Skip to main content
Variation in Lightness of White Oak Dimension Stock
Forest Products Journal (1995)
  • Douglas D. Stokke, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Anton D. Pugel, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • John E. Phelps, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

The objectives of this research were to generate a set of sample parameters for the lightness of planed white oak dimension stock, to investigate the effect of grain angle on lightness values, and to determine the level of sampling needed to color match white oak dimension stock on the basis of lightness or darkness as quantified by the parameter L* (psychometric lightness). This information is important when used to determine the feasibility of low-cost portable instruments for evaluating color in an edge-glued hardwood panel production setting. Color measurements were obtained with a portable spectrophotometer interfaced with a notebook computer. The lightness values of these defect-free white oak dimension parts have a normal distribution, suggesting that lighter colored material could be sorted for higher priced markets where this attribute is favorable. This further suggests an opportunity to explore raw material sourcing for desired color attributes. There is very little variation of lightness within each board. Because of this, sufficient data for color matching of parts using lightness as the color criterion can be obtained by taking one reading on each board, as long as the readings are collected with the same grain orientation. Lightness readings are significantly different along the grain versus across the grain. There is, however, some correlation between lightness values along and across the grain.

  • wood,
  • board,
  • optical properties,
  • color,
  • variations,
  • hardwood
Publication Date
October, 1995
Publisher Statement
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
Citation Information
Douglas D. Stokke, Anton D. Pugel and John E. Phelps. "Variation in Lightness of White Oak Dimension Stock" Forest Products Journal Vol. 45 Iss. 10 (1995)
Available at: