Fast Facts: What Are Two Types of Woodworking Cuts?

Woodworking cuts are divided into two categories: saw cuts and machining cuts. Saw cuts are made using a saw, while machining cuts are made using a machine such as a router or lathe.

Saw cuts include rip cuts, crosscuts, and miters. Rip cuts are made along the length of the grain, while crosscuts are made across the grain. Miters are angled cuts that are used to create joints between pieces of wood.

Machining operations include drilling, boring, and shaping. Drilling creates holes in the wood, while boring creates enlarged holes. Shaping operations include turning (creating round shapes), sanding (smoothing surfaces), and carving (creating decorative designs).

Plain Sawn. It is the most common cut used for flooring and most hardwood lumber products, also referred to as flatsawn

Plain sawn, or flat sawn, is the most common cut used for lumber and flooring. The log is first cut into quarters, then each quarter is sliced into boards. The resulting boards have a wide range of grain patterns due to the way the log was cut. Plain sawn boards are less stable than other cuts and are more likely to cup or twist as they age.

Rift Sawn. It’s a type of quarter sawn in which the board comes from a wedge shaped piece of the log.: Rift sawn lumber is cut from wedge shaped pieces of the log. The grain runs diagonally across the face of the board, giving it a distinctive look. Rift sawn lumber is more stable than plain sawn lumber and tends to show less cupping or twisting over time.

Quarter Sawn

Quarter sawn lumber is lumber that has been cut into quarters. This type of wood is more stable than other types of wood and is less likely to warp or shrink. Quarter sawn lumber is also more expensive than other types of lumber because it takes more time to cut and process.

Rift Sawn

Rift Sawn lumber is prized for its stability and unique look, and is often used in high-end cabinetry and furniture. It can be difficult to work with, however, due to its irregular grain pattern.

Live Sawn

Live sawn flooring is sawn from logs in their natural state resulting in each plank having a mix of both heartwood and sapwood. The boards are then kiln dried and planed to achieve a smooth surface. Because the boards are cut from the log as it lies on the sawmill bed, the length of each board will vary slightly. The overall effect is a more rustic looking floor with increased character.

NWFA Technical Illustration

There are two types of woodworking cuts: NWFA Technical Illustration. The first type is the standard cut. The second type is the miter cut.

The standard cut is a rectangular cut that goes across the grain of the wood. This type of cut is used for most general woodworking projects.

The miter cut is an angled cut that goes against the grain of the wood. This type of cut is used for projects that require precise angles, such as crown molding or framing.