Plain sawn lumber is the most common type of cut. The annular rings are generally 30 degrees or less to the face of the board; this is achieved by continuously slicing and rolling the log until reaching the heart, the center of the log which is discarded and used for a post.The resulting wood displays a cathedral pattern on the face of the board.
Quarter sawn wood has an amazing straight grain pattern that lends itself to design. Quarter sawn lumber is defined as wood where the annual growth rings intersect the face of the board. at a 60 to 90 degree angle. When cutting this lumber at the sawmill, each log is sawed at a radial angle into four quarters,hence the name. Dramatic flecking is also present in red oak and white oak.
In live sawn lumber, the log is placed on the saw and not moved. Then the log is sawn from top to bottom without change in orientation during process, leaving the heart in the board. This method yields a board with a face containing all three other sawing characteristics, plain sawn, quartered and rift, this method is primarily chosen in character grade flooring