Four cut shiplap from cedar fence boards.

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Project by rimfire7891 posted 08-11-2013 08:00 PM 6323 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s how to add some value to cedar fence boards.
In our part of the world most cedar fence boards are made from bandsaw split 2×6’s and they have a rough side and a smooth side and can be purchased for $2 to $3.00 each. If you can select from the pile it is possible to get boards with tight knots and maybe even clear. The rough side is usually the best side and any wane is usually on the smooth side corners. If you install the shiplap with the rough to the weather then any bumps/bangs etc or wane is hidden from view. They usually come in 5 or 6 foot lengths and maybe longer. When the boards are bandsaw split they end up not being uniform thickness which is fine for fence but not real good for shiplap. However if you cut the boards as described in the pictures and use the smooth side as datum to run along the table saw fence then the thickness variance is on the weather side when installed and it doesn’t matter.
I requires four cuts and the fence has to be adjusted four times and the blade height adjusted 3 times.
I find that running all the boards through one cut and then repositioning them all for the the second, third and fourth cuts works best. The first two cuts are made with the board positioned vertical to the fence and the third and fourth cuts with board flat on the table.
See the pictures for a better idea.
The picture of the shed is a work in progress as the siding only has primer on it at the moment. The window trim is also primer which was tinted for another job, but it gives an idea what it would look like with a different colour for the trim.

Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

4 comments so far

View 489tad's profile


3447 posts in 3183 days

#1 posted 08-11-2013 11:19 PM

Thats a lot of work but the results are very, very nice. Well done!

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3273 days

#2 posted 08-12-2013 05:31 AM

The end results look to be great.
Why wouldn’t you just use a dado blade for the cuts???

-- mike...............

View drbyte's profile


815 posts in 4234 days

#3 posted 08-12-2013 01:43 PM

Or a router!

-- Dennis, WV

View rimfire7891's profile


123 posts in 3074 days

#4 posted 08-13-2013 01:18 AM

Why didn’t I use a dado blade or a router?

Simple answer is set-up time, noise and waste.

Thought about other ways to do this, however with the boards varying in thickness from 11/16” to 13/16” thick, the table saw set-up is by far the simplest. Have used this process for 20 years and the siding on the gable ends of my shop was made this way. Still looks good.

Using the table saw with current 1/8” kerf blade means I don’t have to pull out the dado and change blades. The dado blade is way noisier than a regular combination blade. I tend to use 1/8 combination blade even if I’m cutting series of grooves rather the dado. Habit I suppose. Way less sawdust to dispose off in this case. Cut-out out parts make ideal fire starters for camping and the weaner roast fire pit

The router would also make way more waste, noise and set up time is longer and you need feather boards.

I wouldn’t be able to call the post the “four cut shiplap” if I used anything else. :)
The table saw is a very simple set-up and pretty well every woodworker has a table saw maybe not a dado set or a router. I remember my dad telling me that he paid more for the dado set than he did for his 8” – 1/2hp table saw, so he felt compelled to use it. That was at least 60 years ago.

Thanks for the comments.


-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

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