applejackson

White oak curiosity question

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I have been woodworking for about 15 years and I work part time in a Rockler store. I've got a question that no one has ever been able to answer to my satisfaction, but I'm guessing that the wise members of this forum can answer it.

Here goes.

I ONLY ever see white oak for sale that's 1/4 sawn. 

Does anyone know why this might be?

I live in Minnesota so there's not exactly a shortage of oak trees in this region. And at work at Rockler, and in the 3-4 local lumber yards I but from, I can't remember seeing plain sawn white oak, even once. It seems to ALWAYS be 1/4 sawn.

I guess it could be that it is out there and I just haven't noticed it (it's not like I'm actively trying to source some) but I started recognizing that I was seeing this lack of anything but QS about a year ago and in that time I've kept an eye out for plain sawn and just haven't ever seen it.

Does anyone know if there's something to this observation or is it bullspit and I just haven't noticed other cuts?

 

Just curious.

Thanks

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, applejackson said:

I have been woodworking for about 15 years and I work part time in a Rockler store. I've got a question that no one has ever been able to answer to my satisfaction, but I'm guessing that the wise members of this forum can answer it.

Here goes.

I ONLY ever see white oak for sale that's 1/4 sawn. 

Does anyone know why this might be?

I live in Minnesota so there's not exactly a shortage of oak trees in this region. And at work at Rockler, and in the 3-4 local lumber yards I but from, I can't remember seeing plain sawn white oak, even once. It seems to ALWAYS be 1/4 sawn.

I guess it could be that it is out there and I just haven't noticed it (it's not like I'm actively trying to source some) but I started recognizing that I was seeing this lack of anything but QS about a year ago and in that time I've kept an eye out for plain sawn and just haven't ever seen it.

Does anyone know if there's something to this observation or is it bullspit and I just haven't noticed other cuts?

 

Just curious.

Thanks

 

 

 

I've purchased qtr red oak a lot. My trashy Cabinet and Bookshelves were both Qtr Red oak.

The reason that you see white qtr saw for more commonly than red is because the medulary rays in white oak are a lot longer and there fore generally lead to more prominent ray fleck. If you put flat sawn red and white oak side by side the medulary rays are one of many ways to help determine the difference between them.

Demand is the other big reason. There probably isn't as much demand for Qtr red oak because of the increased cost associated. White isn't that much more and if you are paying the premium over flat sawn lumber why not go for the one that is more commonly associated with looking better. With the smaller demand they don't mill it and maximize yield for trim boards and flooring.

*edit

I happen to like the look of Qtr red oak a lot the fleck is a lot smaller and less over stated. Also when staining it you don't get the punch in the face as much with the grain as you do on flat sawn. Though the second would work for both white and red.

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Can't help you there. I've got more flat sawn white oak on my rack than quartered. It's readily available and cheaper than quartered on the left coast.

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Flat sawn is available. All you want. Maybe living in an area with lots of oak might have something to do with not seeing flat sawn. But get on the phone and call yards that sell oak and they will have flat sawn. There is more waste in QS. And it requires bigger trees.

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Not in durability, but in appearance. White Oak is White Oak, it just has a better look when quarter sawn.

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QS properly dried is very stable. shrinkage is low. And most likely to stay flat. Then there is the beauty of QS...

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