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Author Topic: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species  (Read 1375 times)

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Offline climber2

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Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« on: February 11, 2018, 08:54:18 AM »
In having conversation with a carpenter regarding quatersawn lumber he mentioned that you can only do very large logs effectively. Also he said only oak is what people are milling this way...

There are many people on here with vast experience so I figured I would ask... I'm guessing this has been hashed a few times before in some manner but here goes.

What is the minimum diameter you will attempt quartersawing a log?

What species other than oak will you quartersaw and get unique character in the lumber?

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Offline AdamT

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 09:29:20 AM »
The mill that I buy logs for only quarter saws white oak. 18Ē min, lengths from 8-12í. We really want them 20Ē and bigger though.

We have quarter sawn some red oak in the past. But itís been a while.


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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 09:44:09 AM »
Sycamore is absolutely beautiful when quarter sawn. 
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Offline scully

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 09:52:11 AM »
Oak ,cherry, sycamore are 3 types that yield nice figure when quarter sawn . I have done 16"dia but that is kind of small . 20" and bigger is always better .
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 09:55:11 AM »
Personally I have only intentionally quartersawn sycamore and it is striking.  You can q saw maple and cherry and get good figure as well.  Itís worth mentioning that any wood when quartersawn is more stable and it can be done just for the stability of the lumber.
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Offline DR_Buck

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 09:57:30 AM »
I agree with previous responses.    18" minimum,   there it to much waste on smaller diameter.   And, sycamore quarter sawn is fantastic.
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Offline Brad_S.

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 10:47:37 AM »
 Are usually donít do anything below 20 inches in diameter. While Maple and cherry do show some fleck, I think they are better plain sawn with the cathedrals centered. As mentioned, Sycamore is spectacular! I also like to quarter saw white pine if I am using it as beadboard wainscoting. I prefer to have the long vertical stripes in the boards. 
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 11:17:31 AM »
Iíve qs Sitka spruce for a customer who is building a mast for a sail boat. Before I had a mill of my own, acquired some wrc that was qs into 1/4x1Ē strips for a strip built boats that I was building, but as mentioned above, both of these situations were for stability.
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Offline Darrel

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2018, 12:12:40 PM »
I quarter sawed a 30" X 12' black oak a few years back with fantastic results.  This was before I learned about the RRQS method so I quartered the log and cut off the bottom, flipping the log between cuts. Got more riff sawn pieces this way.
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Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2018, 03:19:35 PM »
I quarter sawed a 30" X 12' black oak a few years back with fantastic results.  This was before I learned about the RRQS method so I quartered the log and cut off the bottom, flipping the log between cuts. Got more riff sawn pieces this way.

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Offline climber2

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2018, 04:53:31 PM »
Pretty interesting. I don't know much on sycamore as we don't get any around here.
I've witnessed the flecks in Maple cuts before when the grain allows while milling sugar maple.

Has anyone had experience with Yellow Birch or hemlock? Those two have had me wondering for awhile...

Thanks for the replies!
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2018, 06:50:09 PM »
In over nearly 35 years of cabinet-making, furniture building/restoration and home remodeling, I've seen several different species that were quarter sawn.  Oak, southern yellow pine, cypress, Douglas fir, cherry and walnut all come to mind.  Quite a bit was quarter sawn for dimensional stability as much as for the figure in the wood.  The increase in value is greater with certain species than others, oak being one.

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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 06:44:40 AM »
Depends on species and application. I'll "quarter saw" for flooring material in some hardwoods down to a 12" top... at that size a through and through pattern will give a pretty high yield of 4 x 1 at rift to quarter. With collapse prone eucalypts backsawn material tends to suffer pretty badly so its the best way to go.Besides what else can you cut from logs that small... you gets to either quarter cut them or backsaw them but its just a matter of whether you want your boards to cup or spring. And they'll cut a nice enough little board if you do it right... slab and a board off the top, slab and a board off the bottom, split the pith *gasp*, and just slice them off in inch thick pieces and nail them into the edgerman looking like bananas... result is good stable straight boards that'll fetch a market premium from horrible little logs.

 

 

(Thats me in saws em and leaves em mode... probably why it dont happen often... my perfectionist tendencies mean i got to carry to much jumk with me to do things right. Eucalyptus grandis - Rose Gum - usually sold in the states as "Rose/Red Grandis"... things i can do with 12" logs that no-one else is silly enough to touch :D)

Cabinet species same - I can get enough premium for some of them as quarter sawn 4's to make it more attractive then backsawing the little bits of snot.

Mostly though the good things start to happen around the 22" mark, in terms of pattern flexibility to give a yield of predominantly quarter cut boards and hold some width on them. Aint no money in fancy looking 3" wide boards regardless of what you cut them from.

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Offline climber2

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 11:02:28 AM »
Thanks for the pics and insight. QS is pretty much new to me as I try to turn trees I remove into something usable.
Anymore thoughts will be appreciated, as always.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 10:35:09 PM »
I typically won't QS something unless it's decent sized, such as these. 











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Offline climber2

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 11:07:14 PM »
Them are some fatties yellowhammer!
What species are they?
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2018, 08:22:59 AM »
Looks like sycamore.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2018, 09:59:53 AM »
The ones on the trailer are Sycamore, the log my dog Chip is standing on is a 5'4" diameter, 1,450 bdft red oak.
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Offline climber2

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2018, 10:09:30 AM »
That would explain my inability to recognize it, sycamore does not exist here. Maybe you would see it in the southern half of the state but still rate.
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Offline D6c

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Re: Log diameter for quarter sawing, species
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2018, 11:08:01 AM »
I quarter sawed a cottonwood a while back.  Not for cosmetic reasons but for stability.  I used it for decking on the pallet racking in my barn.  Qtr. sawed lumber doesn't cup like flat sawed can.  Made some nice straight grain boards.


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