Sunday, August 23, 2015

Some sawmilling terms

Every trade has it's unique terminology which adds richness to our language. For examples weavers speak of warp and weft, meaning the longitudinal threads and lateral threads when weaving a cloth. Today I learnt three interesting saw-milling terms: cant, flitch and slab. Saw-milling is cutting a log lengthwise to make boards. Once one side of a log is cut it produces the slab which is the waste item and the log then becomes a cant. When a second cut is made parallel to the first it produces a flitch. The flitch is a board that still has bark on the side edges. Once a cant has been cut on all four sides it is still a cant as long as it is used as a source to make more boards. Otherwise it is a beam or board. For making plywood the cant is cylindrical. Plywood is made from thin layers of wood called veneer glued together. The veneer is made by a long longitudinal knife that cuts a thin slice of wood from the spinning cylindrical cant, like unwinding a role.

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