What are the Differences Between Circle-Sawn, Band-Sawn and Planed (S4S) Textures?

Apr 10, 2013

The three most common textures associated with reclaimed resawn timber and lumber products are circle-sawn, band-sawn and planed (S4S.)

The circle-sawn texture (produced by circular sawmills) is the roughest and most rustic of the three textures.  Circle-sawn timbers and lumber generally have greater dimensional tolerances than band-sawn or planed materials.  A typical circle-sawn tolerance is +/- 1/4" (a timber targeted at 8" x 8", then, could have dimensions ranging from 7.75 - 8.25" x 7.75 - 8.25".)

The band-sawn texture (produced by bandsaw mills,) is also a rough-sawn texture, just less rough (and with less dimensional variation.)  A typical band-sawn tolerance is +/- 1/8".  A band-sawn timber targeted at 7.25" x 7.25" could have dimensions ranging from 7 1/8 - 7 3/8" x 7 1/8 - 7 3/8".

The planed (S4S) texture (produced by a planer) is the smoothest of the three textures.  A typical S4S tolerance is +/- 1/16".  A planed timber targeted at 7.25"  x 7.25" could have dimensions ranging from 7 3/16 - 7 5/16" x 7 3/16 - 7 5/16".

Textures are most commonly discussed in reference to freshly resawn products, but they can also be applied to barnwood and other weathered/as-is reclaimed wood products.  In these cases, the texture generally has reference to the texture on the timber or lumber prior to its initial use (i.e., before it weathered.)  Often when discussing the texture of a weathered timber or board, circle-sawn and band-sawn textures are lumped together as "rough-sawn," while timbers/boards that were planed prior to initial use are referred to as "smooth" (hence, Trestlewood's "rough" and "smooth" barnwood product lines.)  Note that the distinction between textures can become somewhat blurred over time in that the weathering/aging process can result in rough-sawn textures becoming a bit more smooth and smooth planed textures becoming a bit more rough.      


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