I turn red oak quite a bit. Two large red oaks fell last fall and I'm enjoying using it for some spindle work and some hollow forms. Even though it has an open grain, I have had very little checking. I think this tree differs in various regions. I was just in Okahoma, where the grain seemed much less tight than my red oaks. I have learned through the years to try every wood that comes my way rather than listening to the ideas of others...sometimes thay are right and sometimes thay are wrong. Have fun.