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quality of wood

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  • mahee of acre
    o.k. this may sound stupid, but... As I was driving down the road, building things in my head, I realized that after I feld the tree that I split the wood
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 2, 2006
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      o.k. this may sound stupid, but...

      As I was driving down the road, building things in my head, I realized
      that after I feld the tree that I split the wood along the grain. It
      only took a bit of plaining to make it into the board I needed.

      Then poof reality hit me and I realized that any wood I might buy is
      not split, but sawn and sanded.

      This in my strange little mind would make purchased boards weaker than
      those feld and split because grain does not matter to the the saw.

      Is this an ah ha, or just a stupid thought?

      your servant,
      mahee
    • Haraldr Bassi (yahoogroups)
      You have stumbled across the reason that so many of the things from the past are so much stronger and more stable than the things from today. You are exactly
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 2, 2006
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        You have stumbled across the reason that so many of the things from the
        past are so much stronger and more stable than the things from today.
        You are exactly correct that anything split and worked with the grain is
        going to be stronger than most anything cut from whatever worked out for
        the sawyer to make their quota of board feet per tree.

        This is also why a quarter sawn oak is much better than regular oak.

        One of the easiest places to demonstrate this is using a dowel as an
        example. Many modern dowels are simply routed out of square stock. Often
        you can observe the grain running right out the edge of the dowel. That
        dowel can be bent where the grain runs out and will likely split, the
        angle of the shard left will be determined by how quickly the grain ran
        out the side of the stick.

        Take a piece of wood, split it from a billet, work it down using a
        spokeshave and drawknife to the same size as the dowel you just snapped
        and subject it to the same stresses and it will likely survive the stress.

        There are other dramatic demonstrations you can observe, sometimes a
        piece you are splitting from a billet will work around where an external
        or internal knot was in the billet. The split board will follow the
        grain around the outside of the knot, sometimes entirely leaving the
        'plane' of the stick you are riving. The stick will be almost as strong
        through that weirdness as it would have been had it been straight grain.

        Like so: _____/^\______

        A piece that was cut to the same shape from the billet with a saw would
        have gone straight through the knot weirdness and as a result would have
        had no grain strength in that spit, and would likely split under any
        strain.

        These techniques are what makes so much of the older chairs and
        furniture so effective, even with little dinky spindles for legs and
        such, think Windsor chairs for a ready example.

        Haraldr

        mahee of acre wrote:
        > o.k. this may sound stupid, but...
        >
        > As I was driving down the road, building things in my head, I realized
        > that after I feld the tree that I split the wood along the grain. It
        > only took a bit of plaining to make it into the board I needed.
        >
        > Then poof reality hit me and I realized that any wood I might buy is
        > not split, but sawn and sanded.
        >
        > This in my strange little mind would make purchased boards weaker than
        > those feld and split because grain does not matter to the the saw.
        >
        > Is this an ah ha, or just a stupid thought?
        >
        > your servant,
        > mahee
        >
        >
      • James W. Pratt, Jr.
        Yes and No. Being a sawyer I understand how to put strenght into a board. You have to look at things two ways. First most riven(split out) boards are like
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 2, 2006
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          Yes and No.

          Being a sawyer I understand how to put strenght into a board.

          You have to look at things two ways. First most riven(split out) boards are
          like quarter sawn boards. They are quite flexable when wet(good for making
          vikingships) but not very good for oars for the same ship. So you split
          your oar stock into quarters and cut them with the grain running
          perpendicular(sp) to the oar blade(running the same way you will be pulling
          on the oar). This would be like modern plane sawn boards which are used for
          joists and rafters. I am sure period wood workers were aware of the effect
          grain has on strenght and used it to their advantage. By the way a plane
          sawn board is hard to split out of a log so they used round logs or square
          almost whole logs for rafters.

          James Cunningham
          Who tried to brake an oar on the Fredricka(sp)
          ----- Original Message -----
          > that after I feld the tree that I split the wood along the grain. It
          > only took a bit of plaining to make it into the board I needed.
          >
          > Then poof reality hit me and I realized that any wood I might buy is
          > not split, but sawn and sanded.
          >
          > This in my strange little mind would make purchased boards weaker than
          > those feld and split because grain does not matter to the the saw.
          >
          > Is this an ah ha, or just a stupid thought?
          >
          > your servant,
          > mahee
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Jared
          ... Ultimaty the grain decides the strength, as a log full of knots and grain twist will not make a strong board, no matter how you saw it, you will have
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 2, 2006
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            ---
            Ultimaty the grain decides the strength, as a log full of knots and
            grain twist will not make a strong board, no matter how you saw it,
            you will have complete grain run out at some point resulting in a
            terribly weak falure point. If you are able to split a board from such
            a piece, it will curve and twist around like piece of licorice and be
            unusable. The straight grained log, will make a strong board when
            plain sawed, a more stable board when quarter sawn, and the equal or
            better when split (rived). Modern lumber, being taken from smaller
            trees, with more defectes, does result in boards with weak points and
            boards with the twist and crown when they dry, because of grain
            runnout. If you split a board from one of these same logs it will only
            be straight and usable in shorter sections,(between the defects) those
            sections will be stronger because they dont have grain runnout.
            To answer you question, Mahee, this is an "ah ha" for you, as your
            thoughts are essentially correct and demonstate that you are
            "understanding wood" (wich might sound stupid to some people).

            Jared






            In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Pratt, Jr."
            <cunning@...> wrote:
            >
            > Yes and No.
            >
            > Being a sawyer I understand how to put strenght into a board.
            >
            > You have to look at things two ways. First most riven(split out)
            boards are
            > like quarter sawn boards. They are quite flexable when wet(good for
            making
            > vikingships) but not very good for oars for the same ship. So you split
            > your oar stock into quarters and cut them with the grain running
            > perpendicular(sp) to the oar blade(running the same way you will be
            pulling
            > on the oar). This would be like modern plane sawn boards which are
            used for
            > joists and rafters. I am sure period wood workers were aware of the
            effect
            > grain has on strenght and used it to their advantage. By the way a
            plane
            > sawn board is hard to split out of a log so they used round logs or
            square
            > almost whole logs for rafters.
            >
            > James Cunningham
            > Who tried to brake an oar on the Fredricka(sp)
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > > that after I feld the tree that I split the wood along the grain. It
            > > only took a bit of plaining to make it into the board I needed.
            > >
            > > Then poof reality hit me and I realized that any wood I might buy is
            > > not split, but sawn and sanded.
            > >
            > > This in my strange little mind would make purchased boards weaker than
            > > those feld and split because grain does not matter to the the saw.
            > >
            > > Is this an ah ha, or just a stupid thought?
            > >
            > > your servant,
            > > mahee
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • kjworz@comcast.net
            You are right. Split wood, aka Riven wood, is superior in strength and stability. The sawn version that most approximated this is called quartesawn and you
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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              You are right. Split wood, aka Riven wood, is superior in strength and stability. The sawn version that most approximated this is called quartesawn and you can specify this type of cut when you purchase good wood. The stuff available at Home Depot is geared toward home construction and is fine for what it does, but it is not usually the best choice for what we do when we want to our best work.

              Their is disadvantages to riven wood. It is hard to get wide planks of it without having a million acres of virgin timber to choose from. It is inherently wasteful, and you end up with a lot of firewood.

              --
              -Chris Schwartz
              Silver Spring, MD

              -------------- Original message ----------------------
              From: "mahee of acre" <mahee_of_acre@...>
              > o.k. this may sound stupid, but...
              >
              > As I was driving down the road, building things in my head, I realized
              > that after I feld the tree that I split the wood along the grain. It
              > only took a bit of plaining to make it into the board I needed.
              >
              > Then poof reality hit me and I realized that any wood I might buy is
              > not split, but sawn and sanded.
              >
              > This in my strange little mind would make purchased boards weaker than
              > those feld and split because grain does not matter to the the saw.
              >
              > Is this an ah ha, or just a stupid thought?
              >
              > your servant,
              > mahee
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Bill McNutt
              It s not stupid at all, and, in fact, some authorities would agree with you without reservation. For myself, I m skeptical. What I am sure of is that rip-sawn
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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                It’s not stupid at all, and, in fact, some authorities would agree with you without reservation.

                 

                For myself, I’m skeptical.  What I am sure of is that rip-sawn timber is less STABLE that riven (split) timber or quarter sawn timber.

                 

                The reason that most lumber is rip-sawn is that it’s cheap to do.  You can take a log and run it through a commercial bandsaw like salami through a deli-slicer.  There’s almost no labor cost AND you get to use about 80% of the log.

                 

                Quarter sawn timber has to be re-positioned on the saw for each cut, and the labor costs go up about 500% (that last number is a guess).  Riven timber, on the other hand, throws away about 60% of the log.  (In my own limited experience.)

                 

                Master Will

                 


                From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of mahee of acre
                Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:58 PM
                To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [MedievalSawdust] quality of wood

                 

                o.k. this may sound stupid, but...

                As I was driving down the road, building things in my head, I realized
                that after I feld the tree that I split the wood along the grain. It
                only took a bit of plaining to make it into the board I needed.

                Then poof reality hit me and I realized that any wood I might buy is
                not split, but sawn and sanded.

                This in my strange little mind would make purchased boards weaker than
                those feld and split because grain does not matter to the the saw.

                Is this an ah ha, or just a stupid thought?

                your servant,
                mahee

              • Marit
                Correct. Split wood is also much more flexible. Hence it s use for making longships, etc. mahee of acre wrote: o.k. this may sound
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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                  Correct.
                   
                  Split wood is also much more flexible.  Hence it's use for making longships, etc.

                  mahee of acre <mahee_of_acre@...> wrote:
                  o.k. this may sound stupid, but...

                  As I was driving down the road, building things in my head, I realized
                  that after I feld the tree that I split the wood along the grain. It
                  only took a bit of plaining to make it into the board I needed.

                  Then poof reality hit me and I realized that any wood I might buy is
                  not split, but sawn and sanded.

                  This in my strange little mind would make purchased boards weaker than
                  those feld and split because grain does not matter to the the saw.

                  Is this an ah ha, or just a stupid thought?

                  your servant,
                  mahee


                  Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

                • Nicholas Russon
                  The reason that most lumber is rip-sawn is that it’s cheap to do. You can take a log and run it through a commercial bandsaw like salami through a
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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                    The reason that most lumber is rip-sawn is that it’s cheap to do.  You can take a log and run it through a commercial bandsaw like salami through a deli-slicer.  There’s almost no labor cost AND you get to use about 80% of the log.
                     
                    Quarter sawn timber has to be re-positioned on the saw for each cut, and the labor costs go up about 500% (that last number is a guess).  Riven timber, on the other hand, throws away about 60% of the log.  (In my own limited experience.)
                    Actually, I had the opportunity to have dinner my boss on my last trip to her office (in the southern US), and afterwards, we visited her husband's design shop. He designs and builds precision laser measurement and control devices for lumber mills. Any mill larger than your local Wood-Mizer owner may already have automated equipment which allows them to do all sorts of amazing things with logs. The log is measured every (mumble) of a millimeter and the cutting is optimized to get the very most possible useful lumber from every log.
                    For any mill using equipment like this (it's expensive stuff, but makes a huge difference in the amount of wasted wood), there's almost no difference in labour costs between doing flatsawn and quartersawn wood. There is still more waste from quartersawn, so it'll still be more economical for mills to produce flatsawn wood over quartersawn wood, but the cost differences will be much lower than for  mills which don't use this equipment.
                    Regards,
                    Nicholas
                    Ealdormere (Ontario, Canada)


                    Nicholas Russon
                    nrusson@... or nicholas.russon@...

                    Weblog at http://www.bolditalic.com/quotulatiousness
                    Quotes site at http://www.quotulatiousness.ca
                  • Bill McNutt
                    Anybody think there s the remotest chance on this side of the river Styx of the savings in labor cost being passed on to the consumer with an industry that let
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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                      Anybody think there’s the remotest chance on this side of the river Styx of the savings in labor cost being passed on to the consumer with an industry that let tens of thousands of acres of hardwoods blown down by Mt. St. Helens ROT rather than processes it and reduce the price of hardwood?

                       

                      Will the Bitter Cynic

                       


                      For any mill using equipment like this (it's expensive stuff, but makes a huge difference in the amount of wasted wood), there's almost no difference in labour costs between doing flatsawn and quartersawn wood. There is still more waste from quartersawn, so it'll still be more economical for mills to produce flatsawn wood over quartersawn wood, but the cost differences will be much lower than for  mills which don't use this equipment.

                    • AlbionWood
                      Hardwoods, blown down by Mt. St. Helens? Pretty sure that was mostly pine & fir. And IIRC there were some pretty good reasons not to go in and liquidate all
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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                        Hardwoods, blown down by Mt. St. Helens? Pretty sure that was mostly
                        pine & fir. And IIRC there were some pretty good reasons not to go in
                        and liquidate all that standing dead timber, though there was also a lot
                        of argument about it.

                        Still, point taken - the (US) industry is not particularly interested in
                        low prices. The sordid business with Canada (over softwood prices) is
                        proof enough, if anybody doubted it.

                        What those fancy computer-optimized, laser-guided mills do is get
                        (barely) usable lumber from smaller-diameter logs. You should see the
                        pecker-poles filling trucks out here right now... some of them they
                        might get a few 2x4s out of, but they are still worth cutting & hauling.
                        That means a shorter cut cycle, maybe 35-40 years instead of 45-50. That
                        means more revenue. It's not a forest, it's a crop, and the sooner you
                        get it to market the better.

                        Timber companies are selling land like crazy. Wonder what that means?

                        Colin
                        Another Bitter Cynic

                        Bill McNutt wrote:
                        >
                        > Anybody think there’s the remotest chance on this side of the river
                        > Styx of the savings in labor cost being passed on to the consumer with
                        > an industry that let tens of thousands of acres of hardwoods blown
                        > down by Mt. St. Helens ROT rather than processes it and reduce the
                        > price of hardwood?
                        >
                        > Will the Bitter Cynic
                        >
                      • Ralph Lindberg
                        ... Styx of ... industry ... Collin is correct in that there was little hardwood. Most of the wood was Doug Fir, Hemlock and Western Red Cedar. Although, there
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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                          --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Anybody think there's the remotest chance on this side of the river
                          Styx of
                          > the savings in labor cost being passed on to the consumer with an
                          industry
                          > that let tens of thousands of acres of hardwoods blown down by Mt. St.
                          > Helens ROT rather than processes it and reduce the price of hardwood?
                          >
                          Collin is correct in that there was little hardwood. Most of the
                          wood was Doug Fir, Hemlock and Western Red Cedar. Although, there was
                          some bottom land with Big Leaf Maple and Red Alder also.
                          But as to the rest, bunkem. All of the land owned by the timber co's
                          (mostly Weyerhaeuser) was harvested for the blow-down. I watched truck
                          after truck come out of the blow-down area. Then I watched as they
                          replanted the land (most of the blow-down area was privately owned).
                          Now, if you are talking about the blast-zone, ie the area right
                          below the mountain, out towards Spirit Lake. That wood was never
                          recovered. Much of it was buried under a few hundred feet of dirt.
                          Some of the rest was blown unto the "new" Spirit Lake, were it was
                          left to rot (it also formed one of the richest lakes in marine life,
                          completely lacking in fish to eat any of it). But then this part of
                          the land is now inside the National Monument.

                          In point of fact, the Tacoma Dome roof is Mt Saint Helen's
                          blow-down. All of that was Douglas Fir and Hemlock. The Red Cedar has
                          always been to valuable to toss. The alder was probably all left to
                          rot, although I'll bet the Big Leaf Maple was selectively harvested
                          (just like it is now, at up to $600/bd-ft for the best quilted Maple,
                          they ain't gona waste that)

                          I've been skiing, hiking, and camping in that land for many years.
                          In fact I was there last week.

                          To return to some semblance of SCA, the major eruption happened on
                          AnTir's May Coronet Tourney (we were still a Principality then). Only
                          I skipped it, as I was building my house that year.

                          TTFN
                          Ralg
                          AnTir
                        • Ralph Lindberg
                          ... hauling. ... That ... In the 1980 s and 90 s; Plum Creek Lumber (the timber arm of Burlington Northern rail) published in their circular to stock holders
                          Message 12 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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                            --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, AlbionWood <albionwood@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > ...
                            >
                            > What those fancy computer-optimized, laser-guided mills do is get
                            > (barely) usable lumber from smaller-diameter logs. You should see the
                            > pecker-poles filling trucks out here right now... some of them they
                            > might get a few 2x4s out of, but they are still worth cutting &
                            hauling.
                            > That means a shorter cut cycle, maybe 35-40 years instead of 45-50.
                            That
                            > means more revenue. It's not a forest, it's a crop, and the sooner you
                            > get it to market the better.
                            >
                            In the 1980's and 90's; Plum Creek Lumber (the timber arm of
                            Burlington Northern rail) published in their circular to stock holders
                            that they were "getting along" in their harvests, by cutting at 3 to 4
                            times sustained yield. Which means that in "X" number of years, they
                            will have no lumber to harvest.

                            > Timber companies are selling land like crazy. Wonder what that means?
                            >
                            That their land has more value in homes then in lumber.

                            Interesting, Weyerhaeuser has an interesting solution to this issue.
                            They are selling large lots (5 to 20 acre) of their timber land
                            near(er) major towns to people that want to put large trophy homes on.
                            Only, Weyerhauser is retaining the timber rights.

                            To return this to SCA, my barony (Dragons Laire), hosts many of
                            it's larger events in a "company town" (Port Gamble WA), ie one owned
                            outright by a timber company (Pope and Talbert). They are actually
                            much easier to deal with then most government agencies.

                            TTFN
                            Ralg
                            AnTir
                          • AlbionWood
                            Ralg, Thanks for setting us straight about that. I only remember a lot of hand-wringing over the issue at the time, and there seems to be a persistent myth
                            Message 13 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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                              Ralg,

                              Thanks for setting us straight about that. I only remember a lot of
                              hand-wringing over the issue at the time, and there seems to be a
                              persistent myth that the Libruls made everybody leave that timber to rot.

                              Cheers,
                              Colin
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