Oak would seem an obvious choice for use in the manufacture of garage doors; beautiful graining, durable and weather resistant. It does however have drawbacks; firstly it is a very dense heavy wood which is not ideal for a garage door and, secondly, it is expensive. Drawbacks aside though, oak is used to make garage doors. The visual beauty of oak is familiar to all. The close swirling grain with a light faun colour which when treated or lightly stained is attractively enhanced and difficult to better. For this reason many different ways are used to mimic the look of oak with other inferior materials. The other factor with regard to its appearance is the traditional look. It has been used for centuries in architecture and furniture. The durability and rot resistance of oak is due to the high content of naturally occurring tannins contained in the wood. These tannins make it resistant to both fungal and insect attack. Carefully chosen oak timber can last for generations. Oak is a dense timber. Pine, for instance has a density of 0.43 grams per cubic centimetre. Oak has a density of 0.75 grams per cubic centimetre. This weight can give problems when a garage door leaf is constructed in solid oak. The weight of the door leaf has to be counterbalanced by springs or weights. A point is reached on larger doors when the springs become too big to be safely tensioned. Also, should a spring fail, regulations regarding garage door manufacture require that the door must come down under control. For obvious safety reasons, the door cannot come crashing down. Oak is a relatively expensive timber. The oak tree is very slow growing. Five hundred year old oak trees are not uncommon and other examples much older. Areas of the world were once covered in deciduous forests containing countless oak trees, Britain included. Mankind has felled these trees to use in building, and furniture. No attempt was made in the past to replenish these stocks and so they dwindled. There are now oak plantations but such is the length of time before harvest that these are not yet feasible. Oak now is available from Europe but most comes from the Pacific North West of North America. ...More

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