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Posted on Need advice on lumber purchasing

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397 posts in 1892 days

#1 posted 04-06-2013 12:41 PM

I saw lumber from my property, and I’ve been cutting everything to 5/4. When I was buying sugar pine for New Mexico territorial furniture reproductions, I bought 5/4 and planed that to 4/4. A full one inch looks better to me for reproductions. If you really want the 3/4 finished boards, you should be able to flatten any bows or twists in a 4/4 rough sawn board.

One way to keep from losing so much wood due to movement is to buy quartersawn wood. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you lose less to waste because it doesn’t move nearly so much. Plus, it looks better in any species, not just white oak. Quarter sawn cherry and sycamore (looks somewhat like lacewood) are fantastic. My sawyer and I learned to quarter saw my logs from a schematic I found on line. Here it is above.

Cut the three boards first, the middle one including the pith. These will be quarter sawn. You will have two “half moons left. Put them face to face and stand them on the saw so you can saw cut the number 2 pieces from both half moons at once. That will be quarter sawn, too. With what you have left, you can saw four 3×3’s or 4×4’s, depending on the size of the log. They are rift sawn, with the growth rings at 45 degrees to the faces all around. This is what you want for table legs. They will hardly move at all, and you’ll have plenty of surplus to joint out any bows.

I have a huge cherry tree that is dying and is coming down this Spring. It’s about 30 inches in diameter at the ground, and rises 20 feet before branching. I’ll get three big logs and a few from the secondary limbs. All will be quarter sawn until it’s not worth the time any more. Then it’s firewood.

-- --Dale Page

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