Somerset's Appalachian Advantage:
Some of the finest lumber in the world comes from the Appalachian Mountain region of the U.S., where Somerset is strategically located. The lumber is considered superior because of the benefits inherent in the location and the land. The climate is a main factor in producing the naturally superior quality. The slower growth of trees results in high growth rings, consistent grains, and strong fibers that lead to strength, durability, and beauty.
White oak is commonly used for kitchen cabinetry, flooring, furniture, moldings, doors, architectural and exterior jinery, paneling, coffins, caskets, and more.
White oak has tyloses that give the wood a closed cellular structure, making it water- and rot-resistant. Because of this characteristic, white oak is commonly used for barrels for wine and whiskey production. It is also used in construction, shipbuilding, cooperage, and agricultural implements.
Interestingly, The USS Constitution is made of white oak, and reconstructive wood replacement comes from a special grove of Quercus alba known as the "Constitution Grove" at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division.
White oak is light brown in color with paler sapwood. It is strong, dense, tough and durable; mostly straight-grained with a medium to course texture, with longer rays than its counterpart, red oak. It can vary in color, texture, characteristics and properties according to where it grows.
Machines well; nails and screws well (pre-boring is recommended); stains and polishes to a good finish. Adhesive properties are variable. It should be noted that white oak reacts with ferrous metal, causing corrosion and staining of the wood, so galvanized, brass or stainless steel fittings are recommended.
White oak has a Janka Hardness Rating of 1360 (compared to red oak at 1290). The wood is hard and heavy, with medium bending strength, low stiffness, and medium crushing strength. It is considered a very good wood for steam bending.
(1) "Materials on USS Constitution". San Francisco National Maritime Park Association. http://www.maritime.org/conf/conf-otton-mat.htm. Retrieved 2011_07-24.