When it comes to using a sawmill and other tools to cut saw logs and turn them into lumber there are several techniques and methods that can be used. Five of those methods we will look at below are plain sawing, live sawing, cant sawing, quarter sawing and grade sawing.
Method 1 – Cant Sawing
Cant sawing is when the primary cuts are made going across the log’s top and then you flip it around 180 degrees and do the next cuts across the face that is opposite. On the third side rotating 90 degrees saw there and then rotate 180 degrees again for the final side. You now have a log that is squared into a centrepiece that they call a cant. It can be sold as it is or used as a large and heavy piece of timber, or it can go to another machine for continued processing. Cant sawing is a very common method used in the industry today used mostly on lower quality and mid-quality logs where it can save effort and time.
Method 2 – Live Sawing
Live sawing is also known as through and through or slab sawing. It is when the log is sawn with the saw mill on the opening face halfway and turned one time to the other face until the log is then done. It is probably the quickest option and even the simplest but it does mean each lumbar piece needs edging after being sawn. Most live sawm lumbar is lower grade and heavy and wide. During the drying process, there can be a problem with warping. Using lower log quality is suggested because of that warping.
Method 3 – Plain Sawing
Plain sawing with a sawmill is somewhat similar to cant sawing. You start by sawing the outer sides of the log into the boards until the center has four sides but rather than stopping there the cant is rotated again and sawn to create the highest possible quantity of lumber. Sawing the rough edge off, known as edging, can then happen if needed. While there are many approaches to getting good yield and good quality boards from a log, plain sawing is one of the best for quantity.
Method 4 – Grade Sawing
Grade sawing involves sawing the log, turning to the new face, sawing again and then doing the same up to 5 times. Grade sawing makes the most sense financially for high quality and mid-quality logs, though it is harder to do on some mills, and the amount or volume produced can be lower.
Method 5 – Quarter Sawing
This method of sawing on a saw mill produces quarter cut or quarter sawn lumber.
There are several reasons to consider quarter sawing because the grain patterns in some hardwoods are in great demand. They have a lot of stability and have other desirable qualities such as less shrinkage, cupping, splitting and shaking. Used on certain types of woods like oak it creates a very attractive decorative effect.