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Glossary: Wane

In lumber, rough sawn or planed, wane or "waney edge" is where bark -- or other disfigurement -- from the original tree remains. Wane is where, on a board, the Natural Edge of the tree tapers, leaving a bark-covered area on a board's surface, usually its edge (see image). In most cases, a wane in lumber creates an issue that woodworkers seek to correct, by -- and there are several strategies -- cutting the disfigurement out. In other cases, where, say, a woodworker is seeking a decorative Natural Edge look, the wane is incorporated into the project.

Wane

Below is a section adapted from the Oxford English Dictionary showing, historically, examples of the use of wane as a term as it is encountered in the process of turning timber into lumber:

The amount by which a plank (esp. one sawn from an unsquared trunk), or a roughly squared log, falls short of a correctly squared shape. Hence the bevelled edge left on a plank (by reason of one face being narrower than the other), or the imperfect angles of a rough-hewn log.

1662 George Atwell, The Faithfull Surveyour: Discovering Divers Errours in Land-measuring; and Shewing how to Measure All Manner of Ground, and to Plot It, to Shut It, and to Prove the Shutting, by the Chain Onely ... Teaching Likewise the Making and Use of a New and General Instrument, Called a Pandoron ... To this is Added a Discovery of Divers Secrets Touching Conveying and Cleansing of Water, Flowing and Drayning of Grounds, Quenching Houses on Fire, &c. With an Appendix Unfolding Errours in Board and Timber-measure, with Directions for Making a Carpenters-ruler London: Printed for William Nealand, 1662, page 132

The whole of the materials to be provided and sawed out square free from wane, of the several scantlings and thicknesses herein specified; to be carted to the spot by the contractor, and to consist of the best yellow Dantzic or Memel fir, or English oak, free from sap, shakes, or large and loose knots.

1833: John Claudius Loudon, An Encyclopedia of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture and Furniture ... London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1863, sect no. 852

The whole of the materials to be provided and sawed out square free from wane, of the several scantlings and thicknesses herein specified.

1875: Thomas Laslett, Timber And Timber Trees Native And Foreign New York: Macmillan, 1894. vol. xii, page 75.

All the thick-stuff and plank to be cut straight, or nearly so, and of parallel thickness, and to be measured for breadth at the middle, or half the length, taking in half the wanes.

1875 Thomas Laslett, Timber And Timber Trees Native And Foreign New York: Macmillan, 1894. vol. xxxiii. 272