Messages Archive

Subject:
Quarter sawn comment
Response To:
Quarter sawn ()

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
While quarter sawn oak drawer sides are ubiquitous in late English Period furniture I don't see this practice widely used in American Period furniture using poplar for sides. I am less familiar with southern yellow pine use, but the limited pieces I have seen do not indicate quartered sides were considered important.

I have no doubt there was good reason for the English choice, but I have no clue what caused in this choice. Given the aggravation to create quartered lumber by the means you use I don't see it worth the effort for the wood we used in drawer sides.

The only benefit quartered lumber could have is the ability to fit the drawer height to tighter tolerance. The difference in seasonal expansion on a quartered vs flat 6" drawer made from KD poplar would be in the thousandths of an inch.

Now if drying poplar drawer sides from resawed billets the difference in shrinkage is significant. The quartered slices will likely dry flatter and there will be less loss from drying distortions. Hence, I chose to rift/quarter saw the billets that became my drawer side stock.

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