Hello there kind people, WoodReviewer here, and it is time to elaborate on wood grain. Now, I already explained what I look for in terms of wood grain, but never why. So now I am
Cuts of Wood
Just a disclaimer, I am not a carpenter. I am not a lumberjack. I don’t know the specifics behind how wood is cut and milled, but I just read a Wikipedia article on it so I know enough. Now, lets start with the basics. For trees, the wood grain goes vertical. It looks like this.
That particular logs is 10 studs in diameter with a height of 30 studs. From that, one can cut many pieces of wood, such as 30x6x6, 30x10x.2, 30x9x4, 30x7x7, and numerous other cuts.
Now lets look at 30x4x4 piece of wood that has bad wood grain. Instead of being cut from a tree that is atleast 30 studs high and 6 studs in diameter, it needs to be cut from a tree that is 4 studs high but 30 studs in diameter.
Now, if you have an infinite supply of giant tress, you could supply the wood wood with improper wood grain. But would you want to?
One thing you need to realize about trees is that they aren’t a solid structure. Rather, they are a bunch of ultra strong small pipes connecting the leaves to the ground held together by a weak binding agent. Sort of like this.
Bad wood grain looks more like this.
The pipes are good at taking load from any side, but the weakest links is the bond between pipes. In the proper wood grain this isn’t an issue because the pipes have a large surface area to connect to. So while it is easier to pull them apart, the increased length makes it hard. Look at this.
For the bad wood grain, I am stressing the bonds between the pipes. Instead of the pipes support me, the bond between the pipes is entirely responsible for holding me up. On the good wood grain, the pipes are holding me up with the bonds just making sure the pipes stay together.
What Does This Mean?
In basic terms, bad wood grain is possible to make in real life, but the trees to make it are rare and it is costly. In addition, the bad wood grain is weak. Instead of capitalizing on wood’s strength, it relies on the weakest link in wood.
Now, any real proof for this? Yes. Just look up a karate video on how to break a wood plank. All of them will say you want to break it along the grain because it is weaker. The reason they use square boards is because it is the most efficient way to go against the wood grain without the board looking weird. If they didn’t break it along the grain it would be a lot weaker.