Quartersawing on a bandmill
Methods for quartersawing timber on bandsaw mill. June 24, 2001
What is the method used to quartersaw lumber on a personal bandsaw mill? All of the photos I see show the end of a log cut into quarters and then the quarters are cut straight toward the point of the log quarter with the following cuts being made parallel to the first cut. If I'm thinking about this correctly, that would require the quarter to be set up on one of the outside cut corners with the inner point of the quarter pointing out horizontally.
I 1/4 the way you describe on my bandmill with no problem. It does take a lot longer and isn't always easy moving the large halves and quarters around.
It is a lot easier to lay the quarter face down on the bed, and cut up from the bed. It makes clamping a lot easier.
I quartersaw that way also, but after the first cut (1/2), I strap the halves together, then rotate 90 degrees and dog it tight. Then make second cut to 1/4. Put flat side down and saw from the bottom up, rotating after each pass. It does take longer but works well.
When quartersawing, the yield of lumber compared to "normal" flat sawing will be reduced 25% or more. Remember that there is a market for q-sawn upper grades, but the price paid for lower grade material is the same as for f-sawing. So, why get a lower yield if you will be producing low-grade q-saw material? In other words, only q-saw upper grade logs of species that have a price benefit for q-sawn material.
Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor