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How to Quarter Saw Lumber

How to Quarter Saw Lumber

There are several reasons to consider quarter sawing your lumber because the grain patterns in some hardwoods are in great demand. For example, quarter sawn oak is more valuable than plain sawn oak. Quarter sawn wood is also more dimensionally sound meaning it will not cup or dish while drying and will shrink less than plain sawn lumber. Due to these advantages, woodworkers, cabinet makers, quality furniture shops, and craftsmen typically prefer quarter sawn lumber to work with. However, not all lumber will increase in value when quarter sawn due to the amount of handling and time involved to produce. Quarter sawn lumber refers to the angle at which the tree’s growth rings intersect the face of the sawn board. Although there are differing opinions on the term, fully quarter sawn lumber is generally defined as growth rings that are 80 to 90 degrees to the face of the board. The quarter sawing method can also produce rift sawn lumber which is considered to have growth rings that are 45 to 80 degrees to the face of the board.


 Advantages of Quartersawn Lumber

Disadvantages of Quartersawn Lumber

 Heavy ray fleck is a valuable characteristic to woodworkers

Often results in 20% lower yields from logs

 Half the shrinkage in width vs. flatsawn lumber when drying (3% vs. 6%)

 Lower lumber production rates

 Dries flatter with less risk of checking during drying

Requires 15% or so longer drying times

 More stable in an environment with varying humidity

Shrinks twice as much in thickness vs. flatsawn lumber

 Wears more evenly when used as flooring

Has spike knots compared to circular knots which reduce strength


 



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