You are here: NRS Home / Tools & Applications / Software / LORCAT



LORCAT: A Log Recovery Analysis Tool for Hardwood Sawmill Efficiency

Contact: Ed Thomas

[image:] three diagrams depict sawing methods.The LOg ReCovery Analysis Tool (LORCAT) was developed to enable researchers and mill personnel to examine the impact and relationships among various factors that influence hardwood mill recovery. LORCAT is a spreadsheet-based tool that was developed for use with the Microsoft Excel® or LibreOffice® spreadsheet applications. LORCAT allows users to interactively view the results from a single log, or view trends using hundreds of logs using a batch interface.  The analysis tool requires users to specify the log length, USFS log grade, species, small- and large-end diameters along with processing specifications, including: opening face dimensions, cant size, board thickness, green allowance, sawing variation, kerf size and taper sawing method. Given this data, LORCAT reports the expected total number and volume of lumber and cants produced and the projected recovery by National Hardwood Lumber Association grade.

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this publication is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Forest Service of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.


LORCAT was designed to simulate the sawing of logs using one of three common sawing methods. The first method simulates sawing logs to a cant with a specified size. For cant size and all other sawing parameters, the user can change them to suit their operation or analysis needs. The second method simulates using a gang-resaw to saw the billet or cant produced from sawing the first two faces into lumber. The third method simulates the European method of live or flitch sawing where the log is sawn through-and-through.

System Requirements

Windows Systems

  • Windows 7
  • MS Office 2010

Apple Systems

  • OSX 10.6.8
  • MS Office 2011

Related Publications

Thomas, Edward R.; Buehlmann, Urs; Conner, Debbie. 2021. LORCAT: a log recovery analysis tool for hardwood sawmill efficiency. Res. Pap. NRS-33. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 9 p.