While shopping for your forever” floor, there are several factors to consider that contribute to the cost, quality or appearance. Because of the extra work involved, quartersawn wood is more expensive than plainsawn wood. If you want your moldings, floors, and other architectural features to last as long, buy quarter sawn oak products from Good Millwork. General: Rubber wood is a moderately heavy timber that is resistant to many fungal, bacterial and mould attacks and is used for manufacturing a wide range of products including wood flooring. Since this is an easier process, the wood is cheaper, but it can also be slightly less stable.
On the other hand, it is ideal for custom furniture because it is the strongest structurally and has a linear grain pattern on all sides of the board, as shown below. Quartersawn wood, on the other hand, has face grain generally 60º-90º to the face of the board. The growth rings are perpendicular to the board’s broad face, producing a vertical and uniform grain pattern.
In acoustic guitars, quartersawn wood is also often used for the sides which must be steam bent to produce compound curves and the soundboard. Quarter-sawn wood is made by cutting a log into four quarters, which are then plain sawn diagonally. Because of this, rift and quartered lumber is known to be more expensive and harder to find since fewer sawmills cut logs this way. When logs arrive at the saw mill, the sawyer has several ways to cut the wood into boards.
This board was supplied to us by our partner vendor Rex Lumber The King of Imported and Domestic Hardwood Lumber” Rex has the network and ability to source materials from the best mills across the country and they are one of the largest wholesalers on the east coast. Rift sawn wood is used for applications that require straight lined grain through and through. Since rift sawing must be cut in a very specific way (see infographic below), the amount of waste is highest, which pushes up the cost. This method of quarter sawing does leave some waste, but much less than rift sawn lumber.
I believe you stated that quarter sawn lumber will only change dimension (due to changes in moisture content) in thickness, not width. On the edges of the plain sawn board, you will have to make angled cuts to extract the quartersawn wood. This grain, also referred to as radial grain, offers more structural support than both quarter and plain-sawn wood. Rift sawn lumber is dimensionally superior to both plain sawn and quarter sawn lumber. Plain-Sawn Lumber is cut so that the log runs through the mill in one piece, and each slice is parallel through the log.
The production of plain sawn lumber is much more efficient as it allows woodworkers to cut lumber quicker and produces less waste. The annular rings are generally 30 degrees or less to the face of the board; this is often referred to as tangential grain. It has loops and growth swirls found in the grain patters that gives it a very attractive look. The rings on the face and grain along the length of the board will have distinct characteristics. Machining / Sawing: easily machined, turns well, and planes excellently with standard cutting angles.
With this sawing method, which yields the most lumber and produces the widest possible boards with the least log waste, growth rings are parallel to the board’s surface, creating the distinctive flame-shaped, arch or cathedral grain pattern. Quarter sawn oak is widely considered the best cut of oak there is. Because of the way it is cut, quarter sawn oak is much less likely to cup or warp.
In a 4/4-inch piece of lumber, moisture from the center only has to move ½ inch from the center out of the board, allowing the lumber to dry more quickly than a quartersawn piece of lumber. There are four ways that wood flooring can be cut from the tree; the cut used affects appearance and performance. In addition to stability, quartersawn lumber is stronger in both tension and shear.
Therefore, it is more economical in comparison to the other sawing techniques utilized within the industry. The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibers in sawn wood. Grain: Generally straight-grained and open, but sometimes with wavy, curly or burled grain that produces an attractive and decorative figure. The rift and quartered sawing technique requires a unique sawing pattern that is not the most efficient for cutting a log.
The pink rectangle is represents the butt end of a 2″ x 6″ taken from a Plain sawn from a log. The sawyer begins by sawing several boards from one side of the log, turns it 90 degrees and saws several more, and continues in this manner sawing around” the log. A unique line of custom solid and engineered hardwood flooring reflecting character and craftsmanship and designed for the classic home. Is produced by first quartering the log and then sawn perpendicular to the growth rings. The reason why 98% of mills do not sell quartered sawn is because of the technical skills and patience needed. Plain-sawn boards show flat grain on their faces and quarter grain on the edges.
Plain sawn boards have a plumed or flared grain appearance; rift sawn has a tighter grain pattern, low figuring; quarter sawn has a flake pattern, sometimes called tiger Oak, tiger rays or butterflies. Make quarter an ideal choice for making furniture or applications where wood expansion is important element. Flecks (also known as figure) are generally evident in quarter sawn red oak and white oak, but can also be seen in other species. For the white pine ceiling, we only had the option of plain sawn and to be honest I’ve never seen pine as anything else other then this cut. We chose to do rift and quarter sawn white oak due to the softness of the finish.
In some woods, especially the oaks, quarter sawing reveals dramatic internal rays that add a very cool dimension to the material. Quartersawn wood is a wonderful cut for a variety of projects because it’s more stable especially along the width of the board. When you combine a larger yield of lumber with faster milling times, you also end up with a more affordable piece of lumber. Like many superior practices of the past, quarter sawing lost favor to plain sawing techniques. Finishing: Due to its light colour and very uniform structure, the wood can be stained easily to any desired colour and finish.
Clear is the best flooring grade and made of the highest quality (export grade) lumber. This is often done when the wood has a particularly nice grain pattern, so that each board repeats the same pattern. This is a clear coat so it does not change the colour of the wood, but simply provided a very strong protective layer to the wood. Plain Sawn: The most common method of sawing and consequently most lumber is plain sawn. This also makes quarter sawn boards less likely to bow, warp or twist than plain sawn. The rift sawing technique also produces a measurable amount of log waste and yields narrower boards in relation to plain sawn lumber.
The size, type, and arrangement of the wood cells differ with the species, and this also affects the appearance of the grain. Most mills pull quartered sawn from their normal plain sawing production, resulting in very inconsistent colors and grain patterns. It requires the sawyer to spend more time handling each log and typically creates 50% more waste compared to a flat sawing pattern. Several on either side will be rift sawn with the outermost possibly having a mixed grain pattern of rift and tangential.
But, it is absolutely critical to the stability and quality of your floor to begin with a properly dried piece of flooring. Wood requires wood preservative chemical applied by vacuum pressure impregnation for effective protection from insect and termite infestation. The remaining boards that aren’t highlighted are considered rift sawn boards since the annular rings are closer to 45 degrees.
Uses/Application: Common applications include hardwood flooring and decorative shelving among others. Oftentimes these pores must be filled before the wood is finished so the finish will dry to a smooth, flat surface. Lumber grading rules are reasonably standardized, but no one set of rules is used for all species, for all regions of the USA, or by all countries. Plain-sawn lumber can have a variety of appearances due to the angle of the growth rings relative to the surface of the board. Character Grade: Pronounced grain pattern from flat or plain sawing of raw lumber.
So it’s a good idea to have a thorough working knowledge of this subject when designing and building anything from wood. Rift sawn wood can be manufactured either as a compliment to quarter sawn lumber or logs can be cut specifically as rift sawn. Plain sawn has big arches, which can be called cathedrals, often making it easily identifiable. How a piece of lumber is milled – flatsawn or quartersawn – in no way alters the physical density or arrangement of those structures. Using quarter sawn wood eliminates the cathedral grain that many folks dislike in plain sawn oak.
We specialize in wide plank walnut, rift and quartered oak, plain sawn oak, reclaimed and antique wood floors and have also expanded to live sawn, European cut wide plank oak and our dark fumed oak. Shrinkage- The contraction of wood fibers caused by drying below the fiber saturation point (usually around 25-27% M.C.). Values are expressed as a percentage of the dimension of the wood when green. Select and Better White Oak flooring is color-sorted to remove extreme color variation, knots, mineral streaks, and surface defects such as cracks.
Rift sawn lumber, also known as straight grain, is cut at the sawmill with the grains intersecting the face of the board at an angle between 30 and 60 degrees and quarter sawn lumber is cut with the grains intersecting the face board the board at an angle between 60 and 90 degrees. Machining / Sawing: Machines well, but high speed cutters are needed to prevent chipping. When the wood is sawn and the pores are split, the open pores create tiny valleys and rifts. When these vessels are sliced open, they leave tiny hollows in the wood called pores.
Plain sawn lumber is obtained by making the first saw cut on a tangent to the circumference of the log and the remaining cuts parallel to the first. It also has an appealing natural grain and is widely available across the region, leading to reasonable prices. Plain sawn wood, when viewed at a side angle, has annual rings that either run up or down in an arch, which means the wood can shape and bend. In closing, in my view (since Rick isn’t here to pipe in), you are correct in pointing out the nuances of wood movement in quartersawn lumber. Plain Sawn (tangential grain) is easily recognized by it cathedral (Gothic arch) effect on the face of the board.