Rift v. Quarter Sawn Lumber
February 10, 2011
— columbia cabinets, crystal cabinets, custom cabinets, sacramento kitchen cabinets, White Oak, wood grain
Recently, a client was interested in our White Oak cabinets. I had trouble explaining the difference between the different cuts offered, so I did a little research and here is what I found…
Both cabinet companies that we carry, Columbia & Crystal, offer White Oak in different cuts from the tree; Rift Sawn and Quarter Sawn. While these cuts are very similar, they look very different. A Rift Sawn cut creates a very straight grain, while a Quarter Sawn cut creates a more wavy pattern with exotic looking flecks. The flecking of the Quarter Sawn cut is due to the cut crossing the woods pith rays that radiate from the center of the tree where the sap runs through. In both cuts, the log is quartered and cut toward the center. In a Quarter Sawn cut, the log is quartered and cut perpendicular to its growth rings on an angle of 75 to 90 degrees. In a Rift Sawn cut, the wood is also cut perpendicular to its growth rings, but is slightly offset and uses an angle between 45 to 70 degrees. Offsetting the log, reduces flecking and also yields more boards, whereas the Quarter Sawn cut produces more waste. For this reason, Quarter Sawn is more expensive, while Rift sawn is less expensive and more readily available.