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Find Out How to Choose High Quality Rough Sawn Lumber 

Are you in the market for quality sawn lumber but don’t know where to start? Selecting the right type of sawn lumber can be a daunting process. Knowing what is available and how it will affect your project’s outcome can be overwhelming. Don’t worry – we’re here to break down all the types of sawn lumber on the market and help you make an informed decision in choosing the best material for your project.

What is Rough Sawn Lumber

Rough sawn lumber, or rough cut lumber, is wood that has been cut into rough planks and boards by a sawmill but has not yet been planed smooth. This type of lumber often features rough surfaces and may have rough edges or bark still attached. It is generally more affordable and provides a rustic or textured appearance making it suitable for various applications including furniture making, carpentry, and home construction.

What is Grain Pattern in Wood

Grain pattern refers to the arrangement and appearance of wood fibers in a piece of lumber. Understanding grain patterns is crucial when choosing rough sawn lumber because it can significantly affect the wood’s overall performance and appearance. There are three types of wood grain patterns you should familiarize yourself with:

  • Straight grain: These run parallel to the wood’s length providing strength and stability.
  • Spiral grain: These form when wood fibers twist around the tree’s growth rings creating intricate patterns. This can make the wood more susceptible to twisting and warping.
  • Wavy or curly grain: These occur when wood fibers undulate resulting in distinctive patterns that can be visually appealing but may also affect the wood’s stability.

What are the Main Types of Sawn Lumber

When choosing rough sawn lumber, it’s important to be aware of the different types available and each of their unique advantages and drawbacks. Here are the 4 main types of sawn lumber you might come across in your search:

  1. Plain sawn (also known as flat sawn): Ideal for most general construction and furniture projects, this most common and least expensive type of sawn lumber has random grain patterns and a wide range of strength and stability characteristics.
  2. Quarter sawn: Features straight grain patterns that result in greater stability, less risk of warping, and a more attractive appearance. However, it is typically more expensive due to the extra labor involved in its production.
  3. Rift sawn: Has the most consistent and straight grain patterns providing optimal stability and aesthetics, but it is also the most expensive and least common sawn lumber type.
  4. Live sawn: Live sawn lumber refers to wood that is cut from the log using a saw that cuts through the entire tree resulting in an intricate grain pattern with both quarter sawn and plain sawn lumber features. These cuts, especially demonstrated in French Oak wood, provide a unique visual appeal and structural stability that is ideal for a variety of decorative and functional applications.

Find High-Quality Rough Sawn Lumber at Your Local Lumber Yard

Now that you’re familiar with grain patterns in wood and the different types of sawn lumber, the final step is choosing the right piece. Visit your local lumber yard or look for a reputable supplier who can provide rough cut lumber sold by the board foot. Opt for kiln-dried lumber, as it has lower moisture content and a reduced risk of warping or shrinking after installation.

Remember, communication is key! Make sure to ask questions and be clear about your project’s requirements when discussing your options with the lumberyard staff.

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