resaw first or glue up first?

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Forum topic by glen posted 12-29-2015 06:44 PM 1262 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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171 posts in 2728 days

12-29-2015 06:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resaw wood bandsaw

Hi all – looking for some advice. I need to make a bunch of boxes about 9” tall. The boards I have are all narrower than this, so the sides will require a panel glue up. I’m aiming for a 1/2” thick side. My stock is 4/4 ash.

I’m wondering if it’s better to resaw the boards first, then do the panel glue up, or to glue up first, and then resaw. My bandsaw has 14” resaw capacity, so that’s not an issue. I think I remember Matt Kenney from FW say on the podcast that it’s better to resaw first, but I never heard why.

I will end up using the “offcut” from the resaw for the box bottoms, so if I resaw first, I will have to do 2 panel glue ups, one with thin boards.

I’m happy to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons of each method. Thanks in advance!


9 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


8196 posts in 2325 days

#1 posted 12-29-2015 07:08 PM

How thick are you planning on the bottoms being? You’ll be lucky to get more than 1/8” on the offcut side after it’s all said and done. For 4/4 stock wanting 1/2” sides, I’d just plane that 1/4” away. It’s likely to cup and twist after resawing anway.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View EMWW's profile


23 posts in 1088 days

#2 posted 12-29-2015 07:14 PM

I would have to agree with jmartel because I have attempted to do what you are trying with 4/4 stock and the offcut sided will be so thin it makes more sense to plane it off.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5783 posts in 2988 days

#3 posted 12-29-2015 08:05 PM

It’s like trying to get $1.25 out of a dollar bill. It’s not going to happen.

When I am making decisions such as this one, my rule for panel glueups is 1/2” minimum thickness. Any thinner, and I would prefer to start with thicker stock, and plane the panel after the glueup has dried.

If you decide to plane to desired thickness, make sure to remove equal amounts from both sides of the stock to minimize warping.

Good luck.

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

View ThomasChippendale's profile


244 posts in 1107 days

#4 posted 12-29-2015 08:16 PM

I think your best bet is to joint one side of each board to get it straight and flat but still leave rough spots to get the maximum thickness. Then to resaw 1/2 inch thick or right the middle of each board. Then glue-up and plane both faces. You will be lucky to get 3/8 finished unless you have better than one inch thick to start with.

-- PJ

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1351 days

#5 posted 12-29-2015 08:41 PM

If your wood was flat, surfaced on 3 sides (s3s) and truly 1.0 inch thick then you could resaw at slightly over 1/2 inch and maybe able to get a 1/4 inch panel out of the waste side.

Most wood advertised as 4/4 is 1 inch thick in the rough. It is then surfaced to something like 13/16. If this is the case then what the others have said about not being able to get both a 1/2 and a 1/4 inch is correct.

In any case I would edge join the wood and glue the panels up as thick as possible and then resaw to slightly over the desired thickness. At this point I run the rough side through the drum sander instead of a planer.

Good Luck.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2684 posts in 3097 days

#6 posted 12-29-2015 10:39 PM

I make a lot of cedar boxes 3/8” thickness. When I need a wider board I glue up the 1” board and then re-saw and plane to 3/8” .

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View rwe2156's profile


3134 posts in 1656 days

#7 posted 12-29-2015 11:20 PM

What Jim^ said. You’ll never get 2×1/2” out of 4/4.

That being said, I would resaw first, let wood acclimate then glue up.
Cupping will be an issue and it can be magnified if you glue up first then resaw.

I tend to sticker and clamp up my resaws and either put in climate controlled room or plastic bag.
Depends on wood I usually check it after a couple days.

Bottom line when you resaw most of the time it going to move, sometimes bigtime.

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

View glen's profile


171 posts in 2728 days

#8 posted 12-30-2015 01:34 AM

thanks for the input, everyone. I was questioning what I would be left with in thickness, and I’ll give it a go, but as many of you have pointed out, it may end up being junk, in which case i may just abandon the resaw and stick it through my planer instead… although 1/8” ash pieces/potato chips may make good firewood!

thanks for the help

View ThomasChippendale's profile


244 posts in 1107 days

#9 posted 12-30-2015 05:31 AM

I just did 3 boards of cherry, 5 inches wide, 4\4 and got 6 boards 3\8 thick finished bookmatched. I guess you could also get one 1\2 and one 1\4 inch from that. I used the technique described above with a one inch wide carbide blade on my band saw.

-- PJ

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