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In Russian, there is a special word for the side of a plank that you see after cutting it in two. The word is "торец", if it's of any help. This part is shown in the picture I am linking to.

enter image description here

A native speaker that I have contacted had no idea what it's called. Dictionaries don't give any variants that I could prove via Google. "Plank sides" returned images of planks from many different angles, though usually showing the side I need. I still want to make sure, so I'd like to know what you actually call this part of a plank in English.

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    It is not side of a plank. It is the end of a plank. – Lambie Aug 24 at 17:58
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    The term end grain may be relevant, depending on the intent of the question. – Anton Sherwood Aug 25 at 4:44
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    @Lambie You're quite right that "end" is the answer here, but in some contexts, it would be reasonable to say that "a plank is a cuboid, and therefore has 6 sides"; so in that sense, we could say "end is the word for the smallest 2 sides of that 6-sided shape". Although I guess more technically, those would be "faces" rather than "sides". – IMSoP Aug 25 at 10:47
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    Assuming the plank has been cut just once, by hand, each half now has a machined end and a rough end. – Weather Vane Aug 25 at 17:57
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    @Baskakov_Dmitriy: By the way, this is not the only meaning of "rip", it is used this way especially in woodworking. Thank you for your response. Based on this information, I have added an answer in to the other good ones. – Conrado Aug 25 at 21:51
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Google translates the Russian term "торец" as "butt", which seems as if it might be a good word, but I can't find it used that way.

This site calls it simply the "end":

benchnote.com lumber dimensions

enter image description here

"Surfaces: The surfaces of a board are refered to as the end, face and edge."

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    "butt" is commonly used in English to refer to the ends as a verb when joined together, e.g. "butt up against each other". FWIW. – TylerH Aug 25 at 1:29
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    @TylerH Yes, also a noun phrase, butt joint. – Jack O'Flaherty Aug 25 at 3:12
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    You may also see "cut end" to clarify that one is not speaking of the other end. – Eric Towers Aug 25 at 18:34
  • @EricTowers And, by extension (and commonly used), the "cut face", or the "cut edge". – J... Aug 25 at 19:09
  • +1. I think the key to the original question is: do we have a word for an end that has just been cut? And we really don't, unless there are technical woodworking terms, because the end you just cut is just like the other end -- which is only different because someone else cut it. (Of course, all sides of a board are cut from a tree.) Unless you make a poor, rough cut. – Wayne Aug 26 at 13:01
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I would call the part of the wood which has been cut with a saw: the sawn-off edge. This term might not be used by everybody, so I did a little searching and found a site called Fine Homebuilding

The easiest way to quickly assess different cuts of wood is to look at the end grain. A board with growth rings running roughly parallel—usually in arches—relative to the face of the board is called a plain-sawn (or flat-sawn) board. If the growth rings are at a steep angle relative to the face, the board is said to have quartersawn grain. If the growth rings run at a slightly lower angle, it’s called rift-sawn

enter image description here

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    Even though one uses a saw to cut planks in two, one would say the cut end of the plank. It simply is not an edge. A plank has two faces (front and back, depending) and two ends. – Lambie Aug 24 at 16:52
  • Well, not totally wrong. If you said "edge" to me I would not look at the end. But "sawn-off" in this case is clearly the end. Most people would understand what you meant, and that's what is required. An edge is created, especially in this case, by two planes meeting at an angle. – RedSonja Aug 25 at 10:50
  • Why not just "sawn" rather than "sawn-off"? – shawnt00 Aug 25 at 16:26
  • This works, but it needs to be used in context. In some settings, sawn-off can have specific connotations. In the boonies, I think it could bring to mind modified firearms – Conrado Aug 25 at 21:58
  • The Firearm is commonly referred to as sawed off shotgun. – infinitezero Aug 26 at 9:47
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the end of a plank the end of a plank

End of a plank of weathered rustic wood or timber on an outdoor frame in a close up selective focus view of the texture — Photo by elfgradost

Typically, one just says end of a board or plank.

The ends of the plank have been painted white. [Example]

Another example from a technical manual about planks:

and the ends of the planks are unfinished. Edge banded ends are available upon request. FSC®-certified options are available (SW-C0C -003601).

planks

If you cut a plank in two with a saw, you get two planks. Planks have ends and faces. The place where the cut was made for both, would be referred to as the "cut end of the plank". The sawn end or the cut-off end. Sawn sounds like a manual saw, for an electric saw: cut end of the plank.

This Old House, a very famous TV show in the States:

The cut end of the plank

cut end of a plank

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    No, not at all. The end of a plank is not the side of the plank after its cut in two halves. – Void Aug 24 at 16:04
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    @Wistful You don't cut "sides of a plank". Planks have faces and ends. If you cut a plank into two, you now have two planks, and each has two ends. If you specifically want to refer to the place where the plank was cut into two, you can say: the cut or sawn end. This Old House refers to "cut end of the plank": thisoldhouse.com/flooring/21016604/how-to-lay-a-cork-floor – Lambie Aug 24 at 16:46
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    FYI "sawn" applies perfectly to electric saws too. – TylerH Aug 25 at 1:31
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    @Lambie: Actually you do sometimes cut the side of a plank, e.g. if you need it to be narrower for some reason. Just as you cut it crossways if you need it to be shorter. There are even special kinds of saws - crosscut and rip - for the different directions: woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/307/… – jamesqf Aug 25 at 4:18
  • You'd have to find a very odd tree to get planks from without cutting the faces and edges as well as the ends. – Pete Kirkham Aug 25 at 11:57
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Don't quote me but descriptions like

  1. "the fresh face"
  2. "the freshly cut face"
  3. "the newly exposed side"
  4. "the now exposed face"

may get the meaning across.

The "sawn off side" (from @Mari-Lou A's well reserched answer above) may be the most apt.

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  • Planks are sawed or sawn in half. If you use a handsaw, sawed off or sawn off is okay I guess. But if you have a lumberyard, you sell rough-cut lumber i.e. boards or planks. – Lambie Aug 25 at 15:18
  • All of these choices imply the wood was recently cut. What if the plank is 40 years old? I wouldn’t use any of these in that case. – gen-ℤ ready to perish Aug 25 at 15:44
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    @gen-zreadytoperish after 40 years it would just be a side :-). I assumed an implicit contextual reference to recent sawing activity. This mayn't be the case necessarily. If so, one is hard pressed to find a relation between the two sawed halves as opposed to being two random pieces of wood, blurring the difference b/w a normal side and a sawed off side. – lineage Aug 25 at 15:59
  • No, it would never be a side. Are you an English speaker? If you cut a plank regardless of its age, you get two planks, each of which has two ends,. It could not be simpler. – Lambie Aug 25 at 22:27
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    I agree that "side" has a connotation that the side is not an end. However, "face" is okay. – user253751 Aug 26 at 8:49
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I have worked in furniture shops in the United States, and learned to call the exposed surface of a cross-sectional cut called endgrain, sometimes spelled with a space, "end grain":

Endgrain is exposed when timber is cut across the annual growth rings at 90 degrees rather than cutting a plank of wood along the length of the tree. This type of cut exposes the internal character and mechanics of a tree to reveal a highly attractive and durable surface. (endgrain.org.uk)

A wood-working technique has a direction relative to the wood grain; one of these directions can be described "end grain" (or "cross-grain"):

end grain (at right angles to the grain, for example trimming the end of a plank) (Wikipedia)

The first thing that I think of in relation to endgrain, because of many hours spent sanding and varnishing by hand, is the fact that it absorbs much more sealer, paint or varnish than the "side grain" when finishing it. Here is one way to reduce this difference:

Simply sand the end and edge grains to one higher grit than the side grain. So if you sand the side grain to 150, sand the end grain to 220; if the side is 220, the end and edge grains should be 320 and so forth. This makes the uniform roughness (which is really what sandpaper accomplishes) of the end grain smaller, where it soaks up less finish. (bobvila.com, emphasis added)

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  • This is completely irrelevant. One plank cut in half makes two planks. Who cares what is exposed? It does not matter. You are going way beyond the OP's question. – Lambie Aug 25 at 22:29
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    @Lambie Baskakov is translating. If the text is for a woodworker, he will care a great deal. It might not be irrelevant, and it is technically correct. – Conrado Aug 25 at 22:36
  • Endgrain is the cut of wood seen when cut across the tree rings. There is End Grain, Edge Grain, or Face Grain, none of which have anything to do with the question. Also, those are for the ORIGINAL planks, not after they are cut. – Lambie Aug 25 at 22:44
  • ! am a translator myself. If he is a translator, he should not be working into English, just like I don't work into my three B languages.But based only on his picture which is like a very simple How Things Work diagram, your answer is way over the top as well as incorrect. As we do not know about the original planks and therefore cannot say this is an endgrain cut – Lambie Aug 25 at 22:58

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