Made to Measure Timber

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #550251
    SeaJay
    Participant

    I’m finding it tricky to get made to measure timber for my projects. It’s either ‘xx’mm too thin or ‘xx’mm too thick or nominal sizes only. That sort of thing.

    Are there timber merchants/sawmills out there who will cut wood to your required size with no fuss, or do you have to sometimes go with what’s on offer and cut to size? I’m thinking it’s more a case of the latter.

    I don’t mind gluing wood together to build up width, or sawing to length when needed, but when I need (for example) timber that’s 25mm thick x 150mm wide by 700mm long, and I’m told all they have is 145mm wide, I’m stuck.

    I’m thinking of purchasing a band saw, so I can cut moderate lengths of wood to size, but how do I tackle the ‘150mm but only 145mm’ on offer, issue? If it’s a short enough piece of wood I could plane it down (I guess? not even sure if that’s the technique to use), but this isn’t always practical.

    TL;DR
    – What power tools/machines are available that will help me size wood to the exact dimensions I need?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #550252
    btyreman
    Participant

    @btyreman

    yep 145mm is a standard size, at my timber yard they have a next size up from 145mm width, which is 170mm so you get it over your width you need and saw/plane it to your final size, it would be useful asking them what sizes they offer and make a note of it, the place I go to are very patient and helpful. It’s normal to have to work out what you need and allow for waste, so I always order more than you need. I literally use no machines at all to dimension wood, it’s all done with handsaws and planes but I get it close enough to the final size that it’s not too much work, it is simply not worth getting into machine woodworking in my opinion, get the yard to machine as much as possible and finish it off with hand tools.

    #550253
    SeaJay
    Participant

    @mark68

    Thanks for the reply BT.

    I don’t really mind sawing/planing to required size, to be honest. I just wasn’t sure if that is what I was supposed to do.

    Thanks for clarifying for me.

    #550255
    SeaJay
    Participant

    @mark68

    Looking at the rails for Paul’s workbench tutorial, they measure 150mm x 40mm.

    Nearest sized timber I can find measures 75mm x 50mm. I’m thinking of glueing two 75mm together so I’ll have a finished product of 150mm x 50mm.

    Will that be ok or will there be a weakness where the glue is applied? I’ll be glueing with Titebond 3 Ultimate, and in keeping the 50mm, that’s a fair bit of surface for it to adhere to.

    #550258
    harry wheeler
    Participant

    @harryawheeler

    As long as you fit the joint properly, it will be stronger than the surrounding wood. Just be sure that you don’t have any gaps, leave the joint clamped overnight, and you’ll be fine. It’s a good application for a spring joint. If you can clamp the boards on one end and you have a gap of about 1/4″ on the other end, then when you clamp both ends you will have good pressure down the entire length of the joint. I’m sure Paul shows how to do that somewhere or just Google spring joint if you’re not sure how to do it.

    Harry

    #550259
    Richard Kelly
    Participant

    @rjkflyer

    Mark – can’t tell where you are located but in the UK there are plenty of timber merchants who will run ‘standard’ PAR timber through a thicknesser to any size you specify.

    The only foible I have found is that they’ll only do metric!

    Another alternative that I have used – for hardwoods where I want something not stocked locally – is ordering on-line from specialist suppliers who will again produce exactly what you want.

    The downsides are (a) the cost they charge to machine it, (b) the need to be mindful of waste – so if you want 21mm thick and the standard PAR ends up 20mm, they’ll thickness down the next size up which will cost you, and (c) carriage charges for on-line are high obviously.

    Having said all of that, as an occasional amateur, I have produced some pretty decent items in a variety of hardwood which has been sourced as above and leaves me without lots of waste pieces.

    #550264
    SeaJay
    Participant

    @mark68

    Thanks all for the advice, much appreciated.

    What’s the best type of plane for getting the thickness down (50mm to 40mm for example)? No 5?

    #550271
    harry wheeler
    Participant

    @harryawheeler

    If this is the skirt board we’re talking about, the thickness really isn’t critical. You could probably leave it at 50mm without a problem. If you want to take 10mm off and you’re using soft wood, I would remove the bulk with a saw first. A normal smoothing plane is going to take way too much work. If you’re not comfortable with sawing, a scrub plane would be the next best thing. If you have a #4, maybe you could get another blade for it and make a scrub blade out of it. If you do that, by simply swapping blades you can use the same plane for scrubbing and smoothing. All around best would be finding a lumber merchant that can thickness it for you. Hopfe this helps.

    FYI, I meant to say aprons, not skirts but I looked at the drawing again and there is nothing wrong with leaving that material at 50mm if you want to.

    Harry

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by harry wheeler.
    #550273
    SeaJay
    Participant

    @mark68

    Thanks Harry, much appreciated

    #554182
    SeaJay
    Participant

    @mark68

    Sub Base Dimensions: 270mm x 120mm x 12mm

    Would you believe that after nearly four months I still haven’t found a suitable piece of wood to use as my hand router sub base? To be fair I’ve had other things to do but I’ve not even come close.

    Online, the prices are reasonable but either the p&p is horrific or they just don’t cut to that size, and looking about the locality I’ve found nothing.

    #554183
    Richard Kelly
    Participant

    @rjkflyer

    Might I suggest going to a DIY or flooring specialist and buying a piece of hardwood flooring?

    I found that B&Q sold roughly one foot by 6″ wide or so by 1/2″ thick ‘samples’ and I bought a few in oak for just those sort of ‘one-off’ tasks you mention.

    It’s not without effort as I had to plane smooth the ridges from the back and also remove the thin layer of varnish from the front – but the alternative was ordering from timber merchant as they only kept smallish sizes in stock, and an order would be 2m or so minimum.

    #554190
    SeaJay
    Participant

    @mark68

    Thanks for the advice Rich

    I’ll try B&Q again and maybe check out some flooring company too.

    #554297
    SeaJay
    Participant

    @mark68

    Would a band saw cut the wood down to the 12mm thickness I require, or would I need some other cutting machine?

    I’ve been meaning to buy one so I might as well think about buying one now.

    #554511
    Debra Jenney
    Participant

    @djenney

    A bandsaw could cut it, but I think a handsaw could do it just as well. I’m sure there is a video on resawing stock that describes the process. Basically, flatten and square the first face and edges, then use a marking gauge to run a line 12mm (or more) from the first face. Start sawing. Turn the board around regularly to keep the cut on track. Have a beverage waiting at the end of the cut.

    It feels great to pull off dimensioning by hand. My sawing has progressed light years beyond what I thought I could do simply because I tried.

    #554513
    Richard Kelly
    Participant

    @rjkflyer

    Agree with Debra – can all be done with hand tools.

    I did some 1/8″ thick cuts from a piece of 12″ x 4″ x 1.5″ sapele, to repair a friend’s small veneered table (which was wafer thin veneer over chip, latter of which had got damp and badly blown).

    I don’t have a bandsaw, so doing it by hand was hard-ish work, and to be fair a bandsaw would have been a good deal quicker. The downside by hand can be that you have to allow more thickness so that you can plane out the kerf marks once done, and of course it takes a keen eye and careful hand to get it square and parallel etc.

    To give you a sense of what I was doing, here’s the WIP – the caul clamps are made of the same sapele that I cut down to make the ‘veneers’. Routed out the blown chip with the Stanley 71.

    (Why did I bother with a chipboard table – it was left to him by a relative so had sentimental value).

    My first ever go at restoration – not brilliant but saved the item.

    Attachments:
    #554518
    SeaJay
    Participant

    @mark68

    I’ve tried doing it by hand but I botched it. My skill level isn’t high enough yet as I’ve literally only just started with woodworking.

    Still, it seems like it’s the only option I have, so perhaps I’ll have another go.

    Thanks all for the advice.

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