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Forum topic by caboxmaker posted 09-18-2017 07:21 PM 452 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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caboxmaker

24 posts in 168 days


09-18-2017 07:21 PM

I have read about the term “FEE” when referring to milling lumber prior to building a project. “FEE” stands for face, edge, end. Can someone tell me how that works and the equipment required? Please only respond if you have actually used the “FEE” approach to milling.


11 replies so far

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Firewood

139 posts in 1414 days


#1 posted 09-18-2017 07:40 PM

F=flatten a face of the board. This is typically done with a jointer.

E=square one edge with the flattened face. This is also done with the jointer.

E=ends can now be cut square to the face and edge.

With that being said, you still need to dress the other face and edge. This cannot be done with the jointer. The second face should be done on a planer and the opposite edge can be done on a table saw. This keeps all faces and edges square and parallel.

Also, first step should be to cut the rough stock to a couple inches over desired length to minimize stock removal during jointing and planing.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

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jdh122

944 posts in 2598 days


#2 posted 09-18-2017 07:52 PM

As it’s described here (http://www.finewoodworking.com/2005/09/12/all-about-milling-lumber) just about all woodworkers follow this method. Indeed I can’t really imagine another way to do it. I suppose that some of us joint the face and one side before planing and some of use joint one face, plane the other and then joint one edge (in both cases you then use the tablesaw as the final steps). Not much difference between the two orders, other than the fact that the second allows you to choose feed direction when you joint the first edge.

Normal tools are jointer, planer and tablesaw, although all kinds of workarounds exist to get by without one or the other of these three tools.

Quote from article:
“Follow the “FEE” system
Work the faces, then the edges, and finally the ends (“FEE”). This order is exactly the opposite of the rough milling process. Start at the jointer and flatten one face of the board. Then run the board through the planer with the jointed face down to create a parallel, flat opposing face. After the faces are flat and parallel, work on the edges. Back at the jointer, run the board on edge until it is square to the face. The last edge is cut parallel to the jointed edge on the tablesaw. Finally, crosscut the ends to length. If the board won’t get put to use immediately, keep it stickered so it retains its four-square shape.”

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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papadan

3584 posts in 3149 days


#3 posted 09-18-2017 08:18 PM



I have read about the term “FEE” when referring to milling lumber prior to building a project. “FEE” stands for face, edge, end. Can someone tell me how that works and the equipment required? Please only respond if you have actually used the “FEE” approach to milling.
- caboxmaker

All of us that buy rough sawn lumber use the “fee” system, just never heard that name for it. I plane my faces, Use a router and straight edge the joint one edge and use the tablesaw to cut the opposite edge and cut to length with a crosscut sled. Just normal operation.

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ColonelTravis

1592 posts in 1674 days


#4 posted 09-18-2017 08:28 PM

What other approach is there?

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papadan

3584 posts in 3149 days


#5 posted 09-18-2017 08:34 PM

I always thought the “FEE” approach was when you pay someone to mill your lumber. ;-)

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DS

2687 posts in 2201 days


#6 posted 09-18-2017 08:35 PM

The typical approach is as already stated. Though, this is the first time I’ve heard it called “FEE”.


What other approach is there?

- ColonelTravis

There’s always other approaches. e.g. Feed rough-sawn through the gang rip (for straight line and rough width), then through the 5-head molder = instant S4S lumber (In volume and with a profile, if desired).

Most folks don’t have that kind of equipment in a home shop (I sure don’t).

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2662 posts in 1261 days


#7 posted 09-18-2017 08:38 PM

The principle is to establish a flat face and a straight reference edge in order to mill the lumber to thickness and width.

Equipment needed: jointer and planer.

The width of each depends on how wide you want to be able to joint. An 8” jointer and 15” planer will get you pretty far.

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

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caboxmaker

24 posts in 168 days


#8 posted 09-18-2017 08:54 PM


I always thought the “FEE” approach was when you pay someone to mill your lumber. ;-)

- papadan


Papadan, did you read that somewhere?

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papadan

3584 posts in 3149 days


#9 posted 09-18-2017 08:59 PM


I always thought the “FEE” approach was when you pay someone to mill your lumber. ;-)

- papadan

Papadan, did you read that somewhere?

- caboxmaker


Nope, and never paid to get wood milled either. LOL

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3452 posts in 2189 days


#10 posted 09-19-2017 01:43 AM

Never knew this process was called something. I assumed it was the way of things. Whether it be using hand tools or power tools the end result is dimensional lumber that is flat and square. Who knew?

For me a FEE is what I charge someone when on a rare occasion I agree to make something for them. The amount depends on how much of a pain in the %^& they were throughout the process. Sometimes it is referred to as exorbitant.

LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1240 posts in 1168 days


#11 posted 09-19-2017 02:01 AM

While the jointer is the easiest way to get the first face and edge flat and square (FE), you can also do it with a router jig (for the face) and a table saw jig to get the first edge straight and square. If you only need to do this occasionally, this is a much cheaper way without buying a jointer, though much more time consuming. Of course the old school method is to use hand planes.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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