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First time working rough lumber, advice.

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Forum topic by Zboom posted 706 days ago 1399 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Zboom

58 posts in 852 days


706 days ago

Hey all I just bought a ridgid 4331 planer and it is still in the box. I also bought a piece of rough cedar and need some tips on making dimensional wood out if it for a address sign for our house. I have read a lot but at this time I don’t have a jointer and I’m looking into building a sled for now. So my question is should I square the edges first and then joint the face of the board with my planer? Then plane it down to thickness? Thanks

Michael

-- Michael, www.facebook.com/flatlandersww


15 replies so far

View BilltheDiver's profile

BilltheDiver

215 posts in 1383 days


#1 posted 705 days ago

You have to start with squaring a face, rather than an edge. That means either building that sled, or using a router on skis. The planer only creates parallel surfaces, not square ones. Once you have a face prepared you can square the edges on a table saw with a jig, or on your router table with an offset outfeed fence.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View JimDaddyO's profile

JimDaddyO

284 posts in 1577 days


#2 posted 705 days ago

Just like Bill says. Also, you need a flat face to put on the table side of the planer. If there is any cup in the wood, the pressure rollers of the planer will take it out before the wood gets planed, and when the wood is released from the rear pressure roller, the cup will spring back.

-- I still have all my fingers

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5135 posts in 1873 days


#3 posted 705 days ago

If the face isn’t flat, the squared edges won’t necessarily be a true 90° to the face, so flatten first. If you dont’ have a jointer, get one! (kidding) You can build a sled as you mention (good choice IMO), use a router jig as Bill mentioned, or use a handplane. Find some practice pieces rather than training on your purchased lumber.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Zboom's profile

Zboom

58 posts in 852 days


#4 posted 705 days ago

Thanks for the replies, it sure helps a lot. In yalls opinion is the planer sled a good idea or is the router “skis” a better idea?

-- Michael, www.facebook.com/flatlandersww

View DS's profile

DS

2072 posts in 918 days


#5 posted 705 days ago

With a thickness plane, but no jointer, you can get, or make, a straightline jig, then, if your rips aren’t too wide, you can run them on edge through the planer to clean them up. I built a lot of face frames this way before I got my jointer.

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

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 762 days


#6 posted 705 days ago

How big is the piece and how much material do you plan to remove?

I use a router jig (rail-mounted bridge) on slabs I work with, but if it’s a small piece I would go ahead and use another method.

If the piece is too large (like my slabs), a planer sled is pretty useless due to the number of times I’d have to run it through to flatten (parallel to sled) the slab.

So… how big is the piece?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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Zboom

58 posts in 852 days


#7 posted 705 days ago

Hey DS do you have a pic of what a straightline jig would look like? Never seen one or heard of one.

Doss, the piece is approx 6 inches wide, 8 ft long, and an inch thick. I will probsbyl half the stick and just use 4 ft of it.

Cheers

-- Michael, www.facebook.com/flatlandersww

View vonhagen's profile

vonhagen

458 posts in 862 days


#8 posted 703 days ago

here is how a 4 sided moulder works, i joint one edge then rip it in the rough over size by 1/4 inch then set the moulder heads to the desired width and thicknes then set the infeed or jointing bed, there is a bed and a fence to the right. as i feed the board it first joints the bottom with the first head then the second head joints and squares the right edge then the third head mills the width and squares the left edge and then the forth head planes the top of the board to finished thickness. so joint the face first then joint one edge with the jointed face on the fence then rip to desired width then do the thickness on your planer

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 762 days


#9 posted 701 days ago

At that size vonhagen, I’d be tempted to just go buy a “cheap” benchtop jointer and be done with it. You can find them on craigslist or buy a new one for under $300. You can get a larger benchtop version for under $500 if that’s in your budget.

If you’re not working a lot of boards and don’t need 6+ inch wide boards, it’s probably the easiest way.

If that’s not sounding good to you, just build a nice sled for your planer and start running them through.

A jointer is going to save you a lot of time on boards of this size, but it does add additional costs and space requirements.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View vonhagen's profile

vonhagen

458 posts in 862 days


#10 posted 699 days ago

doss, i am just trying to explain the way large mills run their rough lumber and apply it to a small shop. if you are going to buy rough lumber instead of s3s or s4s the the basic machines to use are a jointer, table saw, and a thickness planer. you save lots of money by buying in the rough and buying pre milled lumber does not guarantee that the boards are not straight ,cupped, or twisted. if you read about the 4 sided moulder it does all 4 sides in 1 pass and i explained the sequence of the cutterheads to give zboom an idea of how to mill lumber. yes you can make a sled and shim the corners to try and flatten it out and use a straight edge to run it thru the saw but its more work than just taking it to a mill and have them dimension it for a few bucks. lesson here is dont buy rough lumber if you dont have the machines to mill it.

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View DS's profile

DS

2072 posts in 918 days


#11 posted 699 days ago

A straight line jig simply attaches your board, side by side, to another board that is known straight.
The two boards are passed through the TS together with the known straight edge against the fence.
This effectivly transfers the straight line to your board.

I forget where I got mine, but it is simply a pair of extruded aluminum clamps.

For the straight edge reference board, I typically use plywood cutoffs.

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

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 762 days


#12 posted 699 days ago

Hey, my fault on the false callout vonhagen, that was actually meant for Zboom.

I understood where you were coming from vonhagen... I have some homemade jigs and rigs to mill/finish my own rough cut lumber. Again, sorry for the confusion.

As an aside, one of my local shops has a crazy set of machinery that can make moulding (molding), floor boards, paneling, deck boards, etc. that I approached about milling some of my wood for me. The problem is they can’t handle 30”+ wide boards :-)

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View ETwoodworks's profile

ETwoodworks

92 posts in 1191 days


#13 posted 699 days ago

You dont really need a straightline jig. What I do is hot glue a straight edge to the edge of the board and let the straight edge ride on the TS fence. Then you just pull your yardstick off and scrape the hot glue away. Cheep and easy.

-- Building quality in a throw away world.

View DS's profile

DS

2072 posts in 918 days


#14 posted 699 days ago

ET… technically, that is still a straightline jig…

;-D

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

View Zboom's profile

Zboom

58 posts in 852 days


#15 posted 684 days ago

Thanks for the help… I used a planer sled and got a flat face then used a piece of mdf for a straightline jig… I think it turned out well for my first time dimensioning lumber…

Cheers

-- Michael, www.facebook.com/flatlandersww

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