2 The process of cutting logs into timber is called conversion. There are several methods of conversion, each of which has some special advantage.For some timbers conversion must take place before the log has time to dry out and shrink.
3 Methods of conversion of timber There are three main methods of conversion of timber. They are :Live sawingBack sawingQuarter sawing
4 Live SawingThis is one of the most popular methods of sawing. The log is cut in parallel cuts in the direction of the grain.
6 Live sawing Disadvantage of live sawn Advantages of live sawn Low cost and fast.Maximum width of planks obtained from log.Little wastageReveals attractive grain pattern, especially in softwoodsDisadvantage of live sawnNot suitable for structural timberSeasoning defectsWith this method cupping caused by tangential shrinkage is a problem (cupping is the warping of the plank away from the heart of the tree)
7 Back Sawing (tangential cut) The cut is made at a tangent to the annual rings of the log.Log must be turned 90º after each cut.Timber will display a flame figure
8 Back Sawing Advantages Produce board with flame figure Tangential boards are strong boards, used for beams and joistsHeartwood and sapwood are easily separatedThese boards can take a nail without splitting because of the position of their annual rings
9 Back Sawing Disadvantages Prone to shrinkage (Cupping) Expensive because of frequent turning of log
10 Quarter Sawing (radial cut) This method leaves the annual rings of the converted timber meeting the face of the board at 45 º or more.It is important to note that the log must be rotated each time a cut is taken.This method can bring the best features in wood as it produces silver grain which has clearly defined medullary rays
11 Quarter Sawn Advantages Disadvantages An attractive grain pattern is producedBoards are more stable and shrink lessBoards wear more evenly, important for flooringSeasoning degrades is reducedDisadvantagesExpensive, as the log has to be first quartered then turned for every cut.Because the log is quartered then cut again narrower boards are producedMore waste