A “boule” is the name of an entire log that has been cut into boards of different thickness. Even in Europe, standard thicknesses are often expressed in inches (1 inch = 2,54 cm) and include the following:
4/4 (= 4 x 1/4 inch = 1 inch = 2,54 cm)
6/4 (6 x 1/4 inch = 3,81 cm)
8/4 (8 x 1/4 inch = 5,08 cm)
Since the wood retracts during the drying process, sawmills add around 10% to these measures when they saw the fresh logs.
A boule can be used in many different applications. Custom made staircases are often made from beech boule to make sure that the colors of the steps are harmonious. Bespoke furniture is made from beech or oak boules.
Boules can be kiln- or airdried. The latter is generally considered to produce better results.
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