working with rough cut oak

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Forum topic by michael crawford posted 02-25-2010 05:34 PM 2597 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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michael crawford

19 posts in 3000 days

02-25-2010 05:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak plane jointer tablesaw planer milling joining question

this is the first time ive ever used hardwood for a complete project. i usually use pine.

what i purchased is 14 foot long red oak boards, 5/4, between 5 1/2 and 9 1/2 wide. i will be making chairs out of these, most pieces being 1 inch thick by 2 inches wide.

the way the wood looks is that one side has already ben planed. well, mostly. not a completely finished piece, but most of the rough has been planed off to a good texture. the rest is really rough.

what i think i need to do is this:

cut the rough stock to a little longer than i need with my radial arm saw.

use the previously planed surface against the fence on my jointer and joint one edge.
put it in the planer and plane the other side.

use the unjointed edge as my waste side when i rip it to 2 inch widths on my table saw.

does this sound good so far?

the 9 1/2 wide board has had no planing done to it. it is also only 4/4, and will be planed to just over 1/2 inch thickness. my jointer only does 6 inch stock max, so i cant plane or square this piece. my thought was to cut itto rough lengths, then machine one edge to flat, rip to length on the table saw, and then square it up. does this sound right?

Lastly, what kinds of safety precautions do i need to follow when working with this versus pine? the guy at the lumber yard said that i would be seeing a lot of kickback, and to reinstall my riving knife and anti-kickback stuff on my table saw. is this right? anything else i should be aware of?

thanks for helping out a newbie.

6 replies so far

View Gary's profile


9324 posts in 3397 days

#1 posted 02-25-2010 07:12 PM

To square your wood, you can do exactly what you said. There are several methods. As far as the wood goes, make sure your tools/blades are sharp. Watch your feed rate. It won’t feed quite as fast as pine. Kick-back should always be a consideration, even with pine. Once you get used to it being so hard, you’ll do fine. I would put the safety stuff back on the saw tho…..

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View skeeter's profile


233 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 02-25-2010 07:27 PM

if it is not super cupped run it through the planer. I assume you are using it for the seat. First cut it to rough oversize. If your planer is like mine(a piece of crap) leave 4 inches for snipe. Also to reduce it, put your pieces in butt to butt right after one another. If you have a jack plane {minimum size) hand plane one side flat. I have read the planer is the most indispensible power tool in the shop. I agree. Jointing is is easy to do with a plane. Getting things parrellel by hand is hard.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 3214 days

#3 posted 02-25-2010 07:38 PM

i generally crosscut , then rip to a width my jointer can handle – face joint to remove cup – edge joint one end – plane opposite face , rip away unjoited edge – rip to width

-- -erik & christy-

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3383 days

#4 posted 02-25-2010 11:35 PM

I’m going through a similar process. I don’t have a jointer, though. I use a sled for my planer so that I can “face joint” one side. The sled is simply a piece of melamine shelving with a cleat on the front end to hold the stock. I use playing cards to shim up any tipping, then run it through the planer. After I get one side flat, I can remove the sled and plane the other face.

As for edge jointing, I use a straight line ripping jig on my table saw. The edges come out perfectly every time. I’ve also used a long guide and a straight bit on my router.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3444 days

#5 posted 02-25-2010 11:44 PM

I think the folks have pretty well explained the process. I think you are on the right track. I dont think the oak will creat anymore kickbacks than any other wood providing you have sharp blades and cutters. The oak is hard, so dont take off too much in one pass. I would always use a riving knife on the table saw…even with pine.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View skeeter's profile


233 posts in 3305 days

#6 posted 02-26-2010 07:02 AM

i like the playing cards idea. Pretty slick. Sometimes you get those big planks. I have a 6 inch jointer. You need other techniques for face jointing in your arsenal.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

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