Newbie selecting tools for a specific purpose- need advice

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Forum topic by Jacqueline posted 08-09-2012 04:20 PM 1803 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jacqueline's profile


14 posts in 2643 days

08-09-2012 04:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw joiner shaper planer router jointer

I need a regular supply of milled lumber for a small company I am opening. I got pricing for it from a couple millwork companies and it is quite a lot. Considering I will need the same type of thing over and over, we’ve decided to buy the tools and do it ourselves from rough cut lumber. What I need is the following 3 functions:

resaw rough cut lumber to yield 2 (qty) 5/16’ thick boards. I need to do this on boards up to 12 inches wide. I’m pretty clear I need a bandsaw for this.

However, secondly and thirdly, I need to:

plane them, and

route the edge with a shiplap.

That’s where my options get confusing. Router or shaper, planer or joiner? How big, what brand? Can I do both of those things with one piece of equipment? Which one and does it need special modification?

We would like to purchase used equipment to save money, but want to be sure the brand and size is the right model and a good investment. Bandsaws on Craigslist around here get snapped up quickly, but the other two may be easy to purchase if I know what to keep my eye out for… any advice from people who’ve been through some tools and really know what would be the most efficient purchase(s) would be great.

17 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4422 days

#1 posted 08-09-2012 04:41 PM

I guess the first question to consider is what volume of millwork you will be producing. Larger, commercial grade machinery will do the job(s) much faster and more efficiently, and the investment will pay for itself if you do enough production. However, if you are only milling 50 bf per week, it might not be worth it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8561 posts in 2532 days

#2 posted 08-09-2012 04:51 PM

It would be helpful to know what species of wood you’re going to be working with…. hardwood or softwood.

resaw rough cut lumber to yield 2 (qty) 5/16ā€™ thick boards. I need to do this on boards up to 12 inches wide. Iā€™m pretty clear I need a bandsaw for this.

trust me, you want a horizontal resaw bandsaw for this task…. check auctions and industrial brokers….
Here’s Grizzly's offering for comparison of what a new machine goes for. You’re going to need 3 phase power to run a machine like this…. but this is not a task I would want to do on a vertical bandsaw with manual feed.

You’ll need a stationary planer…. with ample power….. A two sided or four sided planer would be the cat’s meoow.

I’m not sure about the shiplap, but I would think a shaper with a power feed might be efficient…

If you can get 3 phase power…. (a good size rotary phase convertor might do the trick) you’ll find many industrial machines at auction for short money….. especially in this economy… lot’s of companies going under. Going to auctions with a wad of cash and truck is the least expensive way to source these items.

Brokers are a good second source… but they take their cut.. surf for some ideas.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3852 days

#3 posted 08-09-2012 04:54 PM

You want a real resaw machine if you are doing manufacturing. A
regular band saw will be too finicky for making that cut in a production
way. You might want to get a horizontal resaw. At the least, you
should consider a “pineapple” feeder, which is a feeder you can
attach to a vertical bandsaw and turn it into an automated resaw.

Look on ebay for the Hitachi and Makita resaw machines. They run
3” wide blades and are the smallest and most affordable of true resaw

As an alternative, a small bandmill may be a better investment for you –
the cut will not be as nice as with a resaw machine but you can cut
lumber on the side and sell the machine for very close to what you
pay for it if the business doesn’t work out.

Look at the Woodmaster/Belsaw planer/moulders. The old
Belsaws are available used, have parts available, and are
simple machines that produce consistent boards. Any solid
iron and steel 220v planer will do what you need though.

Woodmaster has an accessory system for making tongue-and-groove
flooring but it is costly and really just a setup with the planer
in the middle and a router at each end of it. Shiplap is
considerably easier to mill and I would probably just set up
a shaper with a power feeder to do it. You can get a used
shaper with power feeder for less than $1000.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2392 days

#4 posted 08-09-2012 04:56 PM

If you’re dealing with rough lumber, you’ll need a jointer and a planer.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8561 posts in 2532 days

#5 posted 08-09-2012 05:02 PM

Loren’s idea about using a portable bandsaw mill is intruiging…. would not require any special power (gas operated) and would enable you to go from log to board. Then you could air dry your wood, and re-saw again when dry.

I hired a guy with a 20’ Woodmizer with all the hydraulics, and tended for him myself. We milled 10,000 BF of beams and boards on site for my house, and all I can say is that the Woodmizer is an AWESOME rig.

Best of all…. I think you’ll find that they have a very high resale value, should things not pan out.

Not cheap…. but they work very well.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3852 days

#6 posted 08-09-2012 05:13 PM

+1 for shaper+powerfeed for the shiplap edges.

if you do small batches a vertical bandsaw will suffice, but if you are going to do large quantities on a regular basis a dedicated resaw bandsaw will be more efficient and will pay for itself long/short term (depending on how much you produce). Loren had some good suggestions there.

you’ll want a jointer and planer that can accommodate for the 12” boards as well (13” capacity at minimum), again depending on volume of production you could look into a combo machine that can joint and thickness your material in 2 passes, or if you have higher production you’d want dedicated jointer and dedicated planer that can speed things up.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3852 days

#7 posted 08-09-2012 05:14 PM

P.S. nice to see you finally post ;)

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

View b2rtch's profile


4868 posts in 3252 days

#8 posted 08-09-2012 05:15 PM

Which kind of business are you starting?

-- Bert

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3175 days

#9 posted 08-09-2012 05:29 PM

Here’s a link for a 3” bandsaw in the Nashville Craig’s List.
This is typical of the type machine you might need.

Or, like Loren pointed out, you could do this with a bandsaw mill (horizontal) and have a machine that would be easy to sell going forward if this project doesn’t work out.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3272 days

#10 posted 08-09-2012 05:55 PM

Milling your own lumber is cheaper than buying it already dimensioned, but unless you’re using quite a bit, the economics may not work very well. In addition to the equipment cost, you need space for it, power to it, etc,etc.

You said that you want 5/16” thick boards. Could 1/4” work? A decent lumber yard should have 1/4”.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8561 posts in 2532 days

#11 posted 08-09-2012 06:01 PM

just re-read the OP and caught this…. millwork companies

have you sought out quotes from any wood brokers or small lumber mills?

Even if you minimums were larger, the better pricing may save you the carrying cost… and the significant expense of setting up to do it yourself.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View RCT's profile


89 posts in 3955 days

#12 posted 08-09-2012 06:42 PM

I would have you look at these two web sites
the combination of these two machines though a lot of work to set up
they should do what you want

-- "Ya but what does he know anyhow?"

View Jacqueline's profile


14 posts in 2643 days

#13 posted 08-09-2012 07:15 PM

Thanks for all the replies and great advice. I will need to take several hours and look up/digest what you’ve said. To answer a few questions: hoping to do about 250 bf/ week when fully operational; hardwood (red oak, possibly some maple). I did talk to several small lumber companies, very few could do all 3 thing I needed and the few that could charge quite a bit for that much work… and I got the impression they really didn’t want to do it. So, I would be on the bottom of their list- not where I want to be when I need a regular supply.

I had been looking at Jet, Delta, and Grizzly 14’ bandsaws with riser blocks. I wasn’t even aware of the horizontal option, nor was I considering some of the other options mentioned. I’ll do some research and check your links and check back in. Thanks!

View waho6o9's profile


8525 posts in 2781 days

#14 posted 08-09-2012 08:57 PM

Good luck on your endeavors Jackie and may you have continued success.

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2669 days

#15 posted 08-10-2012 12:30 AM

my first thought was a woodmaster. You can plane and route an edge in one pass!

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

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