Tips on Sawing Birch

      Advice on getting good lumber quality from Birch logs. January 14, 2009

Im going to be sawing birch for the first time here soon. The last time the mill cut birch was twenty years ago and we dont have any sawyers that have been there that long. Any advice on the characteristics of the wood that will give me an idea of what to expect would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
The outside of a log can provide a great deal of white lumber, so flatsawing is the best choice with 180 degree rotation from the opening face to the next face. The best results will be obtained with 4/4, unless your experience with the first few logs shows that the wood is good throughout the log with little or no brown heart. If good, then thicker is ok. The brown heart is next to worthless, so perhaps cants that box the heart would be best.

From the original questioner:
Does it snake easy like hard maple? Or can I zip right though it like oak?

From contributor S:
It cuts like butter.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Yellow birch is close to oak, while the other birches are much softer and saw much more easily.

From contributor S:
White birch saws easy. Poplar saws a little harder but still is easy. There's a big difference between red and white oak. Red oak is fairly easy, and white oak is quite a bit tougher with white or green ash being the hardest around this area.

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