Ruff Lumber prep Questions

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Forum topic by Coleby posted 03-16-2011 01:53 AM 1335 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 2788 days

03-16-2011 01:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: rough lumber prep walnut question planer jointer

I have a few 12 foot or longer pieces of ruff cut black walnut that I want to transform into proper stock. The stock is roughly 3” x 5” or bigger and at least 12 feet long. it definitely needs to be squared and everything. I want to get some normal 1” stock out of it. What should be my first few steps to get it as perfect as possible? Planner then jointer? how many passes? Should I shorten them some first? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

-- Dean,

8 replies so far

View KylesWoodworking's profile


281 posts in 2690 days

#1 posted 03-16-2011 02:36 AM

Check out this video from wood magazine. Hope this helps.


View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3478 days

#2 posted 03-16-2011 02:49 AM

I just finished planing and jointing about 40 bd ft of black walnut for a chest that I am building. If I know what I am building with it, I cut it to the rough lenght first, leaving a few inches extra. Then I plane the surface, and then I joint it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Coleby's profile


29 posts in 2788 days

#3 posted 03-16-2011 03:42 AM

Thank y’all much! I’m familiar with squaring up stock but most of my projects are made from lumber that only needs ripping. Since this Walnut is so valuable I want to make sure I know what I am doing before I jump in and that’s probably one thing I will do Wayne. Having it a shorter length will make the process much easier and probably more affective.


-- Dean,

View Broglea's profile


685 posts in 3089 days

#4 posted 03-16-2011 03:44 AM

Snowy is right. Cut it to length based on your project. Run it through the jointer to get two sides square, then follow with the planner.

If you surface the board before deciding on a project, then you may be wasting some of the board.

View Coleby's profile


29 posts in 2788 days

#5 posted 03-16-2011 03:55 AM

If I cut the rough length then width what about thickness? I can get two to four boards from this stock I have. How do I go about cutting the thickness into thirds?

should I square one side on the jointer then rip it on table saw? Or would I get a straighter cut with a sled so that my planer will give me a flatter board with no cupping or bowing? My main concern is that my boards do not come out straight.

-- Dean,

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2828 days

#6 posted 03-16-2011 04:02 AM

This is off course from your question, but have you thought of saving this stock for future projects that need a piece of this girth. Turnings, legs, etc.
Perhaps shop around for some 4/4 that would better suit your needs.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3820 days

#7 posted 03-16-2011 04:46 AM

Coleby, if you want another video you might want to take a look at this one. It is the first of a two part video on dimensioning rough lumber in eight steps. The videos were produced by LJ, Keith Cruickshanks, and are pretty good at detailing the steps for dimensioning lumber.

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

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2652 days

#8 posted 03-16-2011 06:14 PM

If you have a project in mind mark out the “parts” of the project on the boards matching grain and color for the exposed parts making sure the prettiest wood is seen the most. Doing this really shows craftsmanship and the end result is much better then hacking the wood into parts and slapping them together.

A good example of this is if you are building a small table that has an inset drawer in it, use one piece of wood to make the apron of the table and cut the drawer face out of that apron. You will perfectly match the apron to the drawer face. Again, this is great craftsmanship and shows attention to detail.

I look forward to seeing the masterpiece you create from these beautiful pieces of wood.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

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