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Author Topic: Q-saw or flat saw?  (Read 4021 times)

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Offline CosmoPack

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Q-saw or flat saw?
« on: February 07, 2005, 10:15:55 AM »
WHat sawing method is best for different species of wood.  I've read that q-sawing oak and sycamore can produce some interesting grain patterns.  What about other species?  I don't want to saw up some logs and not get the best looking wood that I can.

Offline RacinRex

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2005, 10:46:25 AM »
Very subjective topic my friend. I personally don't like the look of Q-Sawn oak. Makes it look like worm shadwos or something   :D I don't know what it is but it gives me the creeps I much prefer the look of nice flat sawn oak. But when sawing for flooring or for durability with anything I almost allways Q-saw now just makes sense.  My Brother-in-law won't build any furniture that isn't q-sawn oak... so I saw him all he wants... and keep the flat and rift for me.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2005, 12:27:54 PM »
Quarter sawn tends to be real "busy" looking.  It has its good points but I don't agree with folks who say that quarter sawing is the only way to saw.  A lot depends on the direction that the weight is going to hang on the wood in construction and the look one wants when building furniture.

The wood handbook has a good list of woods and the figure exposed when flat-sawed or quarter-sawed.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm
extinct

Offline Gilman

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2005, 01:08:32 PM »
If I'm building furniture out of all solid wood, I use 1/4 sawn.  However, if your project requires the use of plywood, good luck finding 1/4 sawn plywood... I'm sure it's out there, but a little tough to find, and $$$.
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Kirk_Allen

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2005, 01:50:18 PM »
I saw lots of both!  When making stiles and rails for raised panel doors I use q-sawn but for the panel I use Flat sawn.  By having the outer edge q-sawn it tends to make the focus the panel.

Different parts of furniture offer many benifits with q-sawn but I use both on most peices. 

Exceptions:  I dont q-saw ANY walnut.  Its just to good looking to do anything but flat saw.  I only q-saw very small amounts of Cherry, as it too offers a much better appearance when flat sawn.   

Offline CosmoPack

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2005, 06:24:10 PM »
On the oaks, I have enough of logs that I feel I will have a good balance of q-sawn and flat sawn lumber.  However, the white oaks are caling for q-saw mostly. 

The walnut, cherry, ash,elm - those are the ones that I will have a smaller supply of and I want to tray and saw these the best way posible.

What about Black Locust?  I found out today that several of these logs came into the mill and are in our pile.  What is the best use for locust?  I've heard that fence post is a good application - apparently locust heartwood is rot resistant?


Thanks for the feedback and keep it coming!

Offline Curlywoods

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2005, 07:11:52 PM »
  Flat sawn Cherry and Walnut will sell faster than quarter sawn, but there is a limited market that will pay more for quarter sawn, if you can find them.
  If in doubt I suggest that you always flat saw your woods, except White Oak, which if  quarter sawn, and it cuts well, will bring twice as much per BF in my experience vs flat sawn White Oak, but it must have good ray fleck throughout the boards.  This can be a crap shoot as runout in the tree can cause the ray fleck to start and stop or fade in and out.

  We sell 100 to 1 flat sawn Cherry to quarter sawn Cherry, and the only time that we ever get asked for quarter sawn Walnut is if it is highly figured.  Pretty much the same for Cherry.  If is has really nice curly figure, I try to get as much of it quarter sawn as possible as this really makes the curly figure come alive.  This is pretty true for any highly figured wood though.  If you are cutting a really( HIGHLY FIGURED) figured log, then quarter sawn and 7 1/2" minimum widths will bring the biggest returns for us anyway.  Guitar makers and other acoustic instrument makers want it cut this way as it is most stable and again the figure is really brought out to its fullest extent when it has been quarter sawn.  They must have at least 7 1/2" of good useable wood after it is cleaned up to make backs for guitars and then they would need 32"x 5" boards for sides, preferably from the same boards to provide good color and grain match.  This is another side of the business though and can be quite frustrating to understand.  Instrument makers are a tough crowd to please and it takes time to fine tune your product to their exacting needs sometimes.  Many people would rather put a nail through their heads than deal with these folks  :D :D :D :D :D

  So back to your question if you don't have a ready built market for quarter sawn woods like Cherry and Walnut, Maple, etc,  I would stick to flat sawning for the best grade that you can cut.  Cheap is always available, but high quality is harder and harder to find these days.  Quality always sells better than mediocre at least in our markets.


 
All the best,

Michael Mastin
McKinney Hardwood Lumber
McKinney, TX

Offline Gilman

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2005, 09:50:32 PM »
Thanks for the detailed description Curly.  I've learned something today, so I'm done for the day!
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Offline Curlywoods

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2005, 10:27:42 PM »
Thanks for the detailed description Curly.  I've learned something today, so I'm done for the day!

  I am no expert, but these are things that I have found true for me in my markets.  I know that many more folks can and probably have different experiences to mine in their respective markets.  I am always looking for a niche as the big wholesalers beat me to death on price everytime.  I look for the niche where I can provide products that still have value.  Sometimes I stub my toe really hard  :D  When you find a niche and others know that you are doing OK in that niche, be prepared to find your niche  is about to get overran  :D  I always look to new markets if I can develop them with minimal expense.  Sometimes it nothing more than marketing.
  Do you all remember when blue stained Pine was firewood?  Then somebody comes along and patents the name "Denim Pine" and rest is history ;D  Just have to think outside the box and pray for the best sometimes.
All the best,

Michael Mastin
McKinney Hardwood Lumber
McKinney, TX

Offline Hammy

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2005, 03:44:40 PM »
We certainly saw some beaut white oak boards by Q-sawing at the PB Show in Ohio. If you guys wanted further info on this I came across an interesting article in the Jan/Feb issue of S&W magazine. Under a Sawing & Drying article there is a segment dedicated to Q-saw vs Flat.
I guess a lot comes down to personal preference & the application of the lumber your cutting.

Have fun!  ;)
C. Hammond
Petersons

Offline Steve

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2005, 09:12:42 PM »
I"ll pipe up here. Curly Woods has the luthier market down just right. They can be a fussy bunch that's for sure. 7 1/2" widths are minimum , 8 to 8 1/2" are better. Minimum grain runout is also good. Follow the outside of the log, leave your waste in the heart. Airdry, no kiln dried wood for most of these guys.
I just milled/bought about 900 bf of the curliest, nicest Koa I have ever seen. I won't even start resawing it till next winter when the moisture content has come down to 20% or so.
The mobile dimension mill really makes QSawing easy.

I just got a power feed for my Hitachi bandsaw/resaw and it has made a world of difference!! Really nice accurate consistent cuts.

Steve

PS. I just moved my tree to Dufur, Oregon if anyone gets around this way I'll show you around the shop.
Steve
Hawaiian Hardwoods Direct
www.curlykoa.com

Offline Buzz-sawyer

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2005, 10:01:04 PM »
Hey Steve
Back from the Islands for GOOD? Glad to have ya on this side Bro!
    HEAR THAT BLADE SING!

Offline Steve

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2005, 10:20:59 PM »
Thanks for the welcome Buzz. I am back for good, couldn't be happier. Unless I was fishing. Bought an old house project in a little town between  the Columbia and Deschutes rivers.
Nicest people you could ask for to be your neighbors.
Sold the MD and brought lots of nice Koa and Mango with me. Do all my sawing in the heated shop with the radio and coffee pot on now.

Steve

Steve
Hawaiian Hardwoods Direct
www.curlykoa.com

Offline Captain

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2005, 07:11:47 AM »
Welcome back Steve!!

Here is a picture of Steve and Myself in his "open air" shop on the big island last year.



Offline Curlywoods

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2005, 08:30:33 AM »

PS. I just moved my tree to Dufur, Oregon if anyone gets around this way I'll show you around the shop.

 Steve,

  I intend to be back in your area in the very near future looking for musical instrument grade woods and other figured woods.  Where is Dufur in relationship to I-5?  I travel to Oregon as time permits and wood is available to come view :-)
All the best,

Michael Mastin
McKinney Hardwood Lumber
McKinney, TX

Offline Steve

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2005, 09:23:49 AM »
Hey Captain:

That is an "open air" garage now. Glad you didn't point out who was who as I still have a 50% chance as respectablity! Sorry I wasn't more of a host that day.

Curlywoods

I"m off I-84 about two hours East of I-5 just south of the Columbia River and The Dalles dam. I gotta warn ou though I don't sell music grade boards I buy them on occasion. I can show you what some incredible Koa loos like. Give you a few names in Hawaii if you want to go there.

Maybe you should bring me a few samples?
Steve
Hawaiian Hardwoods Direct
www.curlykoa.com

Offline bberry

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2005, 07:01:11 PM »
     If you look in the dozens of wood working magazines there will be many articles with pictures of oak furniture being built. These may be copies of famous furniture types like "mission" or "stickney" which seem to prefer the quarter sawn stuff. I saw what little I can get both ways but really like the looks of the quarter sawn stuff. Very pretty when finished and an added value is it's stability!

Offline Gilman

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2005, 02:58:33 AM »
Hey Steve,
I'm just down the river a bit from you.  If you got your canoe working just paddle on down.  If I head up the river I'll have to give you a call, or just stop by and say you wouldn't answer your phone.

Climate a little different where you are at now?

David

Camas (One town east of Vancouver)
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Offline Steve

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Re: Q-saw or flat saw?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2005, 06:50:19 AM »
David

Come on over.. Precious little is going to get me away from here till I get this house move-in-able so I'm most likely going to be home.
I'd say the weather is at least 60 "different" here but you know what? It is for the better, I just couldn't take that humidity. You can only take off so many clothes- and then your out of 'em.

Steve (one town south of The Dalles)
Steve
Hawaiian Hardwoods Direct
www.curlykoa.com


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