Smart, Cost-Effective, Treasured for Generations.

White Oak

Quercus spp
 
 

Stain Selector

Clear

Light

Medium

Dark

 

White oak is impervious to liquids, and has been used extensively for ship timbers, barrels and casks. White oak is the state tree of Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland.

Where It Grows

Widespread throughout the Eastern U.S. The white oak group comprises many species, of which about eight are commercial. The trees prefer rich well drained soil, and average height is 60 to 80 feet.

Main uses

Furniture, flooring, architectural millwork, mouldings, doors, kitchen cabinets, paneling, barrel staves (tight cooperage) and caskets.

Relative Abundance

15.1 percent of total U.S. hardwoods commercially available.

Did You Know?

Native Americans and early settlers would boil and eat white oak acorns.

General Description

The sapwood is light-colored and the heartwood is light to dark brown. White oak is mostly straight-grained with a medium to coarse texture, with longer rays than red oak. White oak therefore has more figure.

Working Properties

White oak machines well, nails and screws well although pre-boring is advised. Since it reacts with iron, galvanized nails are recommended. Its adhesive properties are variable, but it stains to a good finish. Can be stained with a wide range of finish tones. The wood dries slowly.

Physical Properties

A hard and heavy wood with medium bending and crushing strength, low in stiffness, but very good in steam bending. Great wear-resistance.

Availability

Readily available but not as abundant as red oak.

Working Properties


Machining

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good

Nailing

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good

Screwing

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good

Gluing

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good

Finishing

 
 
 
 
 
Poor
Good
 

Strength and Mechanical Properties (inch-pound)a


 

Static Bending

Moisture Content

Specific Gravity (b)

Modulus of Rupture
(lbf/in2)

Modulus of Elasticity (c)
(106 lbf/in2)

Work to Maximum Load
(in-lbf/in3)

Green-12% 0.57-0.88 7,200-18,400 0.88-2.05 9.4-19.2

Impact Bending
to Grain
(in)

Compression
Parallel to Grain
(lbf/in2)

Compression
Perpendicular to Grain
(lbf/in2)

Shear
Parallel to Grain
(lbf/in2)

Tension
Perpendicular to Grain
(lbf/in2)

Side Hardness
(lbf)

— -50 3,290-8,900 530-2,840 1,210-2,660 — -940 — -1,620

a) Results of tests on small clear specimens in the green and air-dried conditions. Definition of properties; impact bending is height of drop that causes complete failure, using 0.71-kg (50 lb.) hammer; compression parallel to grain is also called maximum crushing strength; compression perpendicular to grain is fiber stress at proportional limit; shear is maximum shearing strength; tension is maximum tensile strength; and side hardness is hardness measured when load is perpendicular to grain.

b) Specific gravity is based on weight when ovendry and volume when green or at 12% moisture content

c) Modulus of elasticity measured from a simply supported, center-loaded beam, on a span depth ratio of 14/1. To correct for shear reflection, the modulus can be increased by 10%.