White Oak Rift and Quartered

American White Oak may reach 100 feet in height and have a trunk of 36” in diameter. America was built on the strength of this tree. The settlers used it for all of their building uses, it was the best wood available for making wheels and brought them over to the west. The strength of the oak tree cannot be underestimated and last but not least it the preferred species for making whiskey barrels. The tree is harvested by single tree selection and not by clear cutting. In this method the foresters using their extensive experience in the field consider many separate factors in deciding which tree is suitable for cutting. When it comes to selecting trees for quarter sawn lumber these limitations actually increase. Since the tree is actually quartered before any board is cut from it, the actual sections are narrower than regular cut lumber, therefore the yield decreases. The board length averages out between 4′ and 8′ and the width between 4″ and 8″.

Where does it grow.

White Oak grows in a wide ban that spans from the Eastern border of the Unites States all throughout the Appalachian Mountains from as far south as Georgia all the way North to Southern Canada.

Wood Characteristics

After the White Oak is milled, and made into flooring the color of the rift and quartered type is exactly the same as that of plain sawn material, however  the look of rift and quartered white oak is quite unique and prized by connoisseurs the world over. Both quartered and rift exhibit tightly spaced straight grain, though quartered shows medullary rays which actually become more pronounced after the finishing process. In a final analysis you could say that quartered white Oak is much more “figured”, while Rift which has at least 80% less flake exhibits a much straighter grain with tightly spaced parallel lines.

Janka Hardness of White Oak is 1210

The two major advantages – Beauty and functionality

Functionality first – Because the wood has been cut in this unique way, the material expands on the thickness axis, instead of the width and length. This is a major advantage that makes it ideally suited for the flooring applications in areas subject to moisture and or moisture changes and radiant heat. It resists warping and cupping

Beauty-Because of the medullary rays white Oak shows a lot of what we call “flake” this quality brings tremendous beauty to the boards, and it is highly prized even for making furniture, and regardless whether the flake is highly pronounced or not, it gives the board a high wow factor when is finally stained and finished. For this reason it has been used for a long time as the flooring of choice in a very wide format in stately mansions and all sorts of Expensive buildings throughout this country.

 White Oak Stains and finishes

White Oak polishes very well and takes the stain in excellent manner. However sometime we see certain finishing products reacting with the tannins in the wood resulting in stain colors with a green or brown hue.

These finishes are achieved with the use of Rubio Oil:

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Some of the methods that are used to bring maximum beauty and achieving unique effects are: Hand Scraping and Distressing, Wire Brushing, Fuming and Scorching, Bleaching and French Bleeding, Pattern and no Pattern Distressing.

White oak rift and quartered shows it’s best attributes when the planks are wide. We are particularly proud of offering several choices in the wide plank character grade at really reasonable prices.

Make sure that if and when you should buy White Oak for you house it comes from a very good source. Here at our location we have been purchasing quite a bit of the same material from the same suppliers for a long time. We always readily available a good choice of Red Oak and White on our premises.