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Author Topic: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.  (Read 2135 times)

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Offline WDH

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Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« on: August 15, 2020, 08:28:33 PM »
I really like the vertical grain pattern in quartersawn pine.  Since pine has minuscule rays, there is no fleck or figure that gets exposed, just the neat light/dark vertical lines.  95% or more of the pine that you see is flatsawn, or at least not deliberately quartersawn.  A bit hard to see the top, but here is a quartersawn, vertical grain pine kitchen island top that I made. 



 

Anyway, I wanted some more quartersawn, vertical grain, thick pine for tabletops.  The method I used is called the Modified Quartersawing Technique, but it is more aptly named the "Quick and Dirty" Quartersawing Technique.  Here is a brief description of the procedure.

First you need a log at least 20" in diameter on the small end.  This one in the pics was 28" on the small end.  First thing is to center the pith so that it is the same distance from the bed of the mill on both ends.  Then make a cant with four flat faces.  Note that the cant does not have to be squared.  This maximizes the widths of the boards.  Then, position the blade to exactly split the pith and raise the head up 2.5".  I wanted 9/4 thick boards, which is 2 3/8" thick off the sawmill (target boards dried and finished planed to a full 2"), so raising the head 2.5" above the center of the pith will give a 2 3/8 thick board allowing for the 1/8" kerf.  Make that cut 2.5" above the pith.  Here is the log with the first cut.  The top third of the cant will be removed to the loader arms. 



 



 

Now drop down and take the first 2 3/8" thick board.



 

This gives you one perfectly quartersawn wide board above the pith.  This one was 24" wide.  Now drop down and take the second 2 3/8" thick board just below the pith. 



 

Pine does not crack at the pith like most hardwoods, so these first two boards will be dried and used full width.  Now take the bottom third of the cant that is on the bed and turn it up 90 and saw the boards from the top to halfway, then flip 180 to relieve any stress, and saw to the bed.  These boards were also sawn at 2 3/8" thick.  These boards were 9" wide at the widest.  Once the bottom third is sawn, take the top third from the loader arms, rotate 90 and saw out those boards too. 

This method is fast and yields 2/3rds quartersawn lumber and 1/3 rift sawn lumber, but the rift sawn boards also have the vertical grain lines, too.  Since I wanted the vertical grain lines and there is no figure to reveal, it is not worth the extra time and wasted wedges to do Robert's Reverse Roll Quartersawing Technique (RRRQT) on pine.  If it was oak or sycamore or beech, then it would have been worth it to do the Reverse Roll to maximize the ray fleck.  Also, there is very little waste, just the slabs to roughly form the cant with four flat faces. 

I sawed 500 bf from two logs and put the wood in the kiln green the same day it was sawn.  That is a full load of thick green pine for the Nyle L53.  That was last Thursday, August 6.  The load has been drying 9 days, and it will be about another day and half to get to 8%, then I will shut off the compressor and run the temp up to 150 for 24 hours to set the pitch and sterilize.  Then plane and sell. 

Here is one of the boards taken from the bottom third of the cant (that was rotated up 90 then sawn at 2 3/8").  Center cut, 9" wide with the vertical grain.  Note the heartwood on the left half and the lighter sapwood in the right half of the board.



 

This was an old growth, natural pine log about 100 years old.  So, clear lumber with almost no knots.  Ten feet, 4" long.  High grade stuff.
 
If you get some really good, big, old, tight grained pine, this is a good way to saw it and maximize the value.  I sell this thick vertical grain clear pine, kiln dried to 8% and planed to a full 2" for $2.95/bf.  For a beautiful tabletop, or bartop, or kitchen island top, I consider that a bargain.




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Offline KenMac

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2020, 08:54:24 PM »
Very interesting. Thank you for sharing your method. Very nice top on the island.
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Offline Cjross73

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2020, 09:26:28 PM »
Was just thinking about QS some SYP for tiny house flooring.  Thanks for the info
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Offline barbender

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2020, 12:27:31 AM »
I just brought some tight grained Red pine, that's about 155 years old, home off of one of our jobs and I want to saw it this way. The grain is really tight, even being that old they were only about 22" in diameter😳
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2020, 02:56:09 AM »
And if you have a swing blade mill this is basically how you quarter saw too. 

Level the pith, saw off the top edgings, and saw the first 1/3 with a vertical orientation. 
Then you  saw with a horizontal orientation for the middle section. 
And the final 1/3 gets cut vertical orientation again. 

You are limited in width to the swing blade's cut depth, but assuming a ~20" log and an 8" saw, the sawing pattern would be almost identical, and like WDH says, about 2/3 is nicely quartersawn, and 1/3 is nicely rift sawn. 
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2020, 02:58:50 AM »
Interesting 
I have an old growth pine 48" on the but.
I'm going to give it a try.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2020, 06:07:51 AM »
 I've been QS like that for years, simple and fast.  Steve
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2020, 08:10:59 AM »
That is some real clean and well sawn wood.  It gives pine a "next level" look.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2020, 08:11:16 AM »
Just a thought. What if you took the top or bottom third and when you turned it up 90 you could drop 4" or a little more and then rotate 180 and do it again. This would give you some rift sawed table legs when you split them in half. They should have very little bow since they are so far from the pith. Just a quick thought when looking at the pictures.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2020, 08:28:40 AM »
very cool.  thanks @WDH 
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2020, 10:07:33 AM »
I haven't used this method on pine, but I have used it for white oak and sycamore.  I don't square the cant at all.  Of course this leaves sapwood in the boards, but there is very little waste from the whole log.  Some of the lumber you get is more rift sawn, but still better than flatsawn.  I may do this the next time I get a nice yellow pine to mill.  I've got a few dead or dying shortleaf to take down.  One is quite large.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2020, 11:30:55 AM »
I have found if you level the bark you will get more quarter grain and less rift.  I leave the toe board up when I flip the log to open it, then drop the toe board once I have a cant, actually multiple cants as I target the width I need and break down the main cant accordingly.  Of course this creates a giant 4 point wedge, but by removing the cants with the toe board still up I leave the center cant as the wedge - which is where the most problem wood usually is, ie - juvenile because I don't see a lot of heart pine in the Lob I get, but it is still QS grain. 

The first couple of cuts on a cant give me shorter boards until the taper runs out, but it's 100% QS grain the whole way through.  The center cant is usually just a few cuts and a couple of short cuts, run it through the edger to get rid of any not QS grain and the log is done with as little waste as possible and max QS reveal.  
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2020, 07:59:17 PM »
What if you took the top or bottom third and when you turned it up 90 you could drop 4" or a little more and then rotate 180 and do it again. This would give you some rift sawed table legs when you split them in half. They should have very little bow since they are so far from the pith. Just a quick thought when looking at the pictures.
That is a great suggestion.  With a 10' log, one 4" thick cut will yield 4 table legs.  Perfect table legs.  I am going to do that. 
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2020, 08:36:37 PM »
Great ideas guys
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2020, 10:06:20 PM »
Danny,

 My question is about that first cut after you remove the top third. As I read your instructions you are perfectly splitting the pith rather than boxing the heart. Is this correct? If so why don't you get 2-bananas?

 I'd have thought you'd find the exact center, move up 3-3/4" and cut off the top third, drop 2.5" get the first board, drop another 2.5" getting a second board with the heart exactly centered, drop another 2.5" then process the bottom third.

 Please clarify why we appear to be breaking with tradition and splitting the pith dead center. Thanks.

  Also if I read this right your finished boards are not the same width at each end since the cant did not have to be square. Is this also true?
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2020, 05:55:28 AM »
Danny,

 My question is about that first cut after you remove the top third. As I read your instructions you are perfectly splitting the pith rather than boxing the heart. Is this correct? If so why don't you get 2-bananas?
Howard, I thought the exact same thing when I read the first post. But he says "Pine does not crack at the pith like most hardwoods, so these first two boards will be dried and used full width. " This I found to be new news for me. I have never split the pith on a pine log. I made that mistake early on with Ash and never did it again. ;D I just assumed it would be more waste.
I like this idea and will probably give it a try when I get another decent pine log. I also like Customsawyers 'improvement'. There are some mighty sharp folks here about. :D
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2020, 06:26:58 AM »
Splitting the pith is of less or no consequence when the boards are thin especially in softwoods. For example in cant sawing of 1 or 1-1/8" boards I would give no consideration to exactly where the pith is-that is in terms of where the cuts to give thin boards from the cant pass through. (Not talking about leveling/centering pith in both dimensions at the beginning, or flipping in response to stress, both of which I do)

The pith isn't "exactly" anywhere, anyway.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2020, 07:05:05 AM »
I haven't used this method on pine, but I have used it for white oak and sycamore.  I don't square the cant at all.  Of course this leaves sapwood in the boards, but there is very little waste from the whole log.  Some of the lumber you get is more rift sawn, but still better than flatsawn.  I may do this the next time I get a nice yellow pine to mill.  I've got a few dead or dying shortleaf to take down.  One is quite large.
 
 I'm between you and WDH. I make around a 4 to 6 " face on all 4 sides first.  No face is harder  to handle and clamp later.  To much face , your losing width off your best QS boards.  Steve
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Offline WDH

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2020, 07:42:52 AM »
Good question about the pith.  The big No-No is to split the pith in a cant with the pith all along one side of the cant running down the length, then cut those two halves into boards.  This leaves the pith and a strip of juvenile along the entire length on one side of the boards.  Since juvenile wood shrinks just a bit longitudinally, this pulls all the boards into a "C" crook.  

In this method, although the pith is split, the pith is in the dead center of each of those two boards.  Yes, there is juvenile wood on both sides of that pith, but it is corralled on each side by the mature wood, trapping the pith and juvenile wood on each side so that the board cannot crook into that "C" shape.  Like Dennis says, this is no different than making a square cant with the pith centered in the cant and sawing that cant into the boards with the pith centered in all the boards that come from the center of the cant.

There are two reasons for taking those two thick boards from the center, and there is one reason for taking those two thick boards in such a way the the pith is perfectly split.  

1).  Removing those two center boards takes out the pith and the juvenile core around the pith (you should try to get it all) and places them in the center of those two wide thick boards.  Now the pith and juvenile core are not present in each of the remaining "thirds" cants so that you can turn them 90 and saw boards without the pith and juvenile core being present to crook those boards.

2).  By removing the juvenile core and having it in the center, those two wide thick boards can be edged easily to remove the juvenile core so that it can be discarded.  For example, if that was a white oak or sycamore log where the pith and juvenile core crack very badly, those two wide boards would be removed from the mill and put back on the mill after the other thirds are sawn, and the juvenile core would be removed by edging making that wide board with the pith and juvenile core into two perfectly quartersawn boards without the pith and juvenile core.  If you have been to one of the Projects at Jake's place, we do edge out that juvenile core.  The reason that I did not do this in this case is that pine does not crack at the pith like most all hardwoods, so leaving it in is a option if you want that super wide board.  But note, even left in, the pith is still in the center of that board.

The reason for taking those two wide center boards with the pith split is that the face with the exact split pith has the most perfect 90 degree orientation of the rings to get one face with the most perfect quartersawn grain.  If it was hardwood, you are going to edge the pith and juvenile wood out anyway, so the ring orientation at perfect 90 is the objective.  It is a bonus that in pine the pith behaves better and you can get away with leaving it in.

Another point about the pith and juvenile core centered into those two wide boards.  In hardwoods, where the pith and juvenile core are delinquent and split and crack and act up and rob and steal and do bad things, you can leave the pith and juvenile core in keeping the board full width, sticker and dry it, let it go crazy and split and crack and do all its bad things, then after dry, you know exactly where to edge the middle out to remove the offending part and you also end up with two boards with the perfect 90 ring orientation. 

To add to Steve's point, don't make the face slabbing too deep or try to "square" the log so that you keep as much width as possible.  As to boards being wider on one end, that only occurs where the boards are removed that have part of the rounded portion of the log, and these I edge the round off part anyway to make the board square.  This is where a dedicated edger will save your back and body and mental stability. 
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Offline flatrock58

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2020, 08:35:38 AM »
Good looking wood Danny.  Nothing better than some nice quarter and riff sawn pine 2x's.  
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2020, 09:24:48 AM »
Great looking island Danny.  Pine is often overlooked by woodworkers, but this is just absolutely stunning.

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2020, 09:56:05 AM »
   Thanks for the detailed explanation Danny. I don't get the big yellow pines up here like you guys do. Does this work the same with White Pine? I'm assuming it does.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2020, 10:27:47 AM »
I have always loved pine. Mostly because of the character in it. Just wish it was harder for alot of things. Do you put anything on it to make it more durable?

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2020, 03:45:17 PM »
f you get some really good, big, old, tight grained pine, this is a good way to saw it and maximize the value.  I sell this thick vertical grain clear pine, kiln dried to 8% and planed to a full 2" for $2.95/bf.

   In a week or two , that may be the price for framing lumber! smiley_dizzy
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2020, 08:00:57 PM »
Update:

The 9/4 rift and quartersawn pine is out of the kiln.  I planed it to 2 3/16" thick.  Came out of the kiln gun barrel straight, clear, nice vertical grain with few to no knots.  The board in the top middle has the least vertical grain of any board in the whole stack, so I did not cherrypick the boards for the photo.  I am very pleased with it.  It will make some very fine tabletops. 



 

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2020, 05:44:06 AM »


That rift sawn sure looks good and with this method of QS it doesn't take much extra time.   Steve
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Offline barbender

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2020, 08:53:03 AM »
That came out great, Danny!

WV, as much as I love White Pine, it doesn't have the distinction in grain between the early and latewood like the yellow pines do. We have Red Pine up here, it's very similar in appearance to the yellow pines. I have a whack I want to saw up this way.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2020, 08:22:02 PM »
Red pine is in the yellow pine group. 
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2020, 09:52:40 PM »
Danny, I should've asked you before I said anything😁 I know I have a few logs I need to saw up that I aged at about 155 years old (it was hard to count the rings on some of it, 10-15 to the inch, we grow pine like you boys cook barbecue slooooow😁) I think it's really going to look awesome when it's sawn up.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2020, 07:37:52 AM »
I bet the lumber will be very good. 
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2020, 09:08:52 AM »
I'm going to start selling red pine.
I did a test in the spring with some.
Customers went right to it over the white pine .
I think it had to do with the contrasts of the grain.
White pine is plain looking.
I peal the bark on white pine and put it up off the ground for a year and saw them into slabs. It makes the grain pop more and customers like it.
Had a customer stop this morning to buy some pine his wife wants me to save all the blue stain pine for their next project. 
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2020, 07:30:29 PM »
This is the second 8' log from one of those old pine, note the the tight rings


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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2020, 07:32:32 PM »
Only the second stick, and it's too small for you southern guys to mess with quartersawing in the first place😊
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2020, 08:25:00 PM »
That will make awesome lumber. 
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2020, 10:48:47 PM »
I could make 4" vertical gran flooring from that log by breaking it down into multiple cants, nothing wrong with 4" wide face QS flooring with rings that tight.  Most of the old stuff around here is in the 2"-3" range.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2020, 10:58:17 PM »
The funny thing was, this came off the back of a Federal plantation we were thinning. Nothing special, probably 50 years old. But for some reason they marked 2 of these big old pine where the plantation came into the edge of the stand. I was on the phone right away seeing if they could come home with me, otherwise they would just be 2x4s🤷‍♂️😊
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2020, 06:36:35 AM »
Just a thought. What if you took the top or bottom third and when you turned it up 90 you could drop 4" or a little more and then rotate 180 and do it again. This would give you some rift sawed table legs when you split them in half. They should have very little bow since they are so far from the pith. Just a quick thought when looking at the pictures.
I took Jake up on his suggestion.  These will be kiln dried, squared and planed, and marketed as pine farm table legs.  


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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2020, 01:55:41 PM »
About time I get credit for something good for a change.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2020, 04:48:25 PM »
I tried this today on a not so great log, really happy with the results 

 

 

 

 
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2020, 07:59:36 PM »
The vertical grain pattern on pine is something that you do not see much in commercially available lumber.  The 1x's that I sawed dried dead flat in the kiln.  Sawed 1 1/8" rough, and they planed clean on both faces to a full 1".  However, I did get a surprise.  When I sawed the logs, the wood looked fairly bright and fresh, but unbeknownst to me, the ambrosia beetles were already in the log, so as the wood began to dry, they exited stage right, and like Elvis, left the building.  These were some large, older growth logs, so there was heartwood.  Most of the beetle holes are in the sapwood, not the heartwood.  The wood is till good and usable, but the little holes are there.  Lets just call it character. 



 
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Offline ellmoe

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2020, 09:09:41 AM »

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 

I call that birdshot pine and when I have enough , and am so inclined , I will save it and make t&g out of it. It will bring a premium from the right customer.
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2020, 05:36:06 PM »
Yes it will 
I have customers that like that stuff.
Danny wouldn t quarter sawn pine make better moulding stock . Meaning mill out better in a moulder less tear out.
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Re: Using Modified Quartersawing Method on Pine.
« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2020, 08:30:03 PM »
I think that it would.
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