American White Oak is similar in colour and appearance to European oak. The sapwood of AWO is light coloured and the heartwood is light to dark brown. American White Oak is mostly straight grained with a medium to coarse texture, with longer rays and red oak. White oak, therefore, has more figure.
Physican properties: A hard and heavy wood with medium bending and crushing strangth, low in stiffness, but very good in steam bending. Its good overall strength means it is increasingly being used by architects and designers in structural applications.
Working Properties: White Oak machines well, nails and screws well, although pre-boring is advised. As it reacts with iron, galvanised or copper nails are recommended. It's adhesive properties properties are variable, but it stains and polishes to a good finish. The wood dries slowly and care is needed to avoid checking. Due to its high shrinkage, it can be susceptible to movement in performance under variable moisture conditions.
Durability: The heartwood is resistant to decay, extremely resistant to preservative treatement, and the sapwood is moderately resistant to treatement. It's natural durability means that White oak heartwood can be used extremely without preservative treatment, but localised climate and exposure conditions should be taken into account to determine its potential performance.
Main uses: Construction, furniture, flooring, architectural joinery, exterior joinery, mouldings, doors, kitchen cabinets, panelling, railway sleepers, timber bridges, barrel staves and coffins.
White Oak can vary in colour, texture, characteristics and properties according to the growing region. It is therefore recommended that users and specifiers work closely with their suppliers to make sure the wood they order is suited to their specific needs.
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