The two most common surface textures used are Rough Sawn and S4S. The Rough Sawn material SWC supplies is often referred to as “Resawn” or “Band Sawn”. This is because the timbers are cut on a large band saw and have a uniform “fuzzy” finish. Our Rough Sawn material does not have the prominent, circular mill marks associated with large circular saws of older saw mills. S4S material, or “smooth on four sides” is the planed or smooth finish most individuals are familiar with as used for dimensioned lumber. It is common for many customers to select Rough Sawn finishes for exterior installations and S4S finishes for interior work, but surface finish is purely a matter of preference.
One thing to be aware of from a dimensional standpoint is that standard Rough Sawn material is supplied to full dimension, i.e. a Rough Sawn Four-by-Six measures 4” thick by 6” wide. Standard S4S dimensioned beams have narrower dimensions because of planning operations. Net dimensions vary somewhat by size and source mill, but our material usually run 1/2” smaller than Rough Sawn material. Hence an S4S Four-by-Six normally measures 3-1/2” thick by 5-1/2” wide. This being said, we can special order material custom-milled to any dimension with any surface texture.
If a customer finds the surface irregularities, size constraints or price premium of true antique material undesirable, SWC offers several faux finishes that can be applied to new timber to achieve a Hand Hewn or Time Worn appearance associated with age. Price of this material falls between new, unaltered wood and reclaimed material. A critical step following the faux surface finishing is the stain or antiquing process applied by the customer or his painter.