Four-foot hard maple bolts, ranging in diameter from 6 to 16 inches, were produced from pulp wood and sawlogs. The bolts were live-sawn into 1-inch boards to identify the coordinates of each board defect in order to mathematically reconstruct each bolt for simulated sawing. The optimum bolt values were obtained by "computer sawing" the bolt models several times into dimension stock, squares or pallet stock using three sawing patterns; live, around and cant sawing. In the simulated sawing of the actual and theoretical bolts, live sawing consistently resulted in the highest product value. The only exception was for bolts containing a large amount of discoloured wood. In these cases, around and cant sawing performed better than live sawing. In general, liver sawing produced the highest product value for the following reasons; the production of wider boards allows a greater resawing flexibility, fewer saw cuts with less kerf loss and the production of fewer slabs. In-plant studies were conducted to determine the effect of the sawing pattern on productivity. Live sawing increased productivity by 18% for small diameter bolts and up to 30% for larger diameter bolts over the other sawing patterns. While multi-pass systerms may be suitable for the larger, higher quality bolts, it is doubtful that such a system would be viable processing small diameter material down to 6 inches. In processing smaller diameter bolts, it is necessary to have a single-pass system with high productivity to offset the lower quality and value of this material.