Oak, English Brown (Quercus, spp.)
Trade Names: Brown Oak, English Brown Oak, Pollard Oak
Range: Mostly in England but also found frequently in France. It is believed that red rot can occur in all of the Oak subspecies, however, if this does not lead to decay of the heartwood, leaving the latter sliceable, we speak of the Brown Oak. To obtain high quality Brown Oak veneers the entire heartwood must be fungi infested which turns the heartwood dark brown. In especially high demand are the Brown Oak flake veneers with their broad rays resulting in an extremely decorative effect when the surface is highlighted.
Uses: Only in architectural woodwork, especially in the USA and Great Britain a popular wood for courthouses.
Properties: Quarter-sliced or rift cut to obtain the flake effect.
Machining: Despite its hardness oak can be worked well with all tools. Planed surfaces are very smooth. Molding and turning can bring good results.
Seasoning: Oak can only be dried extremely slowly. There is hardly another species of wood that requires such a long drying period. Oak is strongly prone to surface checking and inner case hardening. Satisfactory drying results can only be achieved with the greatest of care.