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Forum topic by ScottM posted 11-05-2015 05:13 PM 758 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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654 posts in 2174 days

11-05-2015 05:13 PM

I’m now working on my first project using “rough” lumber. I found a local yard that had prices that I just could not pass up versus the prices at my local Lowes. Outrageous! So I managed to get to the yard and come home with 10 8 foot full 4/4 boards of red oak for my project.

Now on to the real questions. I rough cut a couple of the pieces into smaller lengths and did the usual, joint plane, over size cut, and sticker it overnight. The following day finished up the milling and cutting to final size. All of that seems to have gone well. Now I on to a portion of my project where I don’t need to use any of the remaining rough pieces. So should I go ahead and rough mill it or just leave it as is until I need it? Any advice would help here. Thanks in advance.

11 replies so far

View rwe2156's profile


2967 posts in 1508 days

#1 posted 11-05-2015 05:19 PM

Do whatever you want.
To me its easier to mill it all while you’re doing it.

I also mill an extra piece to final dims if (when) I mess up.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View jdh122's profile


1018 posts in 2845 days

#2 posted 11-05-2015 05:19 PM

Leave it as is until you need it. Except that you need to make sure that you have enough scraps of the same thickness as your pieces to do test cuts before running the real pieces through the tablesaw and router table.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2715 days

#3 posted 11-05-2015 05:22 PM

Leave it un-milled. Wood will continue to move even if it is milled. By leaving it alone, when you do need it, you won’t be working with a board that needs correction from warping, bowing, twisting, or some other -ing thing.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View joey502's profile


537 posts in 1545 days

#4 posted 11-05-2015 05:49 PM

Keep them rough. Mill the boards from rough as needed on future projects.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29401 posts in 2366 days

#5 posted 11-05-2015 06:04 PM

Leave it rough. It also leaves your options open for future projects.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1258 days

#6 posted 11-05-2015 06:12 PM

never assume what you will need. Mill later.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View pintodeluxe's profile (online now)


5706 posts in 2841 days

#7 posted 11-05-2015 06:20 PM

My 4/4 I usually leave rough. 5/4 and 6/4 it’s no problem to mill it to rough dimensions ahead of time.

It’s hard to anticipate what thickness you may need for the next project, so leaving it rough gives me more options.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bonesbr549's profile


1558 posts in 3095 days

#8 posted 11-05-2015 06:23 PM

I’d leave it rough. Mainly due to when you buy more stock for a project later, you can mill it all at the same time, and get it all to uniform thickness. (color stays a bit better too as oxidation will be more constant, but keep in mind diff lots diff colors. I work mostly in cherry and thats a huge issue. Cheers.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View ScottM's profile


654 posts in 2174 days

#9 posted 11-05-2015 06:25 PM

Thanks for all the help. The majority of what I have I will be using on this project and I guess it was really, mill it now while I was at it or wait. I know I’ll have an overage so I’l leave that rough. Thanks again for the suggestions.

View bearkatwood's profile


1597 posts in 1039 days

#10 posted 11-05-2015 06:32 PM

I would leave it alone. If you are going to do anything, just give it a light pass so you can see what you have to work with when you go back in the pile to see what you have.

-- Brian Noel

View JAAune's profile


1802 posts in 2344 days

#11 posted 11-07-2015 06:26 AM

Don’t waste time doing more work than necessary just because it might save a little time in the future. Cut what you need and leave the rest rough.

Brian did make a good point above about skimming the surface just enough to make the surface visible. My lumber is purchased this way instead of 100% rough. It’s called “hit-and-miss” and I like the fact that I can see the grain patterns right off the truck.

-- See my work at and

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