As a complete novice I was always mystified by the idea of turning rough lumber into square lumber. It was hard to visualize, though I had read many articles. I thought that I would give any of you new to this aspect a glimpse of the process.
The value: Start with square lumber = better chance of square project. Plus you don’t have to buy dimensional lumber from THE MAN.
We shot a little video/ stills of ourselves squaring stock for our kitchen cabinet drawers. I edited it down to a quck overview.
1. Rough cut lumber to rough length. Tool choice: chopsaw, circular saw. Jigsaw
This equals for me finish length plus 1”. Waste a couple inches if it is a new board to check the end for defects like checking.
2. Surface the most stable face. Tool: Jointer
At the shop we follow the rule of surfacing 70 – 80% of the surface. You just don’t want rough uneven surface on the ends.
3. Surface opposite face to finish thickness. Tool: Planer
Once you establish parallel faces you can flip the stock and surface the original face if desired.
4. Joint one edge. Tool: Jointer
I always thickness plane my stock before jointing an edge so that I have a choice of either face to hold against the jointer’s fence. Then I can run the stock in one of four ways and avoid tearing out grain.
5. Rip to final width on the table saw. Tool: Hmmm.
Some people add an extra step and rip a bit oversized (1/32”) and then either joint this edge to remove saw marks or stand on edge and run through the planer_(The board, not the user). I prefer just ripping accurately, but will use the planer method too. . _Note: I use the pushstick for any rips less than 6”.
6. Crosscut one end sqaure. Tool: Crosscut sled on tablesaw or chop/mitre saw.
I try to select my jointed edge to hold against the fence though it should not really matter since both edges are parallel.
7. Crosscut to final length. Tool: Crosscut sled on tablesaw or chop/mitre saw.
Set up a stop block for repeated cuts.
Voila: Finished Stock or “blanks” as Norm calls them.
-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne