The different techniques to producing timber products from logs and the benefits of each.
Posted on January 19, 2016 by Da Wen Fang
Clients often ask us why our timber flooring looks so different from furniture or doors. They are often quite interested in the texture and the grain structure of the timber. So we thought we could spend a bit of more time and explain the different cuts of the wood and how this can lead to a change of appearance.
Plain or Back Sawn
Best for flooring
This is the most common sawn, especially in flooring. In the plain sawn, the annual rings are generally 30 degrees or less to the face of the board. The resulting wood of this sawn displays amazing shapes on the faces of the board because the annual rings are brought out completely, especially in Oak boards where we can easily notice the amazing cathedral graining. Plain sawn allows the creation of bigger and wider boards, so it’s just perfect for flooring!
Most common cut in Australia
The result of this sawn is a very straight grain pattern. This sawing is a bit more complicated than the plain because the log is quartered so one board is cut off the quarter, the remaining section is turned, and so on until there is no more log left. Annular growth intersect the face of the board at a 60 to 90 degree angle, and that is why the quarter sawn makes more resistant boards that won’t cup.
This kind of sawn is the most expensive and is very unusual. With the rift sawn, the annual rings are about 45 degrees, allowing a linear grain pattern with no flecking and providing the most dimensionally stable lumber. Rift and quarter grain boards are usually used in furniture.
As you can notice, depending on the cut of the log, the orientation of the rings of the wood changes the appearance of the timber and its mechanical properties. It is amazing how from a single log we can create such a variety of colours and grain configurations depending only on the kind of sawn of the lumber!