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I have 9+ foot rough oak boards. What do I do with them?

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Forum topic by mdburnem posted 07-28-2017 05:05 PM 1367 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mdburnem

10 posts in 141 days


07-28-2017 05:05 PM

I have been reading on this and other forums for many weeks on HOW to process long boards but now I’m torn on WHAT I should do with them. I just didn’t see much on the best thing to do when setting up your shop for processing the wood.

Problem: I have 9’ 4” rough red and white oak boards. I have a 6 inch jointer with a 44” bed. I have a Ridgid 13” planer. I have the plans for a sled if I need to joint with the planer. I have a very small shop.

I was making plans to build extensions for my jointer but then I read suggestions that perhaps I should only process the rough boards as I knew what I needed to do. Some say ONLY worry about processing 9 foot boards if I’m going to build something that requires 9 feet. I decided to join the forum and ask for advice on what I should do in order to process all of the rough oak that I have.

-- A man is only as good as his word


25 replies so far

View edapp's profile

edapp

61 posts in 1268 days


#1 posted 07-28-2017 05:14 PM

If you dont know what your going to use the boards for…. dont do anything.

Once you had a plan for the lumber, you can cut out the rough parts and mill as needed.

Or maybe i read that wrong…

View gargey's profile

gargey

862 posts in 614 days


#2 posted 07-28-2017 05:15 PM

You should make a saw bench.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5466 posts in 2652 days


#3 posted 07-28-2017 05:16 PM

If your project plans call for parts 3-4 feet long, you’ll want to crosscut the rough stock before milling it. Unless your rough lumber is really straight, it is tough to get 9’ long boards totally straight.

In all the furniture projects I have ever built, there were very few that required long boards. Bed sets are one exception that come to mind.

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

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2316 posts in 1684 days


#4 posted 07-28-2017 05:29 PM

Tall book shelf like this one from Fine Woodworking…

http://www.finewoodworking.com/issue/2012/12/fine-woodworking-magazine-december-2012-issue-no-229

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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mdburnem

10 posts in 141 days


#5 posted 07-28-2017 05:29 PM



If you dont know what your going to use the boards for…. dont do anything.

Once you had a plan for the lumber, you can cut out the rough parts and mill as needed.

Or maybe i read that wrong…

- edapp

Thank you. This is the type of information I’m looking for. I’m very inexperienced and I was thinking I should process the boards in the full raw state to reduce waste but I’m thinking I may, in fact, create more waste/frustrations by trying to process 9 foot boards needlessly.


You should make a saw bench.

- gargey

Saw Bench?


If your project plans call for parts 3-4 feet long, you ll want to crosscut the rough stock before milling it. Unless your rough lumber is really straight, it is tough to get 9 long boards totally straight.

In all the furniture projects I have ever built, there were very few that required long boards. Bed sets are one exception that come to mind.

- pintodeluxe

Thank you. This was the type of advice I was looking for. I can start small, practice and over time develop my skills and put myself into a place where I can handle longer pieces if and when I have need of them in a project.

-- A man is only as good as his word

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mdburnem

10 posts in 141 days


#6 posted 07-28-2017 05:46 PM



Tall book shelf like this one from Fine Woodworking…

http://www.finewoodworking.com/issue/2012/12/fine-woodworking-magazine-december-2012-issue-no-229

- RobS888

Thanks for the idea. I definitely want to make a bookshelf or maybe several.

-- A man is only as good as his word

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

2680 posts in 578 days


#7 posted 07-28-2017 06:06 PM

Crosscut and process what you need at the time. Definitely solid advise above.

If you mill everything down now and in two years go back and use those boards, they may not be perfectly flat anymore causing you to mill them again anyway and losing more stock. Also, you don’t know how thick you’ll need those future boards as it is. Once a project is built, joined, glued, finished, etc. it moves less than what is sitting on my shelf. So I crosscut pieces off and then use what I want to use. Then shelf the rest until something comes along that will use it.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Andybb's profile (online now)

Andybb

554 posts in 442 days


#8 posted 07-28-2017 06:39 PM


Crosscut and process what you need at the time. Definitely solid advise above.

If you mill everything down now and in two years go back and use those boards, they may not be perfectly flat anymore causing you to mill them again anyway and losing more stock. Also, you don t know how thick you ll need those future boards as it is. Once a project is built, joined, glued, finished, etc. it moves less than what is sitting on my shelf. So I crosscut pieces off and then use what I want to use. Then shelf the rest until something comes along that will use it.
- ki7hy


+1 That about sums it up and the reasons to wait until you have a use for them. Maybe “practice” on one of them so you can develop a technique that works best with the tools you have thus eliminating the learning curve when its time for an actual project.

Maybe someone else can confirm but I think the general rule of thumb (and personal experience learned the hard way) is that if you are going to resaw/plane to more than half the original thickness it will probably warp due to stresses being released in the wood.

-- Andybb - GO HAWKS!

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10640 posts in 2219 days


#9 posted 07-28-2017 06:48 PM

Once you have a project, spend a good chunk of time examining the boards, determine grain direction, look for runout, outline any defects using chalk. Then use a piece of chalk and sketch out the final pieces leaving plenty of extra for milling. Then rough cut to length, rip to rough width, flatten one face, true one edge, run through the planer to make the opposite face parallel, then through the tablesaw to make the opposite edge parallel. Sticker and allow to rest for 24-ish hours then cut to final length and width and flatten again as necessary. That’s the textbook method and is good practice but in reality there will be times you might stray from it. As a beginner you shouldn’t stray too far.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

2680 posts in 578 days


#10 posted 07-28-2017 06:57 PM



Once you have a project, spend a good chunk of time examining the boards, determine grain direction, look for runout, outline any defects using chalk. Then use a piece of chalk and sketch out the final pieces leaving plenty of extra for milling. Then rough cut to length, rip to rough width, flatten one face, true one edge, run through the planer to make the opposite face parallel, then through the tablesaw to make the opposite edge parallel. Sticker and allow to rest for 24-ish hours then cut to final length and width and flatten again as necessary. That s the textbook method and is good practice but in reality there will be times you might stray from it. As a beginner you shouldn t stray too far.

- Rick M

Rick gives you the whole process and brings up a good point. You shouldn’t stray far until you get to know wood well. The wood you work or the lumber pusher you buy from, etc. will very likely unless you start cutting logs yourself. Definitely mill then wait a day because it will likely move depending on moisture and stress.

I know my stock well and can proceed with my knowledge more than the “rules”. You’ll get it down sooner than you think though.

Good post Rick.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

992 posts in 2688 days


#11 posted 07-28-2017 07:24 PM

Hi mdburnem, welcome to LJ’s, I’m about 3 hours north of you just over the river into MD -

Take a look at this series from Matt Cremona's Nursery table build and you’ll see him plan the parts and break down his rough lumber.

Since you’re in IT you should also get Sketch UP and start learning to draw your projects first to make your mistakes digitally before you start with the wood as well as plan out what your pieces will be and what you’ll be breaking down from the rough lumber. Jay Bates did some good Sketch Up tutorials that helped me a bit, and then of course Youtube will lead you to 1000 more.

You’ve also got a good lumberyard in Norfolk, Yukon Lumber which is where you can find more rough lumber now that you’ve got the affliction… er… hobby.

For a first project??? occasional tables and stepstools are always use full and will combine many skills that will be of use as you practice.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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mdburnem

10 posts in 141 days


#12 posted 07-28-2017 08:47 PM

Thank you all for the additional information. It seems I am continually learning. I probably have about 1,500 board feet of Red Oak and 500 BF of White Oak. It’s been air dried and I’ve just become aware of the problem of air drying wood and having to deal with bugs. I’ve learned about Boracare and other products that will help keep the wood bug free.
One of my problems is that I get into my own head too much. I research and research and then research some more. Finally, at some point, I need to get some answers from experts.
I have my first project plans. I’m building an Arts and Crafts clock off of plans I got from Woodcraft. I love clocks and I’m going to build a couple different ones strictly from plans and then I will (likely) start to branch out on adding my own twists. Thank you for the pointers on laying out the parts with chalk outlines. I hadn’t really thought about that and all the material I have been looking at, nothing I’ve read mentioned that. I did have to look up what runout is.

I had read that I should give the wood several days or even a week after initial milling to acclimatize before going back and potentially re-milling. Several of you seem to indicate just a day, is that right?

I will take a look at Sketch Up. I’ve been to Yukon lumber. I’ve purchased several pieces from there and bought a pickup load of stickers when I was drying my first batch of Oak.

Thanks again for the ideas and suggestions.

-- A man is only as good as his word

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

667 posts in 1058 days


#13 posted 07-29-2017 05:10 PM

first things first:
if the lumber is air dried, you might want to check the MC before any machining.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10640 posts in 2219 days


#14 posted 07-29-2017 06:22 PM

I’m a believer in using the wood soon after you mill it because that flat face isn’t going to stay flat forever. I’m talking about after the wood is dry and you are getting ready to build with it. Sometimes I don’t even wait 24 hours. The more woodworking you do, the longer you spend examination the lumber and laying out your pieces because it saves you time later on and looks better.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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mdburnem

10 posts in 141 days


#15 posted 07-30-2017 02:46 AM



first things first:
if the lumber is air dried, you might want to check the MC before any machining.

- tomsteve

I have brought the first batch of wood into my air conditioned shop to begin to get acclimatized. It’s been in for about 2 weeks. I’ve got a pretty good lumber rack so as I process and use the lumber, I will rotate the stock and bring in more from outside.

-- A man is only as good as his word

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