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Grading and Resawing Lutherie Wood

Resawing Lutherie Wood

by Bruce Creps

previously published in American Lutherie #91, 2007

See also,
“Sharpening the Stellite Teeth on the 3" Hitachi Blade” by Bruce Creps
“Grading and Curing Lumber” by Bruce Creps

Harvesting, milling, and processing tonewood can be a wasteful business. Much of the wood used by luthiers comes from large, older trees, elders worthy of respect. As someone fortunate enough to work with these rare, high-grade woods, one of my top goals is to minimize waste by processing this valuable resource efficiently.

This article concerns the Hitachi CB75F resaw, though much of what follows is general enough to be applicable to other resaws. Luthiers who buy resawn sets might glean information about how their wood is processed and what to request or avoid when ordering.

A note on nomenclature: A resaw is an upright or horizontal bandsaw set up to make uniform rip cuts. The front of the saw is where you start feeding a cut. The face of a board is its wide, longitudinal surface; the edge is its narrow longitudinal surface; the end is its crosscut surface. The resaw blade is made up of its band and its teeth (terms not necessarily interchangeable). I refer to vertical-grain wood in place of quartersawn wood to avoid confusion, since a sawyer can get vertical-grain cuts without quartering a log.

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