Milling Timbers to Minimize Warp

      Either "box the heart," or stay away from the pith altogether. March 16, 2015

Question
I'm currently milling timbers for a timber frame workshop that I'll be building for myself. Due to the size of the logs available to me I've only been able to mill one timber per log (I boxed the core). However I've just received a load of large logs which will give me the opportunity to mill two to three timbers per log (each will be free of the core). I'm thinking that these will be the best, most stable timbers. Just checking to confirm this before I start cutting. Most of the timbers I'll be using will have the boxed core.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
The wood within 15 rings of the core (technical term is the pith, although centering the pith in a timber is called "boxing the heart") has a strong tendency to warp lengthwise, but the wood further away does not. So, if the rings are not centered in a timber, the edge closest to the pith is likely to shrink lengthwise and create a warped timber.



From the original questioner:
Thanks Gene. So if I understand you correctly, I'm ok with timbers cut from outside of the heart, and I should do my best to center the pith in timbers when I box the heart.


From contributor B:
It seems to read that if a person cuts a timber without the pith then the side that was nearest the pith should be at least 15 growth rings away. But other than that the pith should be centered as well as possible.



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: 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