Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Harold A. Core

Committee Members

Garland R. Wells, David M. Ostermeier


The primary objective of this study was to determine yield and quality of pallet-parts from southern red oak cants. A second objective was to evaluate crosscutting methods used in producing pallet lumber. Hopefully, by fulfilling these objectives the following questions could be answered: (1) what are common cants worth in terms of common grades of lumber; (2) whether these cants could produce parts for a pallet selling in the $5-6 price range; and (3) which of two crosscutting methods, gang or select, should be used in resawing the lumber to palletpart material. The cants were obtained from a stratified sample of 114 red oak logs that were numbered and graded, using standard U.S. Forest Service factory log grades. Each 4- by 6-inch cant was then sawn from the "heart center" of each log and later resawn into pallet lumber. The lumber was then graded, according to specifications of National Hardwood Lumber Manufacturers' lumber grades, and simulation of gang and select crosscutting methods was used to produce pallet-parts. Using suggested grading rules of the U.S. Forest Service, the resulting 40- and 48-inch pallet-parts were then regraded and grouped into two quality classes. Recovery yields of quality-class parts for gang and select cutting methods were then recorded by lumber grades and cant lengths. Based upon three pallet styles, simulated pallet construction was conducted. Analysis of the data showed that the cant-lumber grade distribution from grade one, two, and three logs was quite variable, especially in the one and two common lumber grades. Three common lumber yields were fairly consistent, amounting to greater than two-thirds of the cant lumber yield. Both pallet-part yields and quality class ratios were significantly affected by lumber grades. Higher lumber grades (one and two common) not only produced greater total yields but also a greater ratio of quality class one material. The length of the cant also had a profound effect on both the yield and distribution of quality pallet-part material. Of the three cant lengths tested (8, 10, and 12 foot), only 12-foot cants provided a positive economic return. When cant monetary yields and values were com-pared to net lumber values, 12-foot cant values were comparable to the returns from the use of 3A lumber. Based on the monetary yields and values of raw material sources, two common lumber had the greatest dollar return. Analysis showed that the select crosscutting method in all cant lengths and in the two common and 3A lumber grades could significantly improve or increase quality pallet—part yields. Greater increases from the select method were noted in cants of longer length.

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