Rift and Quartered Sawn Oak
The rift and quartered board will only shrink in thickness and will remain stable
in flooring, millwork, furniture or cabinetry applications. It is the best option for the radiant heated floors and critical
applications. In general it is a superior choice to minimize seasonal gaps, buckling etc. It has stability rivaling engineered
floors and longevity of the solid wood floor - that what makes rift/quartered sawn flooring the best choice for discriminating
Plain vs Quartered Sawn wood stability
Quartersawn (Quartered and Rift) White Oak is prized for flooring,
millwork, furniture and cabinetry for its stability and beauty.
Quartered White Oak exhibits pronounced Medullary Ray
or Ray Fleck, which becomes even more pronounced when the wood is finished.
Rift White Oak exhibits less Medullary Ray
or Ray Fleck, while maintaining the same straight grain appearance as Quartered.
Quartersawn boards all share a common
characteristic - the grain pattern on the face is straight grained. In the Oaks, when the growth rings are 60-90° to the
face of the board, the Medullary Rays are exposed to maximum visual effect. These rays are present in all trees, but most
prominent in the Oaks. These rays are called "figure", "flake", "ray fleck", "tiger stripe"
Typical and most economical choice is to purchase mixed - Rift and Quartered sawn boards,
typically referred as R/Q.
Rift Quartered or R/Q sawn white oak floor
You can also choose Rift Only or Quartered
Only boards if looking for specific appearance of the grain. We will hand select boards with majority certain grain appearance.
Please note that it is impossible to sort out 100% Rift or Quartered Only board. Some Rift boards for example may still have
"flakes" on one end of the board with the rest of the board being majority Rift cut.
sawn with Rift and Quarter sawn hardwood lumber
Plain sawn hardwood lumber Quartersawn hardwood
lumber Rift sawn hardwood lumber
Plain (Flat) sawn wood Quarter sawn wood
Rift sawn wood
In Quartersawn White and Red Oak, a visual distinction is made between "quartered"
Red and White Oak have, as part of their biology, large bands of radial cells called "Medullary
Rays" which emanate outward from the center of the log, similar to the spokes of a wheel. These
radial cells transmit
water and nutrients outward as the tree grows. While all trees have Medullary
Rays, it is only in the Oaks that these
rays are pronounced. The Quartersawing process reveals
to greater and lesser degrees, the beautiful appearance of these
rays. This appearance quality
is known as "ray fleck", "figure" or "ray".
The quartered boards are those boards exhibiting the most figure. These boards generally have
growth rings at a 60-90
degree angle to the face of the board.
The rift boards exhibit less figure and are most often
those boards with the growth rings at a
30-60 degree angle to the face of the board.
of "Quartered" and "Rift"
All quarter and rift sawn boards share one characteristic: the growth rings
on the face of the board as straight grain. The principal benefit of quartersawing
(sawing of quarter and rift cut lumber) is that all of the grain will be straight, showing none of the "cathedral grain"
characteristics of plain sawing. This straight grain also allows for edge gluing for width
while maintaining a consistent
appearance across the face of the board.
Quartersawing is a slower process that involves cutting from the inside
outwards, turning the quarter log "cant" end for end and cutting alternate faces. This method is more labor and
technologically intensive, yielding slightly narrower boards, but with greater strength, stability and character than plainsawn.
The leading North American mill - Frank Miller Lumber Company, Inc. offers good explanation of the process in this