Growth Ring Orientation

quartersawn2On a practical level, one of the things that makes a big difference to the warp resistance of your finished table is the orientation of growth rings relative to the surface of the table top and shelf. This fact goes for any kind of project, but especially a design like this one with so much wide, solid wood. That’s why it’s worth understanding how growth ring orientation affects seasonal wood behaviour as humidity levels in the air rise and fall. The video above explains what I mean. The principles you’ll learn watching it are useful in every project involving solid wood, and they come into play as you select boards and cut them for various parts.

The wider the final project parts you’re dealing with, the more influential growth ring orientation is for project stability. And to understand how to choose wood with grain orientations that work in your favor, watch the video up above. Do things right and it will reduce seasonal wood movement and the risk of warping, cupping and twisting by 50%. Woodworkers of yesteryear used to understand this, but even many professional cabinetmakers nowadays don’t understand growth ring dynamics.

Before going on to the next phase, you should have:

  • An understanding of how growth ring orientation affects the quality of your table.
  • A sense of how to choose lumber and cut it so the wood is as stable as possible.