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Author Topic: Split taper sawing vs. full taper sawing???  (Read 2982 times)

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Offline Piston

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Split taper sawing vs. full taper sawing???
« on: July 01, 2010, 12:57:25 PM »
I have a decent size sugar maple that needs to come down in my front yard and am planning on milling it up to use as a table top for a table I want to build. 

I started thinking about the best way to saw it for a table top, then quickly realized I only know ONE way!  :D
After doing some searching on here and reading a few articles (one from was very helpful) I learned that full taper sawing is basically sawing parallel to the bark, whereas split taper sawing is sawing parallel to the pith.  I learned the split taper way since I am usually looking to end up with a nice timber with the pith centered in the timber. 

So what method should I use when I'm trying to mill for looks?  I want a 3" thick slab or two (or 3) and don't know what method I should use?  ???

The tree is still standing so I'm not in a rush.  It just got me thinking and I read and learned just enough to realize I don't know the advantages and disadvantages of each.   ??? ???

I read quite a few posts on quarter sawing (which reminds me, would that be the best way to saw a table top?) and read a couple that mentioned the split taper vs. full taper, but I still don't know which method I should use for my table top, or for furniture type wood altogether? 
Soooo, who wants to educate a rookie hobbiest sawyer here??  8)
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Split taper sawing vs. full taper sawing???
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 09:39:15 PM »
I very seldom full taper saw.  Usually only one there are only one, or two high grade sides and the other one or two are nothing but junk.  We saw mostly oak and often the majority of the size difference is in the first couple of feet of the butt end.  So full taper sawing wont gain much.

When I have full taper sawn,  I tend to take the best boards off the best face first, sawing down until the grade drops.  Once the grade has dropped on all sides, turn to the worst face and take the taper out of cant.

Look at your log and see if the taper is uniform or mostly flair in the butt end.  That may help you decide.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Split taper sawing vs. full taper sawing???
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2010, 07:00:07 AM »
Split taper yields the best quartersawn material (and you have to split the taper in both dimensions).

Full taper yields the best cathedral grain, if that's what your customers want.

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