If I stain, can I mix red and white oak? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-01-2019, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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If I stain, can I mix red and white oak?

I want to build a. Arts and craft style tile top table. I have some 12/4 leg stock that I'd like to reclaim from another project in red oak. I would also like to use quartered white oak for the top frame and the shelf, then red oak for the rails just to use it up a red oak board I have lying around. If I stain with general finishes antique oak, will it be obvious that I mixed species?
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-01-2019, 09:38 PM
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Yes.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-02-2019, 02:26 AM
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Wont be able to tell with a darker stain, lighter stains might show. Run a test just to be sure
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-02-2019, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Wont be able to tell with a darker stain, lighter stains might show. Run a test just to be sure
What epicfail said is the same that I do when having different wood species on the same project. If I want each species to show I used some type of clear stain but I usually get some scrapes and experiment and see what happens with different stains or what ever I have for a finish.

Marlin
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-02-2019, 10:22 AM
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Yes, it will be obvious.

Red oak is an open grained wood with capillary-like pores that can suck stain deep into the wood. I recently learned on WoodworkingTalk about a parlor trick where you can suck liquids through a red oak board like a straw. I have not tried it myself.

White oak is a closed grain wood and does not soak stain the same way.

https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...rom-white-oak/

Back in the 1970s/1980s, red oak furniture was very popular. Red oak was the cheapest real hardwood that us poor students could afford. We would pool our money together and order a big truckload of it to split up. I am burned out on red oak, and have not chosen it for a project in decades. Maybe I should give it another try, like Taco Bell food. I could not eat it for a long time after working at one in high school, but now I like it again. :-)
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-02-2019, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Yes, it will be obvious.

Red oak is an open grained wood with capillary-like pores that can suck stain deep into the wood. I recently learned on WoodworkingTalk about a parlor trick where you can suck liquids through a red oak board like a straw. I have not tried it myself.

White oak is a closed grain wood and does not soak stain the same way.

https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...rom-white-oak/

Back in the 1970s/1980s, red oak furniture was very popular. Red oak was the cheapest real hardwood that us poor students could afford. We would pool our money together and order a big truckload of it to split up. I am burned out on red oak, and have not chosen it for a project in decades. Maybe I should give it another try, like Taco Bell food. I could not eat it for a long time after working at one in high school, but now I like it again. :-)
Yea I'm generally not a red oak person either. I used it for my first couple projects because it was cheap, but my go to woods are soft maple, cherry, Walnut on occasion. But I have this red oak leg stock that I hate to waste since it's so thick. I'll have to do a couple test pieces.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-06-2019, 05:08 AM
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Stain the white oak with a mix of early American perhaps some natural to cut it a little and make it lighter. The principal is that white oak is browner and darker than Red oak plus red oak has stronger red tones. So staining both species with the same exact color really wont solve the problem.
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-06-2019, 06:39 AM
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I usually like contrast with different woods in furniture but I like high contrast like red oak/padouk or maple/walnut. Slightly different woods with low contrast never appealed to me. It always looked like a mismatch. But that's just me.

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-06-2019, 08:06 AM
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If you stain, it probably won't make any difference ....

According to this article, staining will make them indistinguishable. However, the main difference is in the structure of the growth rings IF you are trying to figure out which is which. You can blow air through a short section of end grain Red Oak, but not White Oak:
https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...rom-white-oak/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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