The right orientation of annual rings

Objects made in wood stand and fall with the right grain orientation. Is there anything more appealing, than symmetric grain structure in a piece of furniture. But how do you get a result which suits our sense of beauty? We would like to offer some practical tips to everyone who got puzzled over timber selection before.

Who hasn't come across the following:

You are looking at a plank of timber and wonder where to start so that after ripsawing the desired look results.

At first, ask yourself: what do I want to achieve?

Our first example shows a stool in two variations, one with tapered legs and one with curved legs.

Stool with tapered legs Stool with tapered legs
Stool with curved legs Stool with curved legs


Both stool are also provided within our DICTUM-Workshop program.
Have a look at our Woodworking courses.

Example: Tapered Legs

Starting with tapered legs, we are looking at the end grain of our plank.

On principle there are two varieties:

1. Plain-sawn board 1. Plain-sawn board
2. Quarter-sawn board 2. Quarter-sawn board


Here we show you the two effects that are created with different direction of growth rings.

Wrong: With the use of standing growth rings (quarter-sawn) two sides of the leg will be wavy and two sides will be plain. Right: However, if the growth rings are diagonal the leg will be plain on all 4 sides. This effect is the same as straight legs, but is more apparent on tapered ones.
Example: Curved legs

With the growth rings diagonal all we have to decide is the direction of the curve.

Wrong: Here on the right, with diagonal growth rings, the picture of the grain runs against the curve. Right: With the growth rings running from the middle outwards, the grain picture follows the curve. For a harmonious curve, we chase this varition.