Newbie question: is planing down 4/4 the best way to get 1/2" stock? (versus Menards)

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Forum topic by ppg677 posted 02-14-2016 04:48 PM 709 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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181 posts in 884 days

02-14-2016 04:48 PM

I’m still using Menards boards for my projects. $4/board-foot for S4S is not that much more expensive than what I’d pay a close-by mill for rough 4/4.

As I consider moving on from Menards, I’m thinking about the 1/2” planks I use for the backs of my projects.

My understanding is that mills don’t sell thinner than 4/4 stock. That’s a lot of material to remove with the planer. Is this really the way to do it?

A 6’ length of Menards 1/2” x 4” (S4S) is $9 right now. If I start with 4/4 at 6’, then yes anything cheaper than $4.50/board-foot makes financial sense, unless you consider all the saw dust created by removing half the material!

7 replies so far

View lndfilwiz's profile


106 posts in 1628 days

#1 posted 02-14-2016 04:51 PM

If you have a band saw, make a re-saw jig and cut the 4×4 to the thickness you need.

-- Smile, it makes people wander what you are up to.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1481 days

#2 posted 02-14-2016 04:53 PM

Resaw to 5/8” on the ts or band saw & then plane to 1/2”. Easier on the planer & less sawdust. Buy 5/4 and you’ll get 2×1/2” after ripping.


-- Madmark -

View jmartel's profile


7958 posts in 2178 days

#3 posted 02-14-2016 04:55 PM

If you have a bandsaw, resaw thicker wood. Less waste and you get multiple boards.

You won’t get two 1/2” boards from 4/4 material. You need at least 5/4 material, and 6/4 is better. They tend to cup and bow when you resaw so having extra material is beneficial.

That being said, if you only want one 1/2” stock per board, then go with 4/4.

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

View ppg677's profile


181 posts in 884 days

#4 posted 02-14-2016 04:55 PM

Thanks, didn’t realize this was an option. I don’t have a bandsaw, but I suppose this is a possible reason to get one.

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3159 days

#5 posted 02-14-2016 04:57 PM

5/4 or 6/4 and resaw is what I do if you need a lot.
Planing 4/4 is the fastest way.

-- Gerry,

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 2413 days

#6 posted 02-14-2016 05:18 PM

Rip thicker stock. Pretty easy to rip half way thru a 4”x4”, flip the board over using the same face, and finish the cut. Gives you a 3.5” board of whatever thickness you want. Or as others suggest use a band saw. In either case you can sand to a smooth finish of whatever thickness.

View rwe2156's profile


2967 posts in 1509 days

#7 posted 02-15-2016 03:03 PM

You can resaw but cupping is an issue you have to sticker and wait a while before using. If you can get two or more boards out of it for sure but,

The advantage to planing is by taken the same # of passes on each side you reduce the moisture differential and get less cupping (theoretically – doesn’t account for stress).

You need 5/4 stock to get two 1/2 boards. Since you’re only gonna get 1 board out of it I would just plane it.

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

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