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(RESOLVED) What Is Rift Sawn Oak?

White Oak hardwood is dense and has a light to medium brown color. White Oak is extremely durable and resists shocks well. Based on the Janka hardness testing, White Oak is listed as having a hardness level of 1360. These grains are from White Oak tend to be longer than Red Oak, which makes the species prized for construction of “Mission” style furniture and woodwork. Although the species can be stained well by metal contact, it will leave a dark stain in wood. White Oak trees are naturally knotty, but the wood can be sorted to obtain “Select” grade wood, which is mostly clear of knots. White Oak is available in a variety of cuts, including the Flat cut.😊 [1]
Rift-sawn lumber typically has a narrow grain pattern with straight grain on its face. To avoid flecks common within the species, rift sawn lumber is often used together with oak. An annular ring or rift sawn boards are approximately 30-60 degrees from the board’s face, with 45 being the best. Rift sawn lumber can also be referred to as “radial grain” like quarter sawn lumber. Rift sawn planks are the strongest boards and most difficult to make. The boards are cut in a radial direction perpendicular the tree’s growth rings. Between each board, there are many triangles of leftover waste. Because of this, rift sawn lumber can be very expensive to produce. It is therefore the most expensive planks that you will find from a log. [2]
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An analysis by grandior.net Rift sawn lumber has a narrow grain structure and a straight grain on its face. To avoid flecks common within the species, rift sawn lumber is often used together with oak. A rift sawn board’s annular rings are located approximately between 30-60° and 45° from its face. The best angle is around 45°. Rift sawn lumber can also be referred to as “radial grain” like quarter sawn lumber. Rift sawn planks are the strongest boards and most difficult to make. These boards are cut perpendicularly to the trees’ growth rings. Between each board, there are many triangles of leftover waste. Rift sawn lumber, which is the most costly type of log plank, can be very expensive to make. We are grateful to Hernan lay for this reminder. [3]
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Quarter SawnQuarter Sawn Lumber is made by cutting the log into 4 quarters. Each quarter then is flat-sawn. The growth rings are generally 60-90 degrees to the face of the board, resulting in a more linear grain pattern without the “cathedral” effect. This cut is also used in Red Oak and White Oak. It can show flecking, or rays in the grain. This type of cut is more labour-intensive and generates more waste than regular sawn lumber. The had cost for this kind of wood is therefore higher than that of plain sawn lumber. Quarter Sawn lumber, due to its position in the cut’s growth rings, is more stable than Plain Sawn. It resists expansion and contraction on plank’s width. Jammie Vidal modified it on January 28, 2020 [4]
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Haleigh Helms fifthwalldesigns.comAnother important feature of quartered and rift lumber is its medullary radiations. The cellular structures that are found in woods, the medullary rays, can be described as cellular structures. They are small capillaries that run through the wood from the middle of the tree to its outer growth rings. These create an effect similar to a “ribbon” on lumber that is sawn. When White Oak is quarter sawn its medullary rays can be very apparent and many times are desirable because it introduces a distinct wavy visual effect to the lumber that is known as “flecking”. Important to remember that this effect only occurs in quarter-sawn lumber. The rift sawn lumber has no medullary radiation flecking, however it still retains a distinct straight grain look on each side. [5]
Cathryn Hyatt, countryplank.comThe vast majority of flooring logs are cut into Plain Sawn boards. This is the easiest way to saw logs, simply by cutting the log in small squares. Depending on the size of the log, this can translate into several different grain pattern possibilities – but in nearly all cases, the growth rings (again, viewed from the butt end) are essentially parallel to the board’s face. In fact, the angle of the growth rings to the face ranges from 0°- 45°. This grain pattern is the most affordable option for each species because of its relative ease. Julie Brooks (Kermanshah in Iran, May 31, 2021). [6]

Article references

  1. https://www.sunmountaindoor.com/blog/white-oak-wood-including-rift-quarter-cuts/
  2. http://www.hardwooddistributors.org/postings/what-is-rift-sawn-lumber
  3. https://www.grandior.net/what-is-the-difference-between-plain-sawn-quarter-sawn-rift-sawn-and-live-sawn-lumber/
  4. https://www.v3-usa.com/learn/comparing-plain-sawn-quarter-sawn-rift-sawn-flooring/
  5. https://www.fifthwalldesigns.com/white-oak-plain-sliced-vs-quarter-sawn-vs-rift-cut/
  6. https://countryplank.com/what-is-the-difference-between-plain-sawn-rift-sawn-quarter-sawn-and-livesawn-grain/
Mehreen Alberts

Written by Mehreen Alberts

I'm a creative writer who has found the love of writing once more. I've been writing since I was five years old and it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. From topics that are close to my heart to everything else imaginable!

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