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Thread: pros and cons of red oak?

  1. #1

    pros and cons of red oak?

    I'm about to start a production run of my feeders / houses. I was thinking of using white oak ply and boards but I'll have to go for a drive to get it. The local borg's stock red oak in both ply and boards.

    Are there any things about red oak that would make it a no go? The wood will be stained and varnished. I don't care about the wood colour but I do want the grain to be apparent.

    Cheers,

    patrick
    パトリック
    daiku woodworking
    ^deshi^
    neoshed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ozarks
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    red oak rots faster than white......but if you`re using plywood it`ll rot quicker than the solid wood.......so i`d say if you`re able to protect the ply you should be fine...
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    El Paso, TX
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    146

    Tods right on the money . . .

    but PLEASE don't get any oak from The BORG. I did for years not knowing any better. They're oak is " demensioned " pre-cut. You pay a bunch for that. Go though the phone book and try to find a hardwood outfit in town. Boards AND ply are to be had at HALF the prices and they're a good bunch to know. I only go in for my piddly one or two boards a month but they WANT my money and act like it. Just my HO.

  4. #4
    Patrick,
    You might want to consider an exterior grade of ply - not construction grade, but something like MDO/HDO or exterior MDF (Medex is one brand.) These are substrates used for the sign industry and have a good track record concerning durability and paint coverage.

    If you want the wood grain, why not use lumber? White oak would work well outside.

    Wes

  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies.

    My orginal intention was to go with white oak but it means a 60mile round trip to the nearest supplier and I was being lazy.

    The ply doesnt have any exposed edges but I guess I could dowel / biscuit pieces solid pieces instead. I have a biscuit joiner but its one of those bin doo wah cheapo's so I dont know if its more trouble than it's worth. Someday I'll get a domino but I need to sell a few of these bird items to pay for it.

    I guess I'll sort out a trip down the road tomorrow
    パトリック
    daiku woodworking
    ^deshi^
    neoshed

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    Red oak has open pores... if used for oak barrels, the barrels would leak. I suggest that you make the 60 mile drive to get white oak if it will be used outside. The savings in lumber cost bought anywhere but Home Depot would probably pay for the trip, and may even pay for a planer if you buy rough lumber.

    If you have a fairly good (flat) edge grain connection, forget the biscuits and domino.... just glue the boards together. Biscuits are for alignment, not strength. And you don't need a floating tenon (domino or other) to edge join boards.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    Red oak has open pores... if used for oak barrels, the barrels would leak. I suggest that you make the 60 mile drive to get white oak if it will be used outside. The savings in lumber cost bought anywhere but Home Depot would probably pay for the trip, and may even pay for a planer if you buy rough lumber.

    If you have a fairly good (flat) edge grain connection, forget the biscuits and domino.... just glue the boards together. Biscuits are for alignment, not strength. And you don't need a floating tenon (domino or other) to edge join boards.

    What Charles said Plus some more...Oak Ply would delaminate in a swift season change if used for Bird feeders/houses/etc., outdoors (unless ornimental and deticated to indoor prettys. Vaneered Ply is cabinet grade and not subject to external glues and such and is not rated to combat weather. I would argue a bit about biscuits being for strength as they do make a good joint in the right circumstances. Edge glueing of Oak is excellant and with weather proof glues it should hold up well.

    Red oak has open pores and will absorb moisture and then rot follows where white oak has closed cells and while it will absorb some moisture, it closes its pores and resists the soaking that Red oak portrays.

    60 miles for a load of wood is nothing compared to the trouble that BORG goodies cause and the quality really sucks and if for no other reason, it would be a great learning experience at the mill.

  8. #8
    Well I called the place up that's down the road ad white oak is 3.99 a bf and they'll plane it while I wait. He said they had to pieces up to 17" wide so I'm going to save the aggro of glueing up and skip the plywood as well. Result!
    パトリック
    daiku woodworking
    ^deshi^
    neoshed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    146

    Thats a pretty darn good deal ! And sand it too ? WOW !

    Make friends with those guys !

  10. #10
    And where might that be.... Please pass on this good info... Who, What, Where, etc.

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