What Is Quarter-Sawn Oak?

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What is quarter sawn oak?

Quarter sawn oak is the product of a specific sawing method used with the aim of making the most of oak’s natural properties. In quarter-sawn lumber, the trunk of the tree is divided into four quarters, with the saw blade running parallel toward the center of the tree. This method results in boards in which the annual rings are almost perpendicular to the surface.

How is quartered oak identified?

The main characteristic of quarter-sawn oak is the even pattern of annual rings, which run straight up through the board, about 45 degrees to the surface of the board. In addition, wood rays become largely visible which are also called “mirrors.

What are the advantages of quarter-sawn boards?

Quarter-sawn oak has a number of advantages, both in terms of material properties and aesthetics.

First, the positioning of the annual rings makes the wood much less susceptible to warping or cracking. This makes the wood particularly suitable for applications in high-end furniture production or shipbuilding. Organ builders are also big fans of this particular oak.

Second, the distinctive “mirrors” that can be seen on the wood have an almost magical significance to some and see this as the finest, best and most exclusive piece of oak.

A lesson in the history of quartered oak….

In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, when furniture making became a flourishing and artisanal art, furniture makers discovered that quarter-sawn oak could have superior properties. The even pattern of the annual rings and the stability of the wood meant that high-end furniture makers often chose quartered oak. Many pieces of antique furniture such as a dresser or wardrobe incorporate this type of oak, and are also easy to recognize by the mirrors.

With the rise of large-scale factories in contemporary furniture production, where cost-efficient raw materials and production methods are often chosen, quarter-sawn oak is rarely found in furniture pieces today. In addition, the scarcity of good, wide oak logs in the 21st century contributes to the preference of sawmills for the so-called “box-cut method,” since this technique has a higher yield.

Looking for quarter sawn oak planks?

We currently have several stocks of quarter-sawn oak planks available, with widths up to 30 cm and lengths up to 400 cm. We offer several grades, including fault-free oak. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

What lots of quarter oak are available from Frank Pouwer?

Oak stair treads flush & quartered
Thickness: about 4 cm
Width: approximately 22 to 30 cm
Length: approximately 90 to 140 cm

Oak planks clear & quartered XL
Thickness: about 4 and 5 cm
Width: approximately 15 to 25 cm
Length: approximately 300 to 400 cm

Oak planks wind dry & quartered (extra wide)
Thickness: approx. 2 cm
Width: approximately 20 to 28 cm
Length: approximately 200 to 220 cm

Oak planks quartered wind dry & wide
Thickness: approx. 5.2 cm
Width: approx. 25 cm
Length: approximately 200 to 250 cm

Oak planks quarter-timbered (1 side edged)
Thickness: about 2 to 3 cm
Width: approximately 20 to 30 cm
Length: approximately 300 to 400 cm

For more information on current inventory, feel free to contact us or request a quote.