Quarter Sawn White Oak

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Blog entry by sandhill posted 04-21-2010 03:36 AM 3490 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I am starting a new project and would like some input. After seeing to price of QSWO I was shocked to find the cost of the bed and rails made from Quarter Sawn White Oak came to right around a thousand dollars 8.50 A board foot. I can see using it on the legs and back rails that show but is that what everyone uses? Is 8.50 over priced? I thought it would be closer to 3.90 to 4.25 per BFT.

8 comments so far

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3165 posts in 3134 days

#1 posted 04-21-2010 03:44 AM

Well, that depends on thickness. Sometimes the thicker stuff is more. More experienced LJs can tell you more, but when I priced QSWO for a chest, I was looking at about $500 US. This wasn’t 8.50 per bdft, it was about $5 per bdft (milled to 3/4”), at Rockler, and the boards I have been seeing/buying have usually been wany and warped.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View mpmitche's profile


428 posts in 3001 days

#2 posted 04-21-2010 04:58 AM

It cost me about $6.50/bdft when I bought 5/4 QSWO in western NY last winter.

-- Mike, Western New York

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3333 days

#3 posted 04-21-2010 05:55 AM

You should search out someone with a sawmill and kiln. I recently bought over 400 bd ft of quartersawn oak for $3 bd ft. from a person I found on craigslist who was about 30 minutes from my house.

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#4 posted 04-21-2010 06:04 AM

In my area plain sawn red oak goes for $4.25 and quarter sawn white oak twice that.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3949 days

#5 posted 04-21-2010 06:44 AM

Thats what I am seeing Jim, 8.50 for 8/4 which I assume is good by the sound of it. The bed calls for 109 bft with hardware and tax it rings up to just under $1100.00 and that is for white QS oak. This is an expensive undertaking I can buy one for that much and its good quality. Maple may be a better choice?

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3807 days

#6 posted 04-21-2010 11:13 AM

QSWO is pricey, especially if it is not common locally.
You’ve got lots of options, I love QSWO, but I have seen A&C furniture in all types of wood and it all looks good.
If you have re-saw ability you could laminate QSWO over a cheaper local lumber where ever possible, especially the side rails. When I built my first QSWO bed I just glued two 4/4 boards together to achieve the thickness I needed.
I did not like the seam showing on top so the next one I did I re sawed one 4/4 piece of QSWO and covered two 6/4 maple side rails (top & face). I got the Maple cheap because it was stained pretty badly. The same could be done for the posts, ensuring you get four really pretty flecked faces on each post. Saves a bunch of cash that way.


View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3949 days

#7 posted 04-25-2010 07:41 AM

Tim, I have to ask do you get many orders for beds? And is that what you do on the ones you sell from your site? Also do you miter the re-swan pieces that you put on the side & top, rails, and faces? Or do you use a locking miter bit? I like the idea of using a less expensive wood with the laminated face (plane white oak?) or I guess maple could work but I don’t think I would mix the QSWO with maple I may look at just a less costly white oak and laminate that. Great Idea thanks.

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3807 days

#8 posted 04-25-2010 01:03 PM

The answer to your first question is, sadly, not many in the past 3 years. I had great working relationships with 3 different interior designers that kept my furniture building endeavors in the black. Two closed up shop and one sold the business an took a job with a company that does large retail spaces. Poof—there went 90% of my biz.
I’ve only used this laminating method on side rails and legs, the rest of the pieces are solid wood. When I use the laminate method to cover a base wood I try to book match the most prominent pieces but even this is hardly necessary. Trying to miter the joints would be too time consuming for me, I guess it depends on how thick your face laminates are and how much time you are willing to invest. If your face pieces are 1/8” or thinner and are really tight in the corners, a simple easing of that corner is usually enough to mask the seam. Occasionally you may need to tweak a bit in the finishing stage to be certain the seam is near invisible. I have used the lock miter bit on the legs, but only on solid wood or the base wood before I apply a face of QSWO.
One other way to keep costs down when using QSWO on Mission style furniture is use square spindles no more than approx. 3/4” thick. No need to cut up a bunch of expensive QS when you can use cheaper flat sawn 4/4 white oak, once you rotate them, 90 deg. they are QS!
Once I found the Wood Slicer blade from Highland hardware: and my thickness sander I have saved a ton of $’s resawing expensive woods for many applications.


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