I special ordered some 4/4 rough quarter sawn maple from my hardwood dealer for the doors and I picked it up Friday afternoon. I gave it a quick look at the dealers and it didn’t look so great but I thought it would hopefully be okay once I got to milling it. Well, no such luck, I’m pretty unhappy with it. It clearly is not FAS Select clear furniture grade lumber! This is a huge on going problem that I’ve been having! I’ve been all over the state trying to find a dealer that can get some decent lumber but have yet to find one!
The closest and most convenient to my shop stocks nothing but flat sawn 13/16 thick stock that’s been run through a thickness planer, but not run through a joiner first so the boards are not truly flat in most cases. Sometimes, with that extra 1/16 of an inch I can flatten them a little when they need it. I often will even go slightly less than 3/4 thick just so that I can at least have flat stock, but still its not quarter-sawn, so good luck if your trying to make door stiles!
I think what must be going on here is all the good lumber is going to the professional shops that are buying 1000 board feet at a time and us amateurs a left with the junk that they reject.
I had to work Saturday so I didn’t get a whole lot done this weekend, I got a couple hours of shop time Sunday morning and all I got done was the milling of the stock for the doors. My original plan was to mill it in 4” wide pieces so that I could do the cope and sticks like I showed in my last post. Well that was simply not an option, this stock is crap, its got bows, cups, twists, and knots. So I thought to settle it down a bit I’d rip the rough stock down to 2” wide strips short strips to tame them down a little before I tried to flatten them on the joiner.
This helped quite a bit, but there was a lot of waste! I started with 11 board feet and just made it to my needed amount of around 5 clean board feet! The stuff was twisting and binding the blade while it was being cut, the whole ugly deal.
I’m sure most readers are pretty familiar with the milling process, and so far in this blog I’ve not covered it, but seeing how this weekend it’s all I got done I thought I’d share the way I go about it.
I started by cutting the rough lumber into 2” strips that were about 4” longer than the final length needed. I tried to find clean sections of the boards, but this did not go well there was a lot of waste.
The first thing to do is flatten one face of each board on the joiner. This pic just shows all the rough boards with one flat face:
After getting one flat face, (which was by no means easy with these boards) the next step is to run them through the thickness planer to square up the other face.
With both faces flat, the next step is to run one edge through the joiner. This results in a nice square flat edge to run against the fence of the table saw to arrive at your final width.
Next, I cut the pieces to length using the miter saw and a stop to ensure that all the pieces are exactly the same length.
At the end of it all, the pieces turned out pretty good considering what I started with. Only one piece acted up a little and bowed just a tad. (I think it will be okay though.) Pretty sad though when you consider the wasted wood it took to get here!
It may seem like I’m a bit obsessed with these boards being flat as possible, but my experience has been that if you spend time here making them flat and square, the cope and stick goes a lot smoother, and the joints will be tighter and the faces even. Also, few things ruin a project more than a warped door.
Thanks for reading!
-- Craig, Springfield Ohio