Wavy cuts in pine

      Troubleshooting the cause of wavy cuts in pine. August 10, 2000

I am experiencing wavy cuts on 2 x 4s and some boards are coming out with a crook along the length of the board; could it have something to do with stress?

Are the waves present at the time you are cutting or after the wood has dried? If you are getting waves during cutting it could be caused by a disturbance in the set of the teeth in your blade in a selected area. Have you changed the blade to see if it solves the problem?

The waves are created during my cuts and I even slowed my feed rate down and changed blades. The cuts got a little better, but not much. There is no sap in this pine; it's pretty dry already. Might it be too hard?

If the lumber is crooked when it is green and just as you saw it, the problem is called growth stress. It is typically a result of the juvenile wood, the first 18 years, or rings, in the log.

Since you indicate that the wood has dried some, it could also be a result of compression wood shrinkage. Do you know what compression wood is? Waviness (short waves) in dried wood is not unusual, due to the higher density of the wood when dry and the difficulty in getting a saw to run straight in dry wood.

The saw wants to follow the grain rather than the direction you want; dry wood is so strong! Try sawing parallel to the bark (which will be along the grain) on all faces. Also, a wider blade will help. Make sure that the blade has as high a tension as possible so it cannot wander too much. Sharp, sharp, sharp (including the edge of the gullets).
Gene Wengert, forum moderator

If the waves are at the knots then your speed is too high; slow down for the harder wood in the knots. Check your blade guide rollers also, they must hold the blade parallel to the bed.

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: Primary Processing: Sawmilling

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

    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