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Preparing rough sawn timber

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #549497
    robdavies
    Participant

    Afternoon gents
    I am in the fortunate position of having access to trees (mostly ash, some elm, some cherry) through my work which I have milled into rough sawn boards using my Alaskan mill. I have noticed paul has mentioned using machines to prepare rough stock to the correct size and ready for joinery work. I am wandering what machines he uses for this and what people would recommend, machines and brands etc. I am only looking at machines for stock prep and not actual shaping and joinery.
    Regards Rob Davies

    #549498
    Clifford
    Participant

    I use a small Delta benchtop joiner (6 inch wide) to flatten a face or straighten and square an edge. A new Porter Cable joiner, which is nearly identical, costs ~$270 new. In truth I would like a larger joiner but this one works for most furniture projects.

    For a planer I use a Dewalt DW734 ($400 new) to dimension wood to the desired thickness. I considered the Dewalt DW735 but could not justify the additional $150. The DW734 is excellent for me. I hope this helps.

    Both of these throw a lot of wood chips and dust. I bought a dust collector from Harbor Freight for $200 which works great.

    #549510
    robdavies
    Participant

    Thanks for replying Clifford, it’s good to get an idea of what other people are using. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who’s in the same boat as me with regards to rough sawn timber but who does all prep work and dimensioning using only hand tools and if so what hand tools they would consider essential.

    #549511
    btyreman
    Participant

    if you go to a timber merchant with the wood they’ll very likely machine it for you for a small fee, I would rather have them do it than do it myself, it’s worth trying.

    #549512
    Tom Davies
    Participant

    Rip saw, hand planes (4, 5.5/6, 7), straight edge, winding sticks, marking gauge, simple shooting board, workbench. Should be enough I’d have thought?

    #549513
    Ed
    Participant

    You said, “access to trees.” If this is wet lumber, there’s much to do and a fair bit of waiting, but I can’t advise. However, if you’re talking about wood that is already dry, my current approach is to get “fence flat” with a hand plane, resaw on my bandsaw to get the other face, and then clean up with a hand plane. If the wood is not very out of true, I might skip the band saw and just clean up with a plane. In this case, and often even when resawing, I do not pay much attention to the final thickness in most cases. I use traditional methods for layout relative to a reference face/edge so that it doesn’t matter what the thickness is, whenever possible. I try to make the “fence flat” face not be the reference face. That means I do a quick clean up of the band sawn face, get it out of twist, and I’m good to go. I don’t refine the “fence flat” face further, whenever possible.

    #549514
    Ecky H
    Participant

    [quote quote=549512]Rip saw, hand planes (4, 5.5/6, 7), straight edge, winding sticks, marking gauge, simple shooting board, workbench. Should be enough I’d have thought?[/quote]
    I definitely would add a scrub plane.
    And time.
    And stamina.
    And time.
    And perseverance.
    And time.
    And persistence.
    Did I mention time yet?

    At the “moment” I prepare the rough sawn wood for my workbench with hand tools only. With about 2 hours on 3 of 5 workdays in the shop and about 5 hours hours on one day at the weekend, such big amount of wood and faces and edges (roughly 50 metres ripping and about 7 square metres flattening and straightening) that moment is rather a monthsment…

    On the other hand it is a lot of practise – not only in ripping and planing, but also in sharpening and perseverance.
    And at the end waits the the reward of understanding what Mr. Sellers means with “This is YOUR workbench.”

    E.

    Veni, vidi, serravi.

    Münster, Germany

    #549526
    Tom Davies
    Participant

    Good on you! Yes, that will take some time, and without a workbench to work from, it’s more tricky. But it will stand you in really good stead. Dimensioning timber for smaller projects in the future will seem like child’s play in comparison!

    #551688
    Seth Terndrup
    Participant

    I think about the same from time to time—maybe I should get a table saw, jointer and planer. In the end I just don’t want to mess with that. All that dust and noise really changes my experience in the shop. From time to time I get out my circular saw (primarily for plywood projects) and compared to hand tools, that stuff is really nerve racking to me. It’s so loud. And it’s a total mess. If I had a bigger shop and more money, maybe. I hope I don’t do that though…lol. It’s just not fun for me. It almost makes me nervous while I’m working. Maybe I have anxiety…haha.

    Everybody is different many people love firing that stuff up.

    #553240
    Nikolaj33
    Participant

    Does anyone know of a DVD about stock preparation by hand? There definitely is one that I saw recommended on another forum, but I have no success finding it again. I think it was maybe part of a hand tool woodworking series, or it may have been a two/three volume DVD.

    #553247
    beauly
    Participant

    Dear Nikola,
    If you go to the Video Library and select Tools and Techniques search for Stock Preparation 1 and 2.
    Hope this helps
    Harry

    #553248
    Nikolaj33
    Participant

    Thanks Harry, I will check it out. The one I was talking about is not Paul Sellers video. It is a DVD from someone else.

    #553250
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    There is Christopher Schwarz’s: “Coarse, Medium, and Fine: Fundamental Woodworking Techniques.” available from Lie-Nielsen.

    There is also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_96gNMMc_g
    also, by Mr. Schwarz.

    I haven’t watched the former. The latter, I think is not on par with the ones by Mr. P. Sellers.

    /Sven-Olof

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    #553252
    Doug Finch
    Member

    Nikola,
    Take a look at this article. http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/how-to-use-table-saw-as-jointer/
    It shows how to make a jig for a table saw to use as a jointer. I made one that has a miter runner and clamps that you clamp the wood to, then run it through the saw to give you one good edge. I also have done the scrub plane method with winding stick – a lot, in fact. It depends on what I’m working on. If I need to just get a project done – I’ll use more power tools. If I’m doing this for my zen relaxation – then I use almost 100% hand tools. All of this is for me – that’s how I approach it. It isn’t a business, it is a hobby. If I am getting frustrated in preparing stock – then I’ve missed the point entirely.

    I also use my bandsaw a lot with rough stock. Often, when I’m milling down to sticker and dry the wood – I’ll take a flat piece of plywood (length depends on how long the rough wood is) and will screw it to one side of the wood I’m milling. From that point, I put that plywood against my bandsaw rip fence and set how thick I want the off cut to be. It isn’t perfect, but this is for very wet wood that is going to possibly warp or twist anyway. After that first cut – now I can flip the wood around and use that clean edge I just cut against the fence.

    I don’t have a jointer. I have a 20’x20′ garage that I work in. Half is for power tools and the other for hand. I also have to store other things in there too. I have a Porter Cable thickness planer, but I seldom use it. It seems more trouble than it is worth to me. When I am planing the face of the boards – this is where I use my winding sticks and hand planes. I’ve done it so much that the process doesn’t take that long – usually. I get one side flat, one edge square – then take it back to my bandsaw and cut to within 1/8″ of the thickness I want. This gives me enough room to do final planing.

    Use what works for you and enjoy the process – that’s what this is all about. I keep reminding myself of it.

    #553266
    Edmund
    Participant

    Afternoon gents
    I am in the fortunate position of having access to trees (mostly ash, some elm, some cherry) through my work which I have milled into rough sawn boards using my Alaskan mill. I have noticed paul has mentioned using machines to prepare rough stock to the correct size and ready for joinery work. I am wandering what machines he uses for this and what people would recommend, machines and brands etc. I am only looking at machines for stock prep and not actual shaping and joinery.
    Regards Rob Davies

    As mentioned above, first you’ll want to let the slabs dry. This might take several months to years, depending on how you are drying them. Hopefully you are sealing the ends immediately after felling the trees to reduce checking. Once they’re dry, you can start the rough processing.

    Typically when using machines to dimension rough stock the first stop depends on the lumber itself. If it’s a monster slab that you can’t even fit into your workshop, you’ll set up sawhorses outside, and use a jigsaw, circular saw or similar to cut the slab into roughly-sized pieces for further processing.

    Once you’ve got the board to a size that can be handled in your workshop, you’ll typically first cut it to rough length, often on a radial arm saw. Then to rough width, a bandsaw works adequately, or some have jigs for their bandsaws or tablesaws to give a straight edge right off this step.
    If the piece is far too thick here, the bandsaw is generally used to re-saw the piece to rough thickness, and then the lumber is left to rest — this much processing will result in movement in all but the most stable pieces of wood.

    The above is the portion of wood processing often left to machines. It results in the kind of board you buy at your local lumber yard. From here, the rest of the work is where most of us switch over to hand tools entirely, but obviously you can stay with your machines throughout the process if you prefer.

    After a period of acclimation, the roughly-processed board can then be taken to very slightly oversize. Typically first an edge is jointed. Then the board is cut to near-final width and length, then thicknessed. I like to do the very last bits of dimensioning only when I’m ready to do the joinery immediately afterwards.

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