Pallet cant soundness at Appalachian sawmills and marketing recommendations
Pallet cants were inspected at selected sawmills in Virginia and West Virginia. We were looking for unsound defects such as splits, wane, shake, holes, rot, decay, unsound knots, bark pockets, and mechanical defects. Red oak (Quercus rubra, L.), white oak (Quercus alba, L), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera, L.) and bass-wood (Tilia americana, L.) cants were inspected. White oak and poplar had higher percentages of unsound defect volume compared to red oak and basswood. Regardless of the mills and species, splits accounted for the highest percentage of defect volume per cant. Ninety percent of the cants had defect volumes less than 10 percent, and two percent of the cants had unsound defect volumes higher than 30 percent. This study suggests that cants can be pre-sorted for sale to pallet producers and that some should be culled at sawmills. The resulting cant product will help pallet producers reduce processing costs and produce high quality, longer-lasting pallets.