What is Plain Sawn? Quarter Sawn? Rift Sawn?

plain sawnPlain Sawn:

Plain sawn, also known as flat sawn, is the most cost-efficient method of milling logs into slabs and planks. It is achieved by milling parallel through the log, minimizing waste and maximizing lumber and slab size. There are however drawbacks to milling in this fashion, including possible twisting and cupping during drying.

quarter sawnQuarter Sawn:

Quarter sawing is the method of milling boards by first cutting a log lengthwise into quarters and milling from the center out keeping the grain angle between 60 and 90 degrees. This method creates boards with greater stability than flat sawn wood and often displays straight grain with distinct ray flecks showing in certain species.

rift sawnRift Sawn:

Rift sawn lumber shows vertical grain from all sides of milled boards, however, this method takes more time and produces more waste than other methods of milling. It is a favorite among furniture makers because of the finished grain and is achieved by milling on an angle of 45 to 75 degrees, perpendicular to the log’s growth rings.


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