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Red Oak Quercus robur
ECONOMICAL OAK WITH LESS FIGURE
Red oak lacks the patterning or figuring of rays that is found in white oak (Q. alba) or English oak (Q. robur), but it has deeper color. It is generally cheaper than white oak and less popular with woodworkers. However, it should not be discounted, especially lumber that is grown farther north, where the slower growth produces more consistent color and grain. Watch out for sapwood, which should be avoided with oak and is not always counted as a defect.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS
Type Temperate hardwood
Other names Northern red oak, southern red oak
Related species Q. falcata
Alternatives English oak (Q. robur)
Sources North America
Color Reddish brown
Texture Medium to coarse
Grain Straight
Hardness Hard
Weight Medium to heavy (48 lb./cu. ft.) (770 kg/cu. m)
Strength Medium, and bends well
Seasoning and stability Best seasoned slowly, but there is always a risk of checking, splits and honeycombing. Moderately stable once seasoned.
Wastage Moderate, because of defects that result from seasoning
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Good
Durability Poor; prone to rot and insect attack

VARIATIONS
Quartersawn sides have some ray figure, but it is neither as extensive nor as pronounced as in other oaks.

SUSTAINABILITY
Abundant and in no danger, and certified supplies are relatively easy to find.

AVAILABILITY AND COST
Widely available, and more economical than white oak.



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