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[BKARTS] wood language

"er - isn't that the other way around?  Rift for red and white oak, and
quarter-sawn for everything else, especially including the spruce that is
used for instrumental soundboards on everything from fiddles to pianos...?"

perhaps the clarification I'm trying to make is between 1. the method of
cutting any tree/log and 2. the characteristics of the grain pattern which

It is possible to quarter any log and then cut it either at a 45 degree
angle (quarter sawn) or parallel with the first radius cut (rift cut) and
generally only in the "heartwood" area of the log. Different characters of
grain will result.

Plane sawn is when the log is cut straight across the log until reaching the
pith, the log is then rolled and the next "face" is cut straight across the

Sawn through and through means slicing the log from one side to the other
inclusive of the pith, creating the least waste and the least uniformity.

In the world of "oak" - the flecks seen (more in flooring and arts and
crafts movement furniture) is referred to in "our neck of the woods" as
quarter-sawn which is both a characteristic of grain and a method of

Going from the outer to the inner core, the tree has bark, cambium,
heartwood and pith. Between the growth rings is a space called sap wood. It
is softer and generally lighter in color than the rest of the wood in the
tree. The heartwood is generally the tighter grain with less sap wood.

Some of us love the sap wood for it's variation and depending on its use, it
is plenty stable enough even though it is referred to as "softer" than the

And of course, knots (where branches did or tried to grow) and burls (bulges
at the bark or root area) and diseased trees often render the most
interesting choices.

Back to books: old logs will be "air-dried" (not kiln dried). Some
cabinet-makers have a private stash of wonderful old boards - if you can get
them to part with them. Geeze, its just enough for one or two


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