Important things to know about our products


Quartersawn oak boards are milled from the portion of the log that is in-between the center of the log (the pith), and the exterior of the log. Theoretically, a log that is 20" in diameter would produce two 10" quartersawn boards - one on each side of the center. In actuality though, the boards will be narrower than 10" each - more likely 7" or so. This is because oak pith wood is very unstable, and a quality miller will not include pith wood in their oak boards. Additionally, some allowances need to be made for sapwood and bark, which also reduces the maximum obtainable width.


There are benefits as well as restrictions on oak wood harvested from managed forests and tree plantations. The benefits included insect management, underbrush prevention and removal (prevents competition for nutrients from the soil), sapling management practices that will minimize knots or other defects, and the fact that the trees can be harvested at the ideal time to produce high quality lumber. The primary drawback to managed oak forests is that the economics usually dictate that they be harvested prior to reaching their maximum girth, which limits the width of quartersawn material that can be obtain from them.


Quartersawnoak.com's business model is based upon providing oak wood that is not commonly available. Due to the higher costs associated with producing it, quartersawn oak lumber is not widely produced. Additionally, ultra-wide quartersawn oak boards are very rare due to several factors. The primary factor is the lack of extremely large diameter logs, coupled with the specialized equipment necessary to manufacture quartersawn boards from logs greater than 30" in diameter (the limit observed by many production mills). We are one of the few mills that specializes in milling very large diameter logs.


There are some tradeoffs with respect to wood that comes from extremely large diameter logs. Although large logs can produce extraordinarily wide quartersawn boards, the primary drawback is that the logs that we work with are typically harvested because they have reached the end of their life (who wants to cut down a 4' diameter oak tree that is otherwise healthy?), and thus there is often some mineral discoloration and insect damage present in the boards produced from them. The insect damage is typically minor - an occasional worm hole or some small powderpost beetle holes near the bark side of the board. Because the trees were not "managed" through their early years, some boards may have some type of defect such as a knot, etc present in them.


Ultra-wide, FAS or cosmetically "Perfect" quartersawn oak boards are just about non-existent from a practical perspective for these reasons. We strive to produce the best quality lumber possible; however due to the unique nature of our product our customers should expect that some minor defects (such as PPB holes) will be present in the lumber.

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