Difference Between Grain and Figure?
Posted: July 19, 2021
Grain is the orientation of the fibers that make up a piece of wood as it is cut from a log.
- Flatsawn (annular rings run roughly parallel to board faces).
- Quartersawn (annular rings run perpendicular to board faces).
- Riftsawn (annular rings run 30 to 60 degrees to board faces).
Figure is the pattern that the wood's grain displays when cut from different sections of a log.
- Vertical and/or Straight: Relatively straight grain lines created by a quartersawn or riftsawn cut from a log.
- Cathedral: Arched grain lines achieved when a log is flatsawn.
- Flake: Flake-like appearance that occurs in a quartersawn piece of wood when the species has large medullary rays. Seen dramatically in white oak and red oak and to a lesser degree in riftcut lumber.
- Curly: Pattern created when a tree has twisted grain fibers.
- Fiddleback: A pattern of twisted grain fibers that are exposed across the surface of a board. Most often found in maple.
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