Wood Species In Detail – Oak

At Osborne Wood Products, we supply the cabinet and furniture trade with the highest quality decorative wood components. Naturally, we work hard to source the highest quality wood possible. In an effort to better help our hobbyist and DIY customers make the right choice in which wood types to use in their projects, we are introducing a new blog series in which we go into detail discussing our various wood types and answering any common questions our customers may have.

An example of an unfinished red oak leg

Among our most popular wood types is oak, of which we offer two varieties: red and white.

Red oak is one of our denser woods, ranking at 1290 on the Janka hardness scale. It is hard, heavy, and strong, and due to its density, it is very easy to work with. Red oak tends to be a light to medium brown in color with a reddish cast and pinkish tones. It is also one of the most popular hardwoods in the United States, featuring prominently in many homes.

Red oak is recommended as a stain grade wood. It features a straight grain with a coarse, uneven texture and large, open pores.

White oak is slightly denser than red oak, coming in at a 1360 on the Janka hardness scale. White oak ranges in color from a very light, warm, golden color to a dark brown heartwood, sometimes with olive tones. Much like red oak, white oak is also considered very easy to work with for the same reasons. Additionally, it’s recommended as a stain grade wood and features a straight grain with a coarse, uneven texture. White oak is one of our Premium wood types, and due to its rarer nature, it tends to cost roughly twice the price of red oak in some cases.

A common request we get at Osborne is for white oak parts that are either rift sawn or quarter sawn. Both of these are popular options due to white oak’s consistent grain structure, and both options will create beautiful products. Any interest in a rift sawn or quarter sawn custom piece may cause the price to be four times or more that of red oak in some cases, as well.

For more information on the differences between plain sawn, quarter sawn, and rift sawn, read our blog post here.

Whether you’re interested in a more farmhouse-style or rustic-style application, we also offer a weathered wood service for oak woods that will make your brand-new product look as if it’s actually decades old. The weathering service uses either a sand blaster or a large brush with heavy bristles to wear away part of the surface, which emphasizes the grain pattern. The surface will not be smooth to the touch, but will instead have a rough, worn look and feel to it.

All of our wood types are sorted into a Traditional, Premium, or Specialty selection. You can find red oak under Traditional and white oak under Premium.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a specific variety of oak or for oak that is rift or quarter sawn, you can contact us for a custom quote by filling out our online form, emailing, or calling 800-849-8876 and speaking with a representative today.

Check out the links below to read more in-depth about all the other wood types we offer:

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