Want to make thin slices of pine. Please help.

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Forum topic by wooderson posted 01-22-2011 05:09 AM 8658 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2886 days

01-22-2011 05:09 AM

I have a problem here and I’m hoping to get some good ideas. I am making a pine bookcase for my son. I have finished everything but the back panel. I refuse to use any manufactured wood (MDF, plywood, etc.) so I am having a hard time covering up the back side. Here is my plan so far: It measures 33.5”Hx42”W. I have 8 1×6s that I plan on screwing in vertically and edge-to-edge to create the back panel. The only problem is, the 1×6s are too thick and will look horrible from the side and from the top of the bookcase. I need to get the 1×6s down to 3/16” of thickness, thus allowing them to remain out-of-sight. And this is the problem. I DO NOT have the tool to do this. I am thinking a nice, big bandsaw with a well-placed fence would do the trick? Of course, I do not have access to such a tool so it doesn’t really matter, right? I tried to use my table saw in the hopes that I could make multiple passes and eventually make it through an entire 1×6 stood on its side but that proved impossible. A handsaw? I really hope I don’t have to resort to using a handsaw. I’ll be out there for days! Plus, it’ll probably look horrible. My latest idea is to get a really long blade for my jigsaw and give that a shot. Its a pretty good DeWalt jigsaw so I think it might work. I’m just not sure how straight a line I could cut. And I don’t know if this would even be possible. These planks are 33.5” long and 5.5” wide. Can a jigsasw make that cut? So anyway, outside of buying a massive bandsaw, the jigsaw idea is the best I’ve got so far. Any ideas? Thanks!

22 replies so far

View BobG's profile


172 posts in 3166 days

#1 posted 01-22-2011 05:16 AM

If you know someone that owns a 14” Bandsaw they may do it for you. A 14” will resaw a 6” slab.

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3279 days

#2 posted 01-22-2011 05:23 AM

Can you cut 2 – 2.5” deep with your table saw from each edge? That would leave a 1 – 2” area the middle that is not cut. You can finish the cut with a hand saw. Then run it through a planer to clean it up. If you don’t have a planer, you can clean it up with a sander.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3471 days

#3 posted 01-22-2011 05:37 AM

richgreer has the right answer. cut as much as you can with the table saw and finish it off with a hand saw. easy

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3041 days

#4 posted 01-22-2011 06:06 AM

Sounds like a lot of work to me and then you’ll probably end up with a mess. If by some chance you succeed in this wild scheme, I’m willing to bet you will end up with a more serious problem… 3/16th pine. Try slicing a narrow 3/16th inch thick pine and test it’s strength. A 33.5 length strip won’t even hold it’s own weight. Then you have to work with this fragile stuff.

I would swallow my pride and work with a ply sheet. You could cut it short to a 33 inch width and add a thin strip of real 1/4 inch wide wood on the ends. Nobody could tel the difference unless they pulled it away from the wall.

If you want the jointed board look, use ship lap boards and cut the 2 outside ends 3/16th inch thick 2 inches in!

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3246 days

#5 posted 01-22-2011 06:18 AM

I haven’t had any success taking 1x down to 1/4” especially if it has knots in it. The thinnest I would go is 1/2” than rabbit joint it. If you do a 1/4” rabbit it will take the reveal down to 1/4”, if you do a 5/16th rabbit it will leave a 3/16th reveal, if my calculations are correct. You can make a rabbit on you table saw or if you have a router they sell rabbiting bits. Anyways just my 2 cents.

View Chriskmb5150's profile


253 posts in 3280 days

#6 posted 01-22-2011 06:22 AM

Sounds like alot of work to me too. I would just use plywood. Welcome to lumberjocks by the way.

-- Woodworkers theory of relativity - the quality of your scrap is relative to your skill level

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 3731 days

#7 posted 01-22-2011 06:35 AM

If you are in the US and your project would look ok with red oak, Lowes sells red oak 1/4” thick (which is a bit less than 1/4”) and at various lengths. If you really need to resaw your pine then I agree with the others on using a bandsaw.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View cabmaker's profile


1740 posts in 3013 days

#8 posted 01-22-2011 06:37 AM

Sounds like you have interest in the purest techniques but remember ply has been around for a good long time now and used in some of the finest furniture made. Several things you could do: Glue up the panel and rabbit the perimeter thus letting it into the cabinet. Success on the pine glue up, well its a toss up. If your looking to finish with a true solid wood back you might consider tounge & groove or continuious spline with chamferd shoulders. Then again there is always plywood. I dont think I would put forth much effort on the resaw idea with a jigsaw, but you will certainly get an A plus for effort.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3927 days

#9 posted 01-22-2011 06:44 AM

Not plugging the big orange or blue stores, but they each also carry pine waynecoating paneling/molding that is tongue and groved. I think the logenst lenth was 6” tall and width was around 3 inches. Thickness was about 5/16” (I think) which give enough to pass it through a planner and get rid of most if not all of the molding look.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3852 days

#10 posted 01-22-2011 07:26 AM

You should be able to resaw those boards in half on a table saw in two passes.
Use featherboards.

My preference when doing this is to leave a bit in the middle and then
the board can be split apart with a chisel. Then just plane off the excess.

If not sawing through the whole board the resawing operation on the
table saw is safer and more predictable.

Such a rip is also not too hard to do with a bowsaw (which you can make
yourself) with a ripping blade. That’s how they did it in the old days,
before power saws.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3175 days

#11 posted 01-22-2011 09:14 AM

This should be fairly easy to do on a table saw. You said you tried the table saw and it proved impossible. You need a good sharp ripping blade (~24 tooth) and the fence needs to be carefully set to be square with the blade. Also, you may have to make two or three passes to avoid clogging the blade with too much sawdust at once, but this should be relatively simple.

I would recommend keeping the finished thickness between 3/8” and 1/2” instead of 3/16” because it will be much more stable. 1/4” plywood is stable, but that’s too thin for solid wood. As stated earlier, you can always rabbit the edge to make it 1/4” or 3/16”. I have even seen these types of backs made like raised panels using a router or even a hand plane. Just depends what tools you have and how you want it to look.

Using a 10” table saw with a good sharp quality 24 tooth ripping blade:
Set your rip fence to 3/8” clearance between the blade and the fence. Raise the blade to 1-1/2” and check that it is vertical 90 degrees. Set up a featherboard to hold pressure on the board against the fence. Run the board throught the saw using a push stick. Now raise the saw blade to 3” and run the board through just the same as before, making the same kerf deeper. Now lower the saw to no more than 2-1/4” height. Flip the board end for end so that you are cutting on the opposite edge, but with the same face against the fence. Now run the board through one last time. You should have a 1/4” wide strip holding the two halves together at this point. It’s important to have this strip; it keeps the board from binding and pinching the saw blade. Don’t try to cut the board all the way through on the table saw. It’s dangerous and can cause kickback, or worse. You can rip this little strip into with a handsaw. There will be a small ridge where the strip was because a handsaw kerf is not the same width as a tablesaw, but it is easy to plane this off.

Well, I started writing this a couple hours ago and got distracted with some work. Now I see that Loren has said about the same thing. So, I agree with Loren, and you have two votes for using the table saw. Well, Rich also, so three votes.

View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3771 days

#12 posted 01-22-2011 10:09 AM

Another possibility would be to tablesaw the 1×6 along the thin rather than the fat edge – that is, into a bunch of 1 inch strips at whatever thickness you need/can manage safely.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3269 days

#13 posted 01-22-2011 11:30 AM

3/16 I think it would not keep it from racking. You might look for someone that has a bandsaw, that lives near you. Where do you live?

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View wooderson's profile


8 posts in 2886 days

#14 posted 01-22-2011 08:14 PM

Thanks everybody for all the great ideas. Lots of good responses here. Sounds like I should probably give the table saw method another go. And maybe I’ll go with 3/8” thickness rather than 3/16.

Eagle1, I don’t have a great woodworking vocabulary. Can you elaborate on the “racking” please? Does this just mean that thinner slices of pine would be more susceptible to warping?

And thank you for the welcome.

View canadianchips's profile


2613 posts in 3201 days

#15 posted 01-22-2011 09:50 PM

You can buy packages of 1/4” tongue and groove pine at Home Depot. A kit will cover about twice the size you need. In Canada it was about $14.99 a package .

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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