We saw the boards at 32 millimetres thick. After sawing they are
put into stick to allow air to pass over them. After six to twelve
months slowly air drying outdoors they will go to kiln to be dried
to the required moisture content. This may be between just below
8% for fitting over under floor heating, or as much as 12% for less
well heated environments. When dry the boards will have shrunk to
around 30 millimetres thick. Another 16% of stock lost.
Once dry these boards will be 'straight line edged' - in other
words the edges will be straightened and made parallel. If you look
at this board even though it is from a relatively straight log we
will still lose approximately 20% of the board. More stock lost!
You can see from this process why oak is so expensive. We pay a
lot for the logs. We pay a lot for transport. We put in an enormous
amount of labour. We use huge and costly machines in vast premises.
Very unwillingly, we lose up to 65% of the log-wood in cutting away the sapwood, in sawdust and in straight line edging the boards. All that before we get the timber to site to fit it - where we lose some more! This is yet another good reason to make floors that will last rather than waste yet more precious natural resource making cheap short life 'fashionable' floors such as engineered board floors.