Sawing 8/4 and 4/4 From the Same Log

Here's advice on how to saw a custom order for grade and dimension at the same time, without wasting wood. May 27, 2014

I received an order of 20mbf of FAS poplar 4/4 and 8/4 FAS. Do I saw them at the same time? Meaning what does not grade for 8/4 I saw it to 4/4 while on the mill, or I saw all of it 8/4 and then I re-saw it to 4/4 afterwards on the mill?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor T:
Assuming that you are getting a premium for the thicker lumber I would prefer to saw the best cuts into the thicker lumber. But I would cut both at once. You can read the log as you cut to get the best value from it. I would call it cutting for grade.

From the original questioner:
You need to be real careful that you do not saw an 8/4 No.2 Common. So, open the log with one piece of 4/4 and then if it looks good, saw one piece of 8/4. That might do it, but not go 180 degrees and repeat. Then go to the other faces. Now, consider if any of the faces might have another 8/4 upper grade. Note that one 8/4 cannot be sawn into two 4/4 because of kerf and because most often 4/4 is 1-1/8" and 8/8, 2-1/8". The best idea is to see if the buyer will take FAS on the best face and No.1 on the other face (also called one-face or select). This gives you some leeway indeed.