1/2 " stock- resaw or plane?

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Forum topic by swayze posted 03-25-2010 05:38 PM 3816 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View swayze's profile


97 posts in 3088 days

03-25-2010 05:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I recently needed 1/2” stock for drawer carcuss’s and I was wondering how you guys went about it. I just bought a planer that was on sale so I had to try it. But do you guys resaw or plane to get that dimension (or can you buy 1/2” stock where you live)?

19 replies so far

View kodiak's profile


55 posts in 3022 days

#1 posted 03-25-2010 06:07 PM

I work a a dimensional saw mill 2×4 threw 2×12, 6 feet to 20feet long 1.5 thick spruce pine and fur, so if I need 1/2 inch board I resaw it just over 1/2 and then plane it down to 1/2 thick. I can get this stuff free as long as I’m not taking a few hundred board feet home LOL That also goes for any hard wood that I buy, resaw it then plane it.

two boards are better than one board and a pile of saw dust.

-- Simple advice is the best advice

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#2 posted 03-25-2010 06:13 PM

It is generally easier for me to just plane it down. I could resaw but since I deal almost exclusively in 4/4 material by the time I finished the leftover material it would end up being 1/4 to 3/8 thick. I generally do not have a use for material this thin and have enough offcuts to deal with as it is.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4218 days

#3 posted 03-25-2010 06:22 PM

I agree with Scott. It really depends, though, on what stock you have access to. If you have 5/4 or 6/4 stock, and you could easily get two 1/2” thick boards from it, resawing is the way to go. But if you are using stock that is only 3/4” thick to befing with, resawing would not be worth the effort, IMO. I’d just run it through the planer.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View sittingbuller's profile


16 posts in 2998 days

#4 posted 03-25-2010 08:52 PM


Generally I buy half-inch poplar,which is reasonably cheap when I am making drawer boxes, then attach a front that matches my project.

-- Requirements for woodworkers: Sharp mind, sharp wit, sharp tools.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3174 days

#5 posted 03-25-2010 08:54 PM

two boards are better than one board and a pile of saw dust.

That’s where I’m at, too.

If I can wind up with two usable pieces, then I’d rather have another board than more mulch ;-)

-- -- Neil

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3168 days

#6 posted 03-25-2010 08:58 PM

It all depends what size my board is to begin with, if it is only 3/4” to begin with I will plane but if its 1-1/4” or bigger I will usually resaw.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3480 days

#7 posted 03-25-2010 09:25 PM

I usually plane it down.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View swayze's profile


97 posts in 3088 days

#8 posted 03-26-2010 01:10 AM

Thanks for all the replies! The opinion is close to split decision. I have zero experience with re-sawing and don’t even own a bandsaw yet so i was just wondering. I wish that I had a outlet close to me for poplar but I will check that out when south of the border.

Kodiak where in B.C. are you?

Thanks again.

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4400 days

#9 posted 03-26-2010 01:11 AM

Resaw. why waste good wood into the dust bin.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3464 days

#10 posted 03-26-2010 01:31 AM

If the boards you are working with are narrow enough, drawer carcasses could be, you can resaw on the table saw too. One pass on each long edge. If there is any left in the middle it’s easy to break or hit with a handsaw. Hope this helps, BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3288 days

#11 posted 03-26-2010 02:02 AM

me i resaw on the TS then plane for a smooth surface, soon i’ll have a BS and that’ll be how i do all my resawing. Sometimes i do buy 1/2” stock though ply or inlay stock.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Ingjr's profile


144 posts in 3016 days

#12 posted 03-26-2010 02:35 AM

3/4” and thinner I’d plane.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1285 posts in 3736 days

#13 posted 03-26-2010 02:50 AM

I always resaw if the wood has any thickness more than 3/16” more than the net. Bandsaw blades are more faster and cheaper than planer knives. As has also been stated, why waste the wood?

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3464 days

#14 posted 03-26-2010 03:19 AM

i agree with john and the general sentiment that why waste the wood and generate the mess?

i was just debating this myself today as I resawed some 7-8” wide cherry for the first time (not as scary as expected!). My setup isnt perfect, so some of the pieces are coming in under my intended thickness of 3/8”, but at least they are all thicker than the minimum 1/4” (they are panels going to fit into 1/4” grooves).

Anyway, point is, you can resaw on the TS, but allow plenty of room for the kerf, especially if you’re not experienced with it. At best I’m getting two 3/8” thick (finished surface) panels from 1” rough lumber, and that’s using a thin kerf blade. It can definitely be done more efficiently, but not by much.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3768 days

#15 posted 03-26-2010 03:39 AM

resaw. especially with pine its so easy to cut its not worth it not so save some material. also I’m a big fan of bookmatched and matching drawer bottoms (wierd isn’t it) but you wouldn’t believe the impact it has to have two drawers open and see the bottom materials match or have 3 or 4 drawers where the grain runs through them.

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