m3
Hardness522kg
Impact Strength134119cm
Maximum Crushing Strength276478kg/cm2
Shearing Strength122kg/cm2
Static Bending289571kg/cm2
Stiffness1001191000 kg/cm2
Toughness541cm-kg
Work to Maximum Load0.911.05cm-kg/cm3
Specific Gravity0.560.62
Weight753673kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage3%
Tangential Shrinkage8%

References
Arno, J. 1988. Quercus rubra - Northern red oak. In A Guide to Useful Woods of the World. Flynn Jr., J.H., Editor. King Philip Publishing Co., Portland, Maine. 1994. Page 309-310.

Boone, R.S., C.J. Kozlik, P.J. Bois and E.M. Wengert. 1988. Dry Kiln Schedules for Commercial Woods: Temperate and Tropical. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report FPL-GTR-57, Madison, Wisconsin.

Brown, W.H.,1978,Timbers of the World: - No.7 North America,TRADA

California Department of Forestry. Comparative Physical & Mechanical Properties of Western & Eastern Hardwoods. Prepared by Forest Products Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California. n/d.

Canadian Forestry Service. 1981. Canadian Woods - Their Properties and Uses. Third Edition. E.J. Mullins and T.S. McKnight, Editors. Published by University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada.

Clifford, N.,1957,Timber Identification for the Builder and Architect,Leonard Hill (Books) LTD. London

Farmer, R.H.,1972,Handbook of Hardwoods,HMSO

HMSO, 1981. Handbook of Hardwoods, 2nd Edition. Revised by R.H. Farmer. Department of the Environment, Building Research Establishment, Princes Risborough Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

I.U.F.R.O.,1973,Veneer Species of the World,Assembled at F.P.L. Madison on behalf of I.U.F.R.O. Working Party on,Slicing and Veneer Cutting

Jackson, A. and D. Day. 1991. Good Wood Handbook - The Woodworker's Guide to Identifying, Selecting and Using the Right Wood. Betterway Publications, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kaiser, J. Wood of the Month: Red Oak - A Plentiful Species. Wood & Wood Products, December, 1992. Page 50.

Lavers, G.M.,1983,The Strength Properties of Timber (3rd ed. revised Moore G.L.,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Report (formerly Bulletin No.50)

Little, E.L. 1980. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees - Eastern Region. Published by Arthur A. Knopf, New York.

Markwardt, L.J., Wilson, T.R.C.,1935,Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin,No.479

Mullins, E.J. and McKnight, T.S.,1981,Canadian Woods Their Properties and Uses,University of Toronto Press 3rd Edition

NWFA. 1994. Wood Species Used in Wood Flooring. Technical Publication No. A200. National Wood Flooring Association, Manchester, MO.

Panshin, A.J. and C. deZeeuw. 1980. Textbook of Wood Technology, 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill Series in Forest Resources. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Record, S.J. and R.W. Hess. 1943. Timbers of the New World. Published on the Charles Lathrop Pack Foundation, Yale University Press, New Haven CT.

Rijsdijk, L.F. and Laming, P.B.,1994,Physical and Related Properties of 145 Timbers, Information for,Practice,TNO Building and Construction Research Centre for Timber Research Kluwer,Academic Publishers

Stone, H.,1924,The Timbers of Commerce and their Identification,William Rider & Sons Ltd. London

Titmuss, F.H.,1965,Commercial Timbers of the World,Technical Press Ltd., London, 3rd edition

U.S.D.A. Forest Service,1974,Wood Handbook,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Handbook,72

USDA. 1987. Wood Handbook:Wood as an Engineering Material. Agriculture Handbook No. 72. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Madison, Wisconsin.

USDA. 1988. Dry Kiln Operators Manual, Preliminary Copy. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin.








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