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Author Topic: quarter vs through & though sawing?  (Read 7777 times)

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Offline krusty

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quarter vs through & though sawing?
« on: March 12, 2007, 08:09:29 AM »
I realize the difference but what are the benefits of each?

I don't mind some flatsawn boards, but from a diagram I have from a FWW book, if I through saw the entire log I would get maybe 25% of the boards as quartersawn, some rift sawn and then the rest flat sawn.

Unless you have nice big logs, quartersawing seems like a waste. Whereas through sawing will give you the most lumber in the end including some quartersawn....

thoughs? :P

Offline metalspinner

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 08:27:19 AM »
Through sawing will give you what you mentioned, but also, those boards in the middle will contain all sorts of stuff. The young juvinile wood in the center of the log, knot's in the center from when the tree was young and the outer wood which is usually a better grade.  Flipping and turning will give you more control of your grade yield. ;)
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Offline footer

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 10:17:24 AM »

Unless you have nice big logs, quartersawing seems like a waste. Whereas through sawing will give you the most lumber in the end including some quartersawn....

thoughs? :P


True, and thats why most people don't quarter saw logs much less than 20 - 24". If you want the best, clear lumber, grade sawing is  the way to go. Sometimes on small logs, say 15" or less, I saw through, mainly because I have a manual mill and it's just faster.

Offline Tom

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 11:01:25 AM »
Quote
I realize the difference but what are the benefits of each?

In my opinion:
Quarter sawed lumber has been given a reputation that it doesn't deserve.  Lots of folks think that it is the panacea of lumber, when in fact, it is the use of the wood that determines the direction one attempts to orient grain.

Quarter sawed wood is stable in the direction of the wide surface but will crook (bend to the side) and suffer from spike knots as well.  It is used in flooring because of it's resistance to cup and because it presents more Late wood to the wear surface.  Late wood is more wear resistant than early wood.

Quarter sawed lumber presents a rather boring, straight line of grain to the eye except for those woods where you want the medullary rays to show.  Quarter sawing is the way to expose them.

Flat Sawing generally presents a more pleasing grain configuration to the eye and the knots are round.  You get more lumber from a log by flat sawing (grade sawing) than quarter sawing.  You will find most cabinet faces made from flat sawed lumber with its cathedral shaped grain producing pleasing designs in the panels.

Most construction wood is Flat sawed, but here again, it's the orientation of the grain that determines the use (or vice-a-versa).

It is real easy to fall into the "quarter-sawed-is-better" trap.   What one must be cognizant of is the use of the lumber.  That is what should make up your decision as to the output.   Small logs don't make good Quarter sawed because Quarter sawing doesn't produce as much lumber as flat sawing. That is the main reason that quarter sawed lumber is more expensive, it's harder to produce, more labor intensive and there is more "waste".   It's not because it is "better".
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Offline beenthere

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2007, 12:20:51 PM »
Tom says it well again...IMO  :)

There have been some studies to look at yield and value when grade-sawing vs live sawing (through and through).  One that comes to mind is

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Offline metalspinner

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2007, 12:40:40 PM »
Quote
Quarter sawing doesn't produce as much lumber as flat sawing.

I wouldn't imagine he will be truly QS the log.  With the "modified" QS method descibed often here on the forum there shouldn't be any more waste than flat sawing.  Of course he then will end up with about 50/50 QS and rift sawn lumber.

As alway's Tom layed it out perfectly - your end use is the determining factor towards the "best" sawing method.
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Offline footer

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2007, 01:15:16 PM »
Quote
Quarter sawing doesn't produce as much lumber as flat sawing.

I wouldn't imagine he will be truly QS the log.  With the "modified" QS method descibed often here on the forum there shouldn't be any more waste than flat sawing.  Of course he then will end up with about 50/50 QS and rift sawn lumber.

As alway's Tom layed it out perfectly - your end use is the determining factor towards the "best" sawing method.

I think there is more waist, even with the modified method. As you can see from this diagram, most of the boards have an edge with a 45 degree angle that has to be edged off, which is waist, and the thicker the boards, the more waist there is here. Also, the top and bottom triangle piece is basically waist. This method is a lot faster than flipping the quarter back and forth though.



Offline Larry

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2007, 06:08:28 PM »
Iíve read most of the books written by the some of the finest craftsman in American.  To me it is most interesting because these guys sometimes have completely different ideas than us sawyers.  As a group, they shy away from grade sawing as it promotes long and narrow.  Itís my impression they would throw away the tape, NHLA rules, and let the log decide how it wants to be sawed.  Flat sawn and wide is beautiful with 180-degree rotations.  Quarter saw only when ray fleck is required. 

George Nakashima in his book Soul of The Tree is a vocal advocate of through and through sawing sometimes called sawing in the boule.  He even went so far as to say something to the effect that any other method is wasteful.  It would be easy to discount the man but he walked the talk for 50 years and his works commands prices in the thousandsÖsomething that cannot be ignored or discounted.  Just wish I was smart nuff to understand.
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Offline MikeH

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2007, 09:02:37 PM »
 I quartersaw a lot of oak for the rays.Only nice butt logs grade one or better mostly over 20" diameter or you will have very narrow boards by the time you cut all the junk out of the middle of oaks. 
  Once you meet that criteria(big nice butt logs) The differnce of say a 22" dia. small end , white oak are thus. Either 170bdft. plan sawn,kiln dried and planed good luck trying to get rid of it for 1.25bdft.= $212.5 or you can have a good 100bdft(by the time you quarter and cut alot junk out of middle) of quartersawn  white oak.Kiln dried and planed get an easy 3.50bdft. average = $350 . Quartering takes some more time but looks beautiful and people actully want it. The scap wood goes to heat houses. So what is a waste? creating boards nobody wants or creating boards people love? A waste to me would be to plainsaw a big white oak.
  Note: This does not apply to other species I use up north here. I plain saw all them ;)
   

Offline Ironwood

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2007, 09:11:41 PM »
On George Nakashima, just for the record, with documentation (his hand written correspondence w/ clients) his full dining sets are typically over $100,000 other pieces 10's of thousands. Just for the record. Even current production, by the craftsman at his old shop (now run by his daughter Mira), pieces are 10's of thousands.
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Offline oldsaw

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2007, 11:10:09 PM »
Depends on the species, the log, and the use for me.  I'm just a hack when it comes to milling, but when I'm chainsaw milling a crooked log, or a log too big to roll comfortably, or on terrain where I can't roll the log easily, I will through-saw it.  I understand what Nakashima meant, since you get such a variety of grain patterns, which allows you to pick and choose different grain patterns for a project from the same tree.  For example, I like using quartersawn for cabinet style door frames, using the contrast to the patterned flatsawn stock to draw attention to the center of the door.  I milled up a short oak log that will end up being some interesting doors using each board to get components for the complete door.  They aren't dry yet, but will work well in the shop.

Variety is the spice of life.  But, big white oaks...quartersaw 'em.  Too interesting not to.

Mark


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Offline footer

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Re: quarter vs through & though sawing?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2007, 01:32:47 AM »
Iíve read most of the books written by the some of the finest craftsman in American.  To me it is most interesting because these guys sometimes have completely different ideas than us sawyers.  As a group, they shy away from grade sawing as it promotes long and narrow.  Itís my impression they would throw away the tape, NHLA rules, and let the log decide how it wants to be sawed.  Flat sawn and wide is beautiful with 180-degree rotations.  Quarter saw only when ray fleck is required. 

George Nakashima in his book Soul of The Tree is a vocal advocate of through and through sawing sometimes called sawing in the boule.  He even went so far as to say something to the effect that any other method is wasteful.  It would be easy to discount the man but he walked the talk for 50 years and his works commands prices in the thousandsÖsomething that cannot be ignored or discounted.  Just wish I was smart nuff to understand.


I typically kind of use this thought when sawing my own stuff. I have a tendancy to make the widest boards the log, and or mill will produce. As far as flat sawn oak having no value, I have gotten over $100.00 for a 8/4 X 8' X 24" flat sawn red oak live edge flitch. It just depends, you could probably move the Q sawn oak faster, but it isn't always worth more if your flat sawn pieces are big and thick enough, and you can find someone who wants them ;D


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