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Wood Lumber Cuts
Wood Lumber Cuts "Logs are cut into boards in a few different ways, which produce different characteristics and amounts of waste. This article covers the different types of cuts for wood boards."

In a nutshell, most lumber is plain/flat sawn - the log is simply sliced into planks. Plain sawn boards are the least expensive and the most likely to warp. The straight linear grain of quarter sawn lumber is more stable and more expensive. Rift sawn is the only way to achieve a quarter sawn appearance when the wood has pronounced medullary rays (slide 14).

Image is from another article about lumber cuts.


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