Quartersawing logs on a band sawmill  page 3

Here the two top cants have been moved to the resaw and the first pair of straight boards have been stacked.    Cutting two boards at a time is pretty fast with a good sharp blade.  Sometimes we edge out the center split and knots right away with the edger saw, and sometimes we kiln dry the lumber before trimming.  We quartersaw most of our straight white oak logs, and a lot red oak also.  Beech and maple are other species that have very pretty quartersawn grain patterns.

The resaw with return rollers is a continuous feeding band sawmill that produces about 1,200 bf/hour when milling cants.  We can look at all sides of a cant, put the good side down (this saw cuts the board off the bottom of the cant) and feed it in.  Curved cants are no problem for this machine.  (Many of the boards next go through the edger saw).  This machine is 25% of the cost of a headsaw and the labor is easier to train with lower costs that a head sawyer.

For cants that are still to heavy to handle (or if you don't have a resaw) you can saw the cants on the headsaw.  Cants that are straight are easy but the curved ones are a problem.  Start by putting the best grain pattern down on the bed.  By comparing the curves in the growth rings, I count up 2-3 boards from the bottom - but again you start with the upper cut, remove the smaller cant, and work your way down the pattern cutting a board with each pass.

It is important to realize that most quartersawn boards are used with just one side showing.  Always look to the good face when comparing two boards.