Quartersawing on a band mill

Ideas for getting quartersawn lumber from logs, on a band mill. August 10, 2000

What is the best way to quartersaw on a bandmill?

From what I have read, it appears the best way is to cut the log into quarters, then cut each pie-shaped piece into the core; but how do you get the pie-shaped piece to sit on its edge?

You can buy a tape from Timber Harvester which shows you how to do it, or: Quarter the log, then cut perpendicular to the grain. It's quite easy. You'll end up with some small lumber, though.

Quartering is good if you have really big, high-grade logs. Otherwise, you end up with a lot of narrow lumber with a lot of lower-grade edges (the edge that develops out of the heart). Here's a method that works pretty well if you have an edger, or aren't pressed for time. It requires a lot of edging and ripping:

Load the log on the mill with the most extreme oval aspect standing the "tall way."

Take a slab and a 1-inch board off the opening face.

Rotate the log 180 degrees and live saw all the way through the log, one board at a time.

The quartersawn pieces that develop can usually have the heart ripped out in a 1 x 4, 5, or 6. In decent logs these narrows will still make 2A or B grade, and in really good logs will make 1 Com. Knocking this part off of boards from the quartering process only results in one thing: stickers.

BTW, standing the oval up yields relatively less flat-sawn lumber than laying it down.