I recently acquired a large load of lumber on the cheap. I was
told it was white oak...it is not. It is red oak. I don't
dislike Red Oak, but am not particulary fond of the pinkish
color. Because of the vast difference in pore size between
earlywood and latewood, the highly contrasted arches of flatsawn oak (example
is very difficult to avoid. I don't dislike it...but it was not
the look I was going for on my bookshelf project. I wanted the
wood slighly darker that it's native color, but did not want the high-contrast grain pattern. Since
sunlight has such a dramatic effect on cherry, I decided to try it on
oak, even though I've never heard anyone talk about it.
I covered this scrap piece with with a paper bag on the left side...and left
it in the sun for 3 days (~6 hours of direct sunlight per day). Then I finished one side with shellac (super-blonde).
about the UV-protection properties of shellac, I tried the experiment
again. This time I finished the entire piece with shellac and covered
half of the piece with a paper bag. I left the piece in the sun for 6
days. It is difficult to tell the difference. Granted, it was only 6
days...but it was outdoors in direct sunlight. Indoors, very little UV
makes it through the windows. My conclusion is that shellac does
provide UV protection, but not 100%.