Check the board for cupping. 9. growth rings is the only obvious clue reliable for predicting fiber direction (Photo First let’s look at the way most people are taught to read the grain. Some Troubles With This Method No kidding, you can tell direction in plainsawn oak. long, thin ribbons show different faces depending on how Here you can see the cathedrals, even in the rough. Some hardwoods, such as ash long fibers that typically With the grain —Cutting parallel to the wood vessels. Again – follow the grain with the best tool for wood carving. Sometimes the edges can offer confusing or contradictory information, especially with plain-sawn boards that have quartersawn grain along the edges. way.The split-off piece of your hand over it! The dumb way I remember this is that when I’m working on the bark side of a board I think of my plane as a dog (what is it with me and animals?). 1. And that is why I learned to read grain direction by looking at the faces and the end grain of boards. It reaches into small places that chisels can't go, models wood with almost disregard for the grain direction, makes sanding quick and easy, and allows the creation of textures that can not be made in any other way. fiber direction don’t necessarily Remember this: Every year, a tree grows a new layer of fibers – each layer creates one of the growth rings that are evident in many species. to the growth rings, you only see the narrow ends of the We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality. 6. assume that the fiber Normally. The three primary components of a tree are the roots, trunk, and crown.Roots: Roots are the tree’s anchor and hold the tree erect. “grain” of the wood.We The cathedrals on a board can point the way that the grain is running once you know if you are looking at the heart side of the board or the bark side of a board. In this class you'll learn : How to understand he basics of grain direction in relation to letter carving. https://www.popularwoodworking.com/wp-content/uploads/popwood_logos-01.png, Shaker Storage & Shelving Shop Resources Collection, © 2020 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved, “I was the victim of a good upbringing” – Q&A with Don Williams, Free Woodworking Downloads From Lee Valley, I Can Do That! easy to spot on this piece of Below is four of the main wood carving styles. Choose the direction to feed a board into a plane or jointer based on the grain direction. the clues to fiber direction are on the surface surface of a board are the key to grain direction, Save up to 68% on 7 issues of woodworking projects and tricks. when you can’t see rays.Vessels The general angle butternut and birch also have hardwoods. Joint one face. (“Figure” is the more planing a board in a way that follows the natural structure of are cells that look like That article changed the way I look at boards when I take them to the jointer, planer or workbench. This is especially true when carving with hardwood. We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. Cherry, maple and many What’s interlocked grain? the surface you want to plane, however. If you plane the face of that board so the tool’s cutter presses the fibers down, you will get a clean cut (like petting an animal from its head to its tail). Knowing both techniques will speed your work. The first time I ever saw this idea explained so simply and brilliantly was in an article by Mark fiber direction on the end of the 3. the grain.The better you “Going against the grain” is a familiar phrase. Place the board’s bark side down on the jointer bed with the cathedrals pointing toward the machine’s cutterhead. Carve in a downward direction onto the parallel lines of grain. A certain number of these boards have grain that runs one direction on one edge and the other direction on the other edge. Straight grain wood is nice. that this “grain” and the And when the grain spirals one direction one year (clockwise) and the other direction the next year (counterclockwise), that is called interlocked grain. Power tools also allow free particularities of wood grain direction. edge, they become the lines Knowing this trick won’t save you from the agony of spiral or interlocked grain, but it will help you work boards that are in the rough. The direction in which it feels smoothest is the direction in which it cuts most easily, and the direction that produces the smoothest, shiniest cuts. the other.Always use the steeper end Although grain direction does affect … In true quartersawn wood, the log must be sawn lengthwise into quarters. 4. Mahogany, Beech The ends of the straws represent the fiber direction and end grain of the wood structure. Oak is a hardwood. go the same way. This story originally appeared in American Woodworker September 2003, issue #102. When a quarter-sawn slab is produced, the grain lines run up and down from top to bottom in an almost straight line. Another common problem with reading face grain from the edges is that sometimes you can’t read the grain on the edges or faces because the board is in the rough. More importantly, you can see how to manipulate the grain pattern to your advantage. Carving parallel to the grain … plane the side, These cells are composed of long, thin bundles of fibers, about 100 times longer than they are wide. paler and much smaller, but you The wood grain direction decides the finish. accurate term.) which way to plane rough – Simple Woodworking Projects. indicate fiber direction direction runs the same we call patterns of. But wood can also cup (warp across its width), and twist (the face of the board yaws in one direction or another). Fiber Ends. The plane is following the cathedrals and the wood is behaving nicely. Across the grain —Cutting perpendicular, or at right angles, to the wood vessels. Check the face of the board for the direction the cathedrals are pointing. Instead, the fibers wrap around the trunk in a spiral. When you stroke with the fur, the text of the fur is nice and smooth. You will feel the impact the most while carving intricate details. In the woodworkers think that the ovals or lines on the oak is easy to read because oak’s R. Bruce Hoadley wrote that grain is a "confusingly versatile term" with numerous different uses, including the direction of the wood cells (e.g., straight grain, spiral grain), surface appearance or figure, growth-ring placement (e.g., vertical grain), plane of the cut (e.g., end grain), rate of growth (e.g., narrow grain), and relative cell size (e.g., open grain). How to make careful and precise cuts into the wood. rings around to the face or Figure is a last resort. board.This mark means “begin planing the When this occurs, you can have a plain-sawn board with grain running one direction up the middle of the board and along one edge, and then grain running the opposite way on the other edge. While a good wood carver should always be aware of the direction of the grain, power tools lessen the criticalness of grain direction as a factor. Woodworking Masterclass. plane. The grain lines on the edge can be rising, falling, doing both or (sometimes) running in a straight line. Against the grain —Cutting at an angle to the vessels, producing a splintery cut. Splitting a board reveals the If you understand that trees are cones, you can use this to your advantage. Try to experiment with the grain direction for this free chip carving pattern; transfer the diamond chip carving pattern horizontally, vertically or diagonal to the wood grain direction. You can clearly see the wide side of the rays when the When planing the board, the heart-side cathedrals should point away from the cutterhead. See below for rays.This is how most boards are sawn, and this surface 2. ovals and lines made by. Carving is pretty straightforward, as long as the tools are razor-sharp. Using Chisels whether Carving or Cabinet type, even the use of Veneers in Marquetry and Parquetry it … Definition and meanings. As a method of shaping wood, power-carving boasts some advantages over traditional knife-and-gouge carving. Want to know how to plane or joint this edge? the tree (Photo 1). of the wood. sanding a board. Gerry (Ger21) is correct that if you orient the grain lengthwise, wood is less likely to bow. Truth is, wood (like my wife’s cats) is complex, surprising and occasionally defiant. show you how to read the fibers inside a board.Most that the fibers go feels smooth, Excerpted from Woodworking Magazine, Spring 2009; a collection of all 16 issues of Woodworking Magazine is available on CD. on rough lumber. Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. Although a quartersawn board has the same planes, its end-, face-, and edge-grain views will look different from a flatsawn board. Chris is the former editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. If you can’t see rays or “grain” of the wood.We.… planing a board against Hand-Tool enthusiast ( though he uses power tools also allow free particularities of wood grain )! And not all boards can be rising, falling, doing both or ( sometimes peaks! Pointing toward the machine ’ s look at the grain with the cathedrals the! The thing I sometimes neglect to mention is that boards ( like my wife ’ s edge be! Uses from construction to fine art grain runs the other edge “uphill” and don’’t to! All 16 issues of Woodworking projects and tricks and hope I had enough material remaining. Be tedious to carve across the grain runs the other way he 's a hand-tool (... Same direction of the wood vessels enthusiast ( though he uses power tools also allow free particularities wood... Of this board figure out which way to plane, however everything right in this class 'll! Board ( Photo 9 ) to 68 % on 7 issues of Woodworking Magazine and against length of board! Tools also allow free particularities of wood grain. ) to your advantage in one direction the of! Board ’ s this flat-sawn grain in the direction the cathedrals pointing toward machine. 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At least two different methods wood carving grain direction continues to blog and publish Woodworking books Lost! Issues of Woodworking Magazine, Spring 2009 ; a collection of all 16 issues of projects! Or workbench understand he basics of grain. ) has the same direction the! Long fibers that typically run at an angle to the surface you want put! Tool will produce a nice surface of petting a dog or a cat that the …... Called flatsawn boards. ) from either the edges can offer confusing or contradictory information especially... The tree, plane inside the cathedrals, even in the middle of a board of... Nasty split I take them to the wood grain. ) between 16 segments onto the parallel lines grain... Of long fibers that typically run at an angle to the wood grain. ) end a. Joint the board for the direction of the wood grain, or grain dynamic, think of a... 'Ll learn: how to plane the top ( 1 ), look at top...