American White Oak is similar in colour and appearance to European oak. The sapwood 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.
Physical properties: A hard and heavy wood with medium bending and crushing strength, low in stiffness, but very good in steam bending. It's strength means it is increasingly being used by architects and designers in structural applications.
Working Properties: American White Oak machines well and nails and screws well, although pre-drilling is advised. As it reacts with iron, galvanised or copper nails are recommended. It's adhesive 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 treatment, and the sapwood moderately resistant to treatment. It's natural durability means that American White Oak heartwood can be used externally 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.
American White Oak can vary in colour, texture, characteristics and properties according to the region where it's grown. 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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