Red Oak

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Most Amish furniture is made from Red Oak. Red oak is readily available in the US and Canada. It is the most widely used of the hardwood trees (hardwoods often lose their leaves in the winter) and the trees can reach heights of 100’.  Red oak is often plain sawn giving it an open grain pattern.  There are multiple trees that fall into the Red oak catagory, one of them is black oak.  These woods have a reddish grain pattern and are graded and sold under the name “red oak”.

Plain sawn Red oak can be identified by the wide, flowing ring patterns (fig 1).  The annual rings are black in color.  They also “indent” into the wood.  Run your hand across the black rings and you will notice that area is a bit rougher.  Plain sawn cuts can also be identified, on any board, by looking at the end grain pattern.  Figure 97 shows the grain pattern clearly.

Red oak measures 1290 on the Janka Hardness scale.