planing green boards?

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Forum topic by fishinmonkey posted 01-11-2012 08:52 PM 978 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 2326 days

01-11-2012 08:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer green lumber question

This summer I cut down a couple of spindly wild cherry trees in my back yard and bucked most of it into stovewood lengths, but left a few larger diameter pieces longer. And then, as luck would have it, was gifted a used Grizzly G0555 band saw with the riser block kit. I figured I could resaw these larger pieced into boards and dry them for future use in jewelry boxes and similar small projects.

I left the logs in the open air and am finally getting around to cutting them up now. Because of our winter rain, they are still fairly wet. I’ve never used a band saw before, and am having a bit of trouble getting the hang of following the saw’s drift, so the boards are coming out a bit on the wavy side. Not a big deal, seeing as anything I can’t use I can burn.

I just picked up a 13” lunchbox planer and thought that maybe I could build a clamping jig to hold the boards steady and then run them through the planer to even their faces out. I did a bit of research on the web, and it sounds like at least some major manufactures of dimensional stock for the cabinetry industry green plane their stock. The benefits, as I understand it, include ensuring even board thickness, so stacks of drying boards sticker better, and more even drying rate (possibly slightly quicker drying times) because of the even surface.

The downside I would worry about would be introducing more sap and moisture into my planer than it is designed for, leading to rust and reduced tool life.

So, does anyone green plane their stock. Would I be ok if I lightly oil the plane’s blades before use (as per manufacture’s recommendation, and then wipe down all reachable surfaces when I’m finished. Any other consideration I should think about.

Thanks is advanced for the help.

-- I like to cut wood apart using various power tools and then screw and/or glue the pieces back together agian. It passes the time.

6 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#1 posted 01-11-2012 10:14 PM

I never finish mill green lumber. It will invariably shrink or warp.
Instead, I like to air dry lumber 1 year per inch of thickness. After that period you can joint and plane to finish dimensions. That way your lumber will be flat and stable.
FYI: Wavy boards really need to be milled on the jointer first, then the planer. If your board goes into the planer like a banana, it will come out like a banana.

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

View pmayer's profile


1028 posts in 3063 days

#2 posted 01-11-2012 10:55 PM

I agree with Willie. For what you are trying to do, you will be better off waiting to plane the stock. Having said that, I occasionally run green stock through my jointer to establish a flat reference to place against my bandsaw table or fence as I rough out projects from logs, and I have not noticed any problems with rust or pitch buildup from doing so. I am not saying it couldn’t happen, but in my limited experience it hasn’t happened to me.

-- PaulMayer,

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2881 days

#3 posted 01-11-2012 11:06 PM

If you plane it down now, you’ll only have to do it again once the wood dries.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3646 days

#4 posted 01-11-2012 11:20 PM

this might be beneficial to (as you say it) some major manufactures of dimensional stock for the cabinetry industry that rely on quantities and have limited drying room that equates to $$$, but for the hobbist or the small shop owner you are better off letting it dry as raw as possible ,and deal with milling it to dimension later according to your needs.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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9 posts in 2326 days

#5 posted 01-12-2012 02:06 AM

I understand that the wood will not maintain any dimension I give it now (it will shrink/warp) and than I’ll have to re-dimension it later. According to [url=]Dr. Gene Wengert from Wood Web[/url] it will warp and shrink less if it’s been pre-surfaced than if it has not, and will have less of a tendency to face check. That’d be a benefit.

I’m playing around with it because I sawed a handful of boards that would be really hard to stack and dry (space is a problem for me too). Time is not a huge issue and any wood I’m losing now I’d loose later too. I’m not going for perfect dimensional or final size, just get boards square enough to stack nicely and dry evenly, basically what Paul says he sometimes does with the same type of material. And it’s good to hear that you haven’t experienced issues, because I’ve started experimenting with it.

It’s been an interesting exercise, anyway. I’ve been able to use a jig e a friend gave me to joint the narrow edge of the boards on my table saw then put them in a clamping jig I worked up today to run the through the plane with cupped or warped surfaces that would rock otherwise and give me “banana in banana out” as Willie put it. This second jig will be handy until I get the cash to buy a jointer.

-- I like to cut wood apart using various power tools and then screw and/or glue the pieces back together agian. It passes the time.

View pmayer's profile


1028 posts in 3063 days

#6 posted 01-14-2012 03:01 AM

Dr. Gene is the man, so definitely worth giving it a shot. Let us know how it turns out.

-- PaulMayer,

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