Wood machining is compulsory both for timber separation and the surfacing of wooden objects. The anisotropy, cellular nature and multi-scale level organisation of wood make its cutting complicated to study. During the last 50 years, most of the wood machining subjects were covered by French teams.
Woodcutting is a very old technology but scientific research is scarce on the subject. In the last 50 years, much work on basic mechanisms as well as on industrial processes has been done in France. The specific nature of wood introduces strong differences between wood and metal cutting processes. The paper focuses on French teams’ contributions. The basic aspects of the tool–material interaction for different basic modes in woodcutting are highlighted. In primary conversion such as sawing, veneer cutting or green wood chipping, huge progress comes from automation and the possibility of linking the process to log and product quality through new sensors. In secondary processing, much has been done on the links between the cutting process, surface qualification and the properties of these surfaces for further processing, such as gluing or coating. Tool wear depends on the cutting process, timber quality and species. Trade-offs are required in tool technology and coating technologies may improve tool life. A large amount of knowledge and innovation has come from 50 years of worldwide research effort, with France being particularly active in this period. The transfer of skills from metals cutting industry was often a key, but much is needed to move closer to both metal cutting sector and woodcutting skills among craftsmen.
Thibaut B, Denaud L, Collet R, Marchal R, Beauchêne J, Mothe F, Méausoone P-J, Martin P, Larricq P, Eyma F 2015.Wood machining with a focus on French research in the last 50 years. Ann. For. Sci. DOI: 10.1007/s13595-015-0460-2.