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Timber can be cut into boards a variety of ways. The three most common ways are: Plain sawn. With this cut, the mill cuts the timber into long strips. It is the least expensive cut and each piece has a unique look. Quarter sawn. In this cut, a log is cut into four equal pieces, and then each quarter is cut into boards. This method tends to be more expensive and has a wavy grain pattern. And rift sawn. These boards are cut from the center of the log, with each cut at a slightly different angle, so the boards have uniformity. This is the most expensive method of cutting lumber.