To cut or not to cut

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Forum topic by Joe posted 12-18-2009 10:18 PM 968 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Joe's profile


185 posts in 2811 days

12-18-2009 10:18 PM

Need some advise? I purchased 64 BFT of red oak from a cabinet shop. I am going to make a gun cabinet for my Dad.
The plans say to cut three pieces out of a five inch wide board and edge glue the three boards alternating the grain pattern, making it a 15”. Final side dimension will be 13” X 52”. All my lumber is over 9” wide and three of them are 14” wide. Can I get away with using one solid piece or am I asking for big trouble later?
I suppose it will determine on the grain direction huh?

If it’s best to rip the boards down, what would be the widest you could get by with on cathedral grain?

-- Senior Chief

7 replies so far

View degoose's profile


7193 posts in 2772 days

#1 posted 12-18-2009 10:30 PM

That all depends on how it was milled… if it is quarter sawn you would likely get a way with one or maybe two boards to laminate… if it is flat sawn rip to the max width your equipment can handle or just go with the 3 .. 5 inch wide boards as per the plan…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 2502 days

#2 posted 12-18-2009 10:40 PM

I might give it a shot. I’d determine wether I used it by looking at the boards now. Are they showing sign of any cupping? Years ago this would have been one piece but likw degoose said quarter sawn would be better to use.

Ripping and regluing does lesson the risk of twisting and cupping but at the cost of dimenishing the joy of the grain pattern.

I have an entertainment center that has a 12” wide by 84” tall piece of CheChen on either side and after 4 years there has been no cupping or twist. But that boards greatest verticle free span is only 24” being otherwise locked between shelves or drawers.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View IkeandBerry's profile


45 posts in 2682 days

#3 posted 12-18-2009 10:42 PM

If it is kiln dried the wood should have little to no movement over time since the moisture level was brought down to low in the drying process. You should be able to glue up the panels in whatever way you wish. Personally I would look at the grain of the wood and match it up in the best grain flow pattern for appearance in the final product. I would find two of the 9” wide boards that had a good grain match and glue those up and then rip it down to final dimension. Also the matching will depend on the type of joints that you are using on the cabinet. Some joints will help keep the board from moving while others will allow more movement. I also agree with degoose on how it being milled can make a difference, but I always try to take grain pattern into account especially when it is a piece that will viewed by a lot of people.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a hand plane passing across a board in an otherwise quiet shop.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2704 days

#4 posted 12-18-2009 11:15 PM

Larry, just to be obnoxious, I want to see a piece of quarter sawn oak 15” wide. Not saying they don’t exist———just that I want to see one. LOL—-just messin with you!

That said—-I would probably rip and reglue. I usually don’t have much luck with wide pieces. I would agree that the cabinet consruction will play a considerable role on the stability of the piece you’re talking about.


View Joe's profile


185 posts in 2811 days

#5 posted 12-19-2009 12:00 AM

I guess I will have to make a decision. I got a few weeks before I start. The lumber is stickered in my rack right now.

I called a few cabinet shops trying to find a closer place for good quality plywood and found one only 15 miles away. I asked about hard wood, she said yes we can get you almost anything. Our trucks come in twice a week. Anyway, I was a little hesitant being that I don’t get pick it out myself. She told me what ever you don’t want we will take back and use ourselves. For the price I could not pass it up. 4/4 was $1.80 bft, and both sides planed to 13/16 is $2.20. I opted for 13/16, less wear and tear on my equipment.

They showed me some plywood they use. I heard of it but never seen it before, its red oak laminated over MDF. Looked real good so I bought a sheet. Anybody use this kind before?

Well thanks for the advice, I sure appreciate it.

-- Senior Chief

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3186 days

#6 posted 12-19-2009 12:23 AM

go for it. as long as the wood is sealed when it is finished. no blo use a varnish or a poly or something that will seal the wood. with the wood sealed and them in a structural position you should be good. You see plenty of people use one big board for cabinet sides as well as the fronts on slant front desks. those are up to 20 inches wide. even say 40 inch wide slabs for tables. you’ll be fine and the grain on one piece will look so much better than pieces glued together.

also a not glueing doesn’t make it warp proof. It’s still very warp prone that happened with my lazy susan im building but granted it was 36” in diameter.

View a1Jim's profile


115167 posts in 2995 days

#7 posted 12-19-2009 12:41 AM

Hey Joe
I would say it depends on whether you have cross grain situation or not and your joinery. Wood moves kiln dried or not it’s Hygroscopic in nature(red oak more than others) takes on moisture when it is damp and drys out when it’s dry. Most damage you see in old furniture with cracks in it is because the wood was not allowed to move with incorrect joinery.

-- Custom furniture

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