plain sawn vs. quarter sawn wood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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plain sawn vs. quarter sawn wood

Okay, this question is for your wood working gurus. I am planning on making a table for my wife from red oak. I know that quarter sawn wood is better than plain sawn wood but at least for me here in my home would it be worth it to get quarter sawn instead of plain sawn wood. I am not even going to try to use rift sawn wood. I don't know if it would be worth it.

The table will be about 4'x7' in size give or take. I will be cutting the logs myself with an Alaskan sawmill. That is another question. Will I even be able to get a quarter sawn board with an Alaskan sawmill?

Any advice is truly appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 01:30 PM
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Unless you just like the appearance of the quartersawn wood I would use the plain sawn. Quartersawn wood is more stable but if you seal both sides of the table top you shouldn't have any problem with the plain sawn.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 02:15 PM
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One problem you might have is drying the wood. I worked in a flooring mill at one time and when a load of red oak came in it was graded and stickered then it sat in the yard for about 6 months. After getting the moisture content down to about 14% it was put in the kiln to further reduce the moisture to 6 or 8%. Then you could mill it to make hardwood flooring.

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post #4 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 02:55 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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I don't know if you can quartersaw with the Alaskan

I do know there is a huge difference in the looks of the wood, however. If you are going to all the work to make a large table, then look into how you might get it quartersawn ... IF you like the looks:

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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I do know there is a huge difference in the looks of the wood, however. If you are going to all the work to make a large table, then look into how you might get it quartersawn ... IF you like the looks:

This is the look for quarter sawn wood?

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post #6 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
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This is the look for quarter sawn wood?

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That is the look of quarter sawn red oak. Very distinctive. I have an antique coffee table that looks like that when it's clean and polished.

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post #7 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 06:41 PM
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The important thing is what it will look like when done. A busy top looks interesting at first but can lack harmony and end up looking haphazard. For tables I prefer to start with the flattest wood I can get, spend a lot of time matching up boards for best appearance and to minimize glue lines, mill it evenly, finish it evenly on both sides, and it should remain flat.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 08:31 PM
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Here's a headboard I made from quartersawn Red Oak

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Originally Posted by crookedkut View Post
This is the look for quarter sawn wood?

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This is quartersawn Red Oak. Even though I made it, I'm not so pleased with the look. It's too busy for my tastes and especially in a room meant for resting, it's a distraction.... You can't see it from the sleeping position, but it is the focal piece of the room, none the less.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
This is quartersawn Red Oak. Even though I made it, I'm not so pleased with the look. It's too busy for my tastes and especially in a room meant for resting, it's a distraction.... You can't see it from the sleeping position, but it is the focal piece of the room, none the less.
I see that. It does look a bit busy. I would rather it have a continuous wood grain pattern.
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 09:59 PM
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In many cases quartersawn wood IS the straight grained look. In the musical instrument world we deal with quartersawn wood all the time and Spruce, Mahogany, Rosewood, Ziricote, etc. are just as straight as can be. Sometimes you'll get figure along with straight grain.

For instance, here's a quarter sawn Sitka Spruce top -
plain sawn vs. quarter sawn wood-torrefied-sitka-spruce-quarter-sawn.jpg

And a quarter sawn Indian Rosewood back -
Name:  Indian Rosewood - quarter sawn.jpg
Views: 495
Size:  13.4 KB

So it just depends on the wood.

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post #11 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 10:17 PM
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Quartersawn white oak


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-25-2018, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crookedkut View Post
This is the look for quarter sawn wood?

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Quarter saw oak has the pronounced distinctive ray flecks. Plain sawn will have the cathedral grain to it and rift will be straight grained.

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