Controlling Cant Checking

      Cants check as they dry because of uneven shrinkage. It can be controlled, but not completely prevented. July 28, 2006

I live in South Georgia and run a small sawmill. We cut only heart pine - Longleaf, Shortleaf and Loblolly. Most of what we cut is from salvaged trees that have been lightning struck or wind blown. When we do not have orders to fill, we cant our logs to make them easier for future handling and to bring the moisture content down. We stack the cants under a metal building with open sides. After several weeks or months the cants will check, some severely. I realize some checking is inevitable but I was wondering if this is a good practice or should we leave the logs whole until we have orders to fill?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Dr. Gene Wengert, technical advisor Sawing and Drying Forum:
Cant checking is hard to avoid as the outside is trying to shrink while the inside is not. You can control the checking by putting a saw kerf on the face that you want to check. You could also drill a large hole in the center to allow room for shrinkage. Note that failure to dry will result in stain, so storing the cants (or even logs) in warm weather is often not a good idea. I would encourage you to consider developing an inventory of some items that you consider to be standard products.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Air Drying Lumber

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article