Frustrated resawing rough lumber - tips?

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Forum topic by JJohnston posted 03-22-2012 11:37 PM 1512 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1586 posts in 1978 days

03-22-2012 11:37 PM

I’ve got some 8/4 poplar, 8” wide, that I’m trying to resaw into 2 – 1” thick pieces. They’re cupped about 1/8” at the middle.

I need them 6” wide, so I first ripped them down to 6 1/2”, then jointed one face and the perpendicular edge (not all the way to flat, just so I had something presentable for the resaw fence). Then it’s into the bandsaw for the resaw. I’m trying to get 2 pieces of equal thickness, but I end up with 1 thick and 1 thin – not much off, but enough that they end up at 5/8” thick before the thin one is done.

Am I just being unrealistic to think I can get 2 pieces that finish out at 3/4” out of an 8/4?

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

6 replies so far

View dlmckirdy's profile


195 posts in 1820 days

#1 posted 03-22-2012 11:57 PM

It depends on the amount of cupping. You said you jointed one face and edge. Measure the thickness of the jointed edge and divide it by two. Set your bandsaw rip (resaw) fence to split the mark with the jointed face against the fence. I assume you have a sharp resaw blade tensioned properly. After resawing one slab, pass the remainder over the jointer to just barely clean the fresh cut face. without adjusting the bandsaw, resaw the second slab. You should two slabs of the same, maximum thickness, and have only lost about 1/16” from the saw kerfs, You may even have a slight amount of useable wood left on the convex side of the cup (I also assume that you jointed the concave face of the board).

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View MoshupTrail's profile


296 posts in 1168 days

#2 posted 03-23-2012 12:20 AM

Getting two equal pieces takes some practice, and a good blade. I still get uneven pieces and I’ve done this several times. I’m still getting the hang of how to account for the kerf width of the saw blade. So even without any cupping, the best you could expect from 8/4 would be two pieces slightly under 1” thick. I assume your trying for 3/4”? It’s gonna be real close with any amount of cup in the board.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View Moron's profile


4666 posts in 2580 days

#3 posted 03-23-2012 12:49 AM

thats why I add 20 to 25% of the total board footage as waste when calculating rough lumber estimates

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View 8iowa's profile


1489 posts in 2448 days

#4 posted 03-23-2012 01:06 AM

Resawing on the bandsaw requires a wide blade, at least 1/2”, and a fence that has been set to compensate for the drift of the blade. A featherboard, or better yet a stack of them, is also a big help.

The surface of the board riding against the fence has to be flat. Any twist or cup must be removed first. Also, wood with uniform density works best. Hard spots, curl, knots, ect. can force the blade off course.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View JJohnston's profile


1586 posts in 1978 days

#5 posted 03-23-2012 01:17 AM

Well, it sounds like the answer to my ultimate question is “Yes”. I would only be able to get 2 usable pieces if everything were perfect, and it isn’t. Sounds like I’m going to get a combination of project pieces and some thinner stuff, maybe for handcut dovetail practice or smaller boxes or something.

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

View Nomad62's profile


724 posts in 1645 days

#6 posted 03-23-2012 03:12 PM

A good friend of mine (radiuswoodguy, look him up) does that a lot, and does it professionally; hence, he has to figure out how to make it work, not whether or not it will. He can slice 1/8” true pieces from 10” walnut, and does so perfectly. But… he also invested in the tools to do so, and takes great care in choosing the right boards to work with. 8/4 is sometimes 8/4, sometimes 7/4. He purchased a nice Grizzly bandsaw, carbide tipped blades that are about $140 each, and a feed speed (cant remember who made it) that will creep or shove the wood thru the blade. Feed speed is critical, it is amazing how well or poorly a cut will be from tweaking that speed knob a bit. I guess it’s like most things, the more money you stuff into it the more you can expect. Best of luck!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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