Different Types of Wood Cuts

Save

Wood cuts refers to the way and resulting size of a log when it is cut into lumber. Three main types of cuts abound in the lumber market: plain sawn, quarter sawn and rift sawn. Different wood working projects sometimes require a specific size or cut of lumber. Larger wood cuts generally cost less overall than smaller cuts but require more time to cut down and refine for smaller projects.

Plain Sawn

  • Plain sawn lumber results from cutting a log in half lengthwise and then making all other cuts parallel to the first. Plain sawing is the least expensive type of wood cut because it results in the largest boards with very little waste. It is the most common form of wood cut, and most wood flooring is plain sawn. Plain sawn lumber produces the most variation within the boards and among a group of boards. The main disadvantage to plain sawn wood cuts is less dimensional stability, which means more expansion and contraction of the width of the board. Plain sawn wood cuts result in more noticeable wood grain patterns from the annual rings of a tree. When imperfections in the wood present themselves, plain sawing limits them to fewer boards than other types of wood cuts.

Quarter Sawn Cut

  • Quarter sawn cuts produce a long, straight grain pattern. Quarter sawn lumber is produced by first cutting a log into quarters and then cutting each additional piece perpendicular to the annual growth rings of the log. Quarter sawn lumber has more strength than plain sawn wood because of the tight grain pattern produced by cutting against the growth rings. It is used in wood flooring for its grain pattern and strength, and is generally more expensive than plain sawn cuts of wood. Quarter sawn wood expands vertically instead of horizontally, and generally twists and cups less because of its smaller surface area. The quarter sawn cut produces smaller pieces than the plain sawn cut, which makes them ideal for smaller projects, or projects that require strength and vertical expansion. This cut generally wears more evenly when used for flooring and splits less during construction. It also makes the prominent raised grain of the tree's annual growth rings less noticeable.

Rift Sawn Cut

  • Rift sawn lumber is similar to quarter sawn lumber except that the cut is made at a 30-degree angle instead of a 25-degree angle. Rift sawn lumber has many of the same benefits and disadvantages as quarter sawn lumber, with the notable difference being that rift sawn cuts lessen the flake effect, or horizontal medullary rays of the tree that are visible within the vertical grain of the wood. Rift sawing produces an almost straight vertical grain pattern. Like quarter sawn lumber, rift cuts are stronger and smaller than plain sawn lumber.

Related Searches

References

  • Photo Credit sestovic/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • Types of Wood Flooring

    Wood floors provide versatility unseen in any other flooring. They add a finishing touch to a wide range of decor styles from...

  • Type of Wood for a Cutting Board

    Choose wood for a cutting board on the basis of stability and durability as well as beauty. Many common woods will serve...

  • How to Make Woodcuts From Photos

    Woodcutting is a traditional printmaking process dating back to the 15th century. To create a woodcut, an artist selectively carves a block...

  • How to Cut Wood Designs

    Home decorating in your own style is what makes your house a home.Everyone has their own unique decorating style and places decorative...

  • How to Cut Wood With Grain

    To cut wood with the grain or "rip" the wood, you must first identify the direction of the grain. All wood grain,...

  • Difference Between Engraving & Woodcutting

    Wooden relief art varieties such as woodcutting and wood engraving are printmaking techniques that date back hundreds of years to the beginnings...

  • Wood Saw Types

    Whatever your woodworking project is, there is a saw that can get the job done. It is important to plan your project...

Related Searches

Check It Out

DIY Wood Transfer Christmas Ornaments

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!