Distinguishing Red Oak from White Oak Using Chemistry
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Hope this helps,
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
You can positively identify red oak and white oak logs (chestnut oak is a white oak) using a 5% sodium nitritie solution in tap water. It is 100%.
From contributor D:
I know this is an old thread but I found it a few weeks back when trying to figure out a way to tell for sure whether I had white or red oak. I was able to get some sodium nitrite from EBay and made up the solution. The image below shows the results when I sprayed two freshly cut pieces of white and red oak- the white turned very dark as it dried while the red didn't change color.
Click here for full size image
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