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#576211 07/23/20 09:55 AM
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KY Jon Offline OP
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Another thread asked the question about why quarter sawn was best for some stock applications. It has to do with stress directions and interlocking fibers in wood. In extremely large trees you can get blanks which are true quarter sawn on both faces and top and bottom. This is perfect for heavy recoil, heavy stresses. Up down, left right makes no difference.

With flat dawn or other blanks you will get better interlocking fibers in one direction than the other. Worst for chipping will be true 45 degree grain structure to the face. You get extra short interlocking fibers along two edges or corners. These are more prone to chipping. If you ever had to split fire wood you learned all about interlocking fibers. It is a pity sweet or red gum trees don’t have beautiful grain because they have so much interlocking fibers every type of blank would be great against stresses. A nightmare to inlet perhaps but strong.

Perhaps in stock heaven all blanks are true quarter sawn in the head and wrist area and quickly turn into what ever type grain flow that gives best looking back half of the stock. You get strength and stability of quarter sawn and beauty in the most visible part of the stock. I had a dealer, who was showing a full length crotch walnut stock which was two sided and ran directly up the wrist of the blank. Looked beautiful but I passed because crotch grain would have given poor strength in the wrist area. Might work for a through bolt as they say but no my interest. Just think about how long that would last on a LC Smith before the first crack.

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Quarter-sawn would include any board or blank from a true quarter-sawn log. So the angle of the growth rings to the face can run from approximately 30 to 90 degrees. It does not get much simpler than this:



Pretty easy to see which boards or blanks are most likely to show very different grain on both major surfaces.

I believe you are correct about the greater risk of splitting in some areas where the end grain is 45 degrees to the face. But that would probably not be near the top of reasons for me to reject such wood.

The other thread ended up getting locked. There was obviously going to never be agreement about what constitutes rift-sawn walnut or quarter-sawn walnut. Part of the problem is that there are various definitions and depictions of the two processes and finished products. Many are self-contradictory, and should immediately be rejected by thinking logically.... for those capable of rational thought. Some fools even say that rift-sawing produces no rift-sawn lumber, and only quarter sawing produces some rift-sawn lumber. I wonder which cut of lumber you get if you grow magic beans???

I was hoping that Queen Stevie would finally explain his absurd and incorrect statements concerning the strength and suitability of rift-sawn walnut for gun stocks.... along with his inability to discern the difference between feather-crotch black walnut and thin shell walnut. Queen Stevie should be along shortly to further demonstrate his lack of knowledge on the subject.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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Originally Posted By: KY Jon
Another thread asked the question about why quarter sawn was best for some stock applications. It has to do with stress directions and interlocking fibers in wood. In extremely large trees you can get blanks which are true quarter sawn on both faces and top and bottom. This is perfect for heavy recoil, heavy stresses. Up down, left right makes no difference.

With flat dawn or other blanks you will get better interlocking fibers in one direction than the other. Worst for chipping will be true 45 degree grain structure to the face. You get extra short interlocking fibers along two edges or corners. These are more prone to chipping. If you ever had to split fire wood you learned all about interlocking fibers. It is a pity sweet or red gum trees don’t have beautiful grain because they have so much interlocking fibers every type of blank would be great against stresses. A nightmare to inlet perhaps but strong.

Perhaps in stock heaven all blanks are true quarter sawn in the head and wrist area and quickly turn into what ever type grain flow that gives best looking back half of the stock. You get strength and stability of quarter sawn and beauty in the most visible part of the stock. I had a dealer, who was showing a full length crotch walnut stock which was two sided and ran directly up the wrist of the blank. Looked beautiful but I passed because crotch grain would have given poor strength in the wrist area. Might work for a through bolt as they say but no my interest. Just think about how long that would last on a LC Smith before the first crack.


Nice write up on we choose 1/4 sawn for strength Jon. Good to hear from a man who knows wood. Thanks for the discussion.
Steve


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keith #576240 07/23/20 12:31 PM
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Coming at this from the viewpoint of a woodworker, this debate has turned into apples and oranges. Keith's examples above are correct, but from the perspective a sawmill. When you go to the lumberyard, it all changes somewhat.

Wood is sorted/graded according to figure, and whether it is considered flat, rift or quarter sawn is based on the orientation of growth rings in the board.

In the above example, all the boards from the riftsawn log will be sold as quartersawn wood, the growth rings are uniformly perpendicular to the board.
The boards from the quartersawn log will be mixed quarter and rift, the riftsawn boards being those with growth rings closer to 45 degrees.
The boards cut from the plainsawn log will be sold as flat, rift and quartersawn. The boards from the center will be marked quarter, the boards from the outside edges will be marked flat sawn, and the boards from in between will be marked riftsawn. The grain examples under the plainsawn log aren't exactly correct because they only show examples of flatsawn boards, that should also include the examples shown under the quartersawn log.

Like I said, that is how the lumberyard sells wood, how the log is sawn means nothing to them, they are only concerned with the grain of the wood. Some wood is sorted by figure/growth ring orientation and some is just all thrown into a pile.

If you look this up on the internet, you're likely to just get confused. If you go to a good lumberyard, and find an employee who knows his business and ask him the difference between the different boards in the white oak stack, he'll tell you the difference is based on the growth ring orientation in the board and how it affects the look of the board, and unless they saw their own logs, he won't know what method was used to saw it.

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A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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And this drawing from a stockmaker, blank buyer/seller perspective:



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KY Jon Offline OP
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There is a way to saw the entire log on a quarter sawn manner. You get a lot of waste. Saw mills are about yield and speed sawing. Quarter sawn sells well in white oak and some in red oak or sycamore. Most saw mills are not sawing for gun blanks. Those that are will do whatever the buyer wants but will charge more. Only fair. Out Of The Wood had a video about quarter sawing wood on YouTube if you want to take a look.

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Originally Posted By: KY Jon
....With flat dawn or other blanks you will get better interlocking fibers in one direction than the other. Worst for chipping will be true 45 degree grain structure to the face. You get extra short interlocking fibers along two edges or corners. These are more prone to chipping....

By interlocking fibers, do you mean between the early and late growth that form one growth ring?

I believe it is very unlikely not to saw across growth rings. A blank that has quarter sawn grain flow will have growth rings that continue into the blank. But, I believe importantly a rift grain orientation will also continue into the blank.

I think the problem happens when grain runs off the face of a blank or a finished stock. Chip out seems much easier on the very acute angles of the growth rings that usually look like like a plywood puddle on the face of flat sawn grain orientation. Of course, high figure could be the most prone to chip out, not because of the appearance but because of the random grain direction changes.

Luckily, I believe walnut can be very stable. I believe the bulk of stock shaping and majority of rough finishing is along the length of a stock. If tooling picks up a catch on 45* grain orientation, it might be easy enough to just change the working direction, but that blank may not have been sawn for gun stock use in mind and might be one that breaks easier than expected. It is completely acceptable, but along those lines, I prefer not to see those little grain triangles at the edge of action inletting or at the toe of a butt.

Jon, you've probably fiddled with more walnut than I have, it's just some thoughts.

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Originally Posted By: KY Jon
Out Of The Wood had a video about quarter sawing wood on YouTube if you want to take a look.


One of my favorite YouTube channels. A good East Tennessee boy. Combines great knowledge, outstanding taste in music, and an accent that is icing on the cake.


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KY Jon Offline OP
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Understood. Worst tool to use when shaping a stock is a semi sharp tool or dull tool. They cause the worst problems. I try to keep my tools scary sharp and only work when I am not tired or distracted. Done both and learned to regret it. A sharp tool allows for extremely thin cuts to be perfectly smooth. A dull tool will follow soft grain and dig it. When friends want to know How to start carving or making a stock I tell them first learn how to sharpen tools scary sharp. Until
They master that they will never get much done.

I once made a stock out of salt treated wood as a joke for a friend. He ran a company which made Salt treated wood products. That was soft then hard all the way. Made it for his Mossberg 500. He used it for several years in duck hunting. Kept it is the middle seat of his John boat. No telling how many ducks that stock help kill. He is now duck hunting at another level, where weather is never too hot and black ducks all come into decoys first pass.

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