Raw timber logs are most commonly cut in three different ways, each method depends on how long and wide the timber log is and the facilities available at the sawmill. Different cuts of timber provide different finishes in the grain and usability of the final finished timber and more importantly different prices. Below we explain the differences.
Plain sawn timber is the most common cut of timber and it is the least expensive. The technique consists of cutting parallel cuts through the log, resulting in wider boards with minimal waste. This process is fast and efficient and exposes the grain well.
Plain sawn timber is the most common type of wood cut. The annular rings are generally 30 degrees or less to the face of the board, this is often referred to as 'tangential grain'.
Advantages of Plain Sawn Timber:
Rift sawn timber is typically narrow with a very straight grain pattern on the face of the board. Rift sawn Timber is usually used with oak to avoid the flecks that are common in the species. Rift Sawn Timber is the most expensive cut and the least common.
Rift Sawn timber is the least common method of cutting raw timber logs. It is a method that is time and labour intensive and also requires a lot of care to ensure the quality of the final timber boards produced.
To Rift saw timber you first need to Quarter Saw the log and then from the centre of the quarter, saw out the wood. The resulting timber has a uniquely even grain that is perfect for woodworking projects such as construction and furniture making or fine wooden flooring installations.
Advantages of Rift Sawn Timber:
Disadvantages of Rift Sawn Timber:
Quarter sawn wood has an amazing straight grain pattern that is often used for flooring and furniture. Quartersawn wood is literally cut into quarters before it is run through the mill.
There are a number of benefits of using Quarter Sawn Timber, such as structural integrating when used for building and construction that requires load baring support.
Benefits of Quarter Sawn Timber:
Timber that has been quarter Sawn is generally regarded as more dimensionally stable that the traditional plain sawn timber. Although quarter sawn timber is more expensive due to the labour required to cut the tree into four quarters, the end results is a piece of timber that has a far better finish, as outlined in the advantages above.
Generally you will not need to choose the way your timber is cut, the majority will be plain sawn timber. If you are looking for special piece of timber for a woodworking project then speak to your supplier as they can advise on the best way to source it for you.