Welcome! Forums General Woodworking Discussions Wood and Wood Preparation Maximizing yield from a twisted board and planning strategy?

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    Jim Braun

    Hi All,

    New member here and new to working wood. I have purchased the DVDs and am in the process of building the workbench. I finished the lamination and smoothing of the top and that went well using HD white-wood 2x4s. I am now working on the legs and have chosen to use 4×4 Douglas Fir.

    My question concerns how best to plane the twist out of something, is there a preferred method? The attached file shows twist looking from one end of the board, the near end is red and the far end is yellow. Thinking about this I can only believe that the maximum size is defined by the black lines where the edges of each end intersect.

    Is there a best way to approach this to achieve a square post?

    What I did was
    1. Pick the best face for the face side (f) and flatten that, checking with winding sticks.
    2. Pick the best adjacent side to the face get the 90 degree (^) side
    3. Plane the side opposite the face to get it square to the (^) side and without twist using winding sticks.
    4. Plane the remaining face to be square with the 90 degree (^) side.

    To finish my legs I assume that I will need to plane all 4 and then reduce each one to the size of the leg with the minimum dimensions.

    It might have been easier to use 2 laminated 2x4s for the legs, as it seems easier to find twist free 2x4s.

    I am enjoying the “hands-on” machine free approach so far, and Paul and his team are fantastic.

    Monmouth County, New Jersey


    Jim, yep, going with 2×4 is generally easier as squares ones are easier to find. Your attached file is basically correct. I generally use winding sticks to true up one face then get the 90 deg edge square to it. Use a marking guage to establish the opposite faces.