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 Post subject: Persistence pays
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:08 pm 
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Hey Folks,

I’ve been of several minds over the title of this post because it covers a number of different reasons for a recent success. The success was finding some beautifully ray fleck figured white oak for my next set of Limbert tabourets.

Image

Ray flecks are slices through the radial, medullary rays of the log. These rays look like the spokes on a wheel when viewed from the end of the log. Only logs that are quarter sawn will slice through these rays.

Image

Any other orientation of the log to the saw, and the rays become invisible. In any quarter sawn log, only about 25% of the boards will have any visible ray flecks at all. This is all a product of the art and skill of the sawyer (as a woodworker I have no part in this), and so one idea for the title was to write an homage to the sawyer.

Thus, in any batch of quarter sawn white oak, there is a chance that some of the boards will have ray fleck figure. So, if you have an indulgent reseller, or a good relationship with a sawyer, they might let you pick through their stock and select all the best pieces. That thought prompted the idea that I should acknowledge my supplier, Edensaw Hardwoods, and their very patient forklift operators.

But ultimately, unstacking, selecting and re stacking bundles of lumber is frustrating and physically hard work. It’s really only possible with the help of a dedicated assistant who is truly supportive and believes in your vision of success. So here’s to the persistence (and patience) of my best assistant ever (thank you Kris).

Cheers,
Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Persistence pays
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:21 pm 
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gorgeous; STOP blushing Tom, I was talking about he wood :)

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 Post subject: Re: Persistence pays
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:33 am 
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That IS some beautiful QSWO, Tom...and you're right it pays to be patient. We're very fortunate here in San Diego to have 2 really great suppliers that usually have some great boards to choose from. I recently bought some plain sawn 1/2" WO to make some small boxes and I have one really brilliantly ray flecked 1/2"X 8"X 3' board to make lid for the boxes. Was thinking of fuming it to accentuate the rays...never did any fuming but I have the place, the ammonia and the desire.
I've seen some QSWO that, when fumed, is really beautiful....do you have any experience with that?
Thanks for sharing! Good luck with the tabourets!! Let us see them when done.

Don


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 Post subject: Re: Persistence pays
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:45 am 
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Hey Don,
Thanks for the compliment.
If you have a nice piece of Ray flecked oak, you probably don’t want to fume it. One of the properties of fuming with ammonia is that is darkens everything uniformly. You would hide the ray flecks.
Any pigmented stain should highlight the rays best.
I typically don’t stain my work. One of the tabourets will be finished with blond shellack and polyurethane. The other, in garnet shellack and poly.
Of course photos will follow.
Cheers,
Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Persistence pays
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:45 pm 
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I'm confused by the pictures you show of sawing patterns. The quartersawn and rift sawn are the same figure (though maybe the shading of some specific boards is to illustrate that the same pattern produces rift and quarter sawn boards.

I'm more used to figures like these:
Image

These don't even agree on the meaning of plain sawn
Of course, it's unrealistic to expect there is a universally agreed-upon set of definitions, but at least the quarter sawing of the figure above relates to quarters of a tree.


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 Post subject: Re: Persistence pays
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:04 pm 
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Hey drstrip,

I agree the diagrams can be confusing. I chose that one from all the others on the web because it had a picture of ray flecks below it to illustrate my point. The "live sawn" diagram is actually what I've always called plain sawn. To my understanding, rift sawn refers to the grain more than to the cutting diagram. The shaded areas in the rift diagram would have rift grain (30º-60º to the cut ).

I really don't understand how the quarter sawn diagram in your post would work, and I am skeptical that any mill would actually cut the log that way. Quarter sawn lumber is first cut into quarters, then sliced on alternate adjacent sides moving back and forth across a two sided band saw. I don't see how a flat edge can be set on the carriage to produce the cuts in your diagram.

The "rift sawn" diagram in your post would, in effect, produce all quarter sawn lumber, since all the grain is at right angles to the cut. Given the amount of waste such a cut would produce leaves me doubting that any mill would do it that way.

Just my 2¢
Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Persistence pays
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:22 pm 
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One of the reasons for the confusion in terms is that the terms "quartersawn", riftsawn" and "flatsawn" or "plainsawn" can refer either to the wood itself, or to the sawing pattern designed to maximize the yield of that type of wood.

With regard to the wood, quartersawn means the growth rings are close to perpendicular to the face of the board, plain or flat sawn means the rings are parallel to the face of the board, and riftsawn means the rings are in between whatever angles you consider to be quarter or plain sawn. The various sawing patterns tend to give a mix, but provide more or less of each type, and vary in the total amount of useable boards they yield.

Notice in the first figure that the cutting pattern is the same for quarter and riftsawn. The difference is that some of the boards are darkened in: as you move from the center to the edge, the angle of the rings to the face gradually changes so you first get quartersawn, then riftsawn boards.

In terms of sawing pattern, the one that looks completely wrong to me is the radially cut pattern that would yield wedge-shaped pieces of perfectly quartersawn wood. This is the way it's cut for violins. It makes no sense to call that "riftsawn", since it is the most wasteful method (assuming you want boards with parallel faces), chosen to avoid any riftsawn material.


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 Post subject: Re: Persistence pays
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:33 pm 
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tms wrote:
I really don't understand how the quarter sawn diagram in your post would work, and I am skeptical that any mill would actually cut the log that way. Quarter sawn lumber is first cut into quarters, then sliced on alternate adjacent sides moving back and forth across a two sided band saw. I don't see how a flat edge can be set on the carriage to produce the cuts in your diagram.


I expect there are as many cutting patterns as there are saw mills. The quartersaw pattern you describe requires the log be turned 90 degrees on every pass, which would have been very labor intensive before automated sawing became common. In contrast, the pattern I copied from the web would not require turning the log on each pass. For what it's worth, the pattern I copied in my post is the same as the quartersaw pattern in Hoadley's book (aka "The Bible").


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