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How Would You Size a 4x4 (3-1/2 x 3-1/2) to 3-1/4 x 3-1/4?

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Forum topic by SirGareth posted 01-02-2016 04:18 PM 1016 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SirGareth

85 posts in 1663 days


01-02-2016 04:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer jointer tablesaw milling

I am building a workbench based on Chris Schwartz’s Two-Day Workbench. In the video, Chris had already removed the rounded edges by sizing the stock to 3-1/4 on all four sides.

I’ve thought of several ways to do this, but I’m looking for feedback, please. I’m thinking the best way would be to run them through my planer. I would take off 1/16 from one side (A), flip to the opposite side© and take 1/16th. Then, reset the planer height to take 1/16th off the 3rd side (B) and finally take 1/16th off the 4th side (D).

If I were to mill the first side (A), then an adjacent side (B), then reset the planer once to size sides 3© and 4 (D), would that work?

Traditional milling (jointer, planer, jointer, tablesaw) would be possible, but I might need to make two passes on the tablesaw, flipping the piece end for end, in order to cut such thick stock.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

-- Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward. - Tim, Southern California


17 replies so far

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1651 days


#1 posted 01-02-2016 04:37 PM

I’m no expert, but since I have a thickness planer, I’d probably go that route. Even with planer snipe I’d get better results than I would on the table saw, flipping it over for a 2nd cut.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 904 days


#2 posted 01-02-2016 06:28 PM

I just did this the other day. I had pretty straight stock, so I used jointer to be sure of flat & square, then planer to final dimension.

You can use planer only if you’re confident of the flatness/squareness of existing. Two adjacent sides, then two opposite will be fine.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2192 posts in 943 days


#3 posted 01-03-2016 01:21 AM

Plane side 1, turn 90 degrees plane side 2.
Reset planer plane side 3 and 4.
Repeat as needed for final dims.

As the previous poster said, most important to start by jointing 3 faces square to each other.
Board may not come perfectly square.

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

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SirGareth

85 posts in 1663 days


#4 posted 01-03-2016 01:27 AM

Thank you all for the responses. I will try a few test pieces next weekend when I get back in the shop.

-- Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward. - Tim, Southern California

View sgmdwk's profile

sgmdwk

283 posts in 1335 days


#5 posted 01-03-2016 02:12 AM

I would start by gluing up two 2X4s rather than using a 4X4 – more stable. My 2 cents.

-- Dave K.

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 904 days


#6 posted 01-03-2016 02:20 AM



I would start by gluing up two 2X4s rather than using a 4X4 – more stable. My 2 cents.

- sgmdwk

A. You won’t get 3 1/4” thickness from two 2×4’s

B. Stability will depend on the stock. Lots of 2×4’s around here contain the pith—making for unstable material. This method may be more stable, but not necessarily

View sawdustdad's profile

sawdustdad

131 posts in 348 days


#7 posted 01-03-2016 03:45 AM

Joint two adjacent faces square and flat to within 1/8 inch of final dimension, then run though the planer to final size, removing the last 1/8 inch. No need to reset planer.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Any board cut to length has a 50% probability of being too short.

View ElChe's profile

ElChe

630 posts in 799 days


#8 posted 01-03-2016 07:10 AM

Yep agree with sawdustdad. I’d go joint two faces to 90 degrees then plane the opposite faces. Problem with planing all four sides is that if the registering sides aren’t flat the planer won’t flatten them. Don’t ask how I know. #notflat!

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1772 days


#9 posted 01-03-2016 07:59 AM



Yep agree with sawdustdad. I d go joint two faces to 90 degrees then plane the opposite faces. Problem with planing all four sides is that if the registering sides aren t flat the planer won t flatten them. Don t ask how I know. #notflat!

- ElChe

+1 this is basic stock prep/carpentry/woodworking.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

403 posts in 2420 days


#10 posted 01-03-2016 12:17 PM

@jerry – would you agree that laminating 2×4s is the economical way to get to 3.25×3.25? Quality 4x stock seems always to be disproportionately more expensive that the equivalent BF derived from 2x.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2594 days


#11 posted 01-03-2016 01:04 PM

As someone already mentioned, two 2×4’s = 3”, not 3-1/4”.

If you have a jointer, joint 1 face, then a second, adjacent face 90° using the jointer fence, then plane the remaining 2 sides.
No need to use a table saw.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

403 posts in 2420 days


#12 posted 01-03-2016 01:20 PM

^if your ration book is out of coupons them I’m happy to give you one from mine. Damn these war-time restrictions on lumber purchases.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

528 posts in 904 days


#13 posted 01-03-2016 04:58 PM



@jerry – would you agree that laminating 2×4s is the economical way to get to 3.25×3.25? Quality 4x stock seems always to be disproportionately more expensive that the equivalent BF derived from 2x.

- fuigb

Sure 4x stock generally costs a bit more per bf than 2x, but ”economical”? Are you going to resaw a 2x and glue it to two more 2x’s so you can dimension to 3 1/4? Are you going to factor in the waste? And to ensure a good glue joint, are you going to re-mill the 2x’s ? Are you going to factor in the wear and tear on jointer and planer knives? How about labor cost? Is your time worth anything?

I will sometimes glue up material to get the thickness I want, but I generally prefer to buy thicker stock when available. But I charge $$ for my time. YMMV

I think the OP in this case already has the 4x in hand.

View SirGareth's profile

SirGareth

85 posts in 1663 days


#14 posted 01-03-2016 05:01 PM

Thanks sawdustdad and all who replied with his method. It makes sense and keeps the steps to a minimum.

Tim

-- Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward. - Tim, Southern California

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SirGareth

85 posts in 1663 days


#15 posted 01-03-2016 05:10 PM

Yes, I already have the 4×4 stock. In any event, each leg is a lamination of two 3-1/4×3-1/4 boards for 6-1/2×3-1/4 legs. The remaining boards are used for the side and stretcher supports. So, using 2×4s in this case would involve a lot of extra work. In this case, the extra I paid for 4×4s was worth it for me.

-- Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward. - Tim, Southern California

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