ENIRGY - be informed

Lo 08

Faster drying with plain sawn wood

Published on 18/04/2017
Image full plain and quarter sawn

A fortnight ago I asked if we have been chopping up logs the wrong way if we accept that the right method would leave the wood in a state where it will dry more efficiently.

The most common technique, which I have used myself, is the the quarter sawn method which as the name suggests means splitting the logs as you would cut up a cake. 

But the scientific literature would suggest that the plain sawn approach is more effective. That involves slicing the log through the centre with subsequent cuts paralleling the first. 

The same effort is expended, and same number of cuts made,, with both styles.

I used the two different methods to split two cross sections of the same poplar log and left them to dry in a solar kiln. 

In the first week the quarter sawn logs lost an average of 16% of their weight while the plain sawn pieces collectively lost 20% of their weight. The same advantage was maintained and indeed slightly extended over the second week.

Over the whole fortnight, the mass of the quarter sawn logs reduced by 22% while that of the plain sawn pieces shrank by 27% proving pretty unequivocally that plain sawn is better an ensuring faster doing of wood.

See news archive