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Forum topic by pallystu posted 01-06-2014 04:13 AM 1770 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pallystu

75 posts in 1074 days


01-06-2014 04:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question milling shaping joining rough cut lumber rough lumber mill rough sawn lumber

Hello Im a new wood worker and I have only used the s4s lumber from box stores and decided to try and find a real lumber supplier so I can work with more woods and try to get a better deal. I found a lumber supply company near me but they only sell rough cut lumber by the board foot in random lengths and widths. I understand how the board foot measurement works but I have never worked with rough cut lumber before. Since I am pampered with the use of the expensive s4s select lumber is that any thing I need to know about using rough cut lumber? I hear you have to joint it and plane it but well…since im new to wood working I don’t have a jointer, a planer, or even a table saw. would I still be able to work with it? are the edges at least straight and 90 degree just un surfaced or is it 100% out of square? I can have the company surface all the sides for me and make it a true and square board but with the minimum charges it would be $50 for milling just for the two or three board feet that I would buy for my small projects. I don’t know if this matters but It is a semi large retail store and not some one guy store selling lumber he harvested him self. Any help would be nice since im getting slightly tired of paying high prices for wood and not even being able to get it in any other thickness other than 3/4. :P

Thank you guys ahead of time for the help!

-- take your time


41 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6575 posts in 1616 days


#1 posted 01-06-2014 04:15 AM

Solution would be to buy a planer. Not the answer you were looking for, but it’s the best way to do it. I’ve found that with careful enough selection from a lumber retailer, you can get away without needing a jointer.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#2 posted 01-06-2014 04:26 AM

In the past 18 months I switched from BORG lumber to rough cut:
1) no, you can not count on it having straight edges or faces. The stuff I buy always has some curve or irregularity to the edges. Sometimes the faces are in pretty good shape, but they are still rough.
2) So, milling is necessary. The easiest way is to have a jointer, and edge and face joint, then use a thickness planer and a table saw to get our four surfaces.
4) there are other possibilities. I highly recommend you read Coarse, Medium, Fine for two reasons: a) it will teach you about what you’re trying to accomplish with milling; b) it will show you how to use hand planes for parts (or all) of it. I’m not Mr. Hand Tools, but I’ve found this invaluable. I use a plane for edge jointing and for surface jointing if there is cupping or twisting of the boards.
5) with rough lumber, what is almost impossible to do without, as jmartel said, is a thickness planer. You have to get lumber to the proper thickness for your needs, and a planer makes that way, way easier.

Hope this is helpful.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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pallystu

75 posts in 1074 days


#3 posted 01-06-2014 04:28 AM

I might be able to buy a planer at some point in time. Would a hand held power planer work to make boards parallel and square? Its a few hundred dollars cheaper so im kind of iffy on it.

-- take your time

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jmartel

6575 posts in 1616 days


#4 posted 01-06-2014 04:32 AM

A hand held power planer is basically the same as a hand plane. It takes a bunch of time, effort, and skill to pull off parallel and square faces on those. I’d get a used Dewalt or Makita planer on craigslist before a handheld one.

It’s possible to do with hand planes as well, but again will take time, effort, and skill to do it correctly.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#5 posted 01-06-2014 04:34 AM

No, a handheld planer power planer does not work well for this purpose at all. I followed Schwarz’s advice in C, M, F and got a Fore Plane, a Jointer Plane, and a smoothing plane, all used off of eBay or Craigslist—total cost $150. You can get a workable thickness planer for $250-400. But as someone told me, it is the only tool that will pay for itself since rough cut lumber is so much cheaper. Cheapest new or refurb planers I know of are the Steel City or Ridgid at about $299.

Depending on where you are, used ones can be had on CL.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View DKV's profile

DKV

3940 posts in 1970 days


#6 posted 01-06-2014 04:35 AM

Thomas, stick with the big box lumber until you have the capability to joint and plane either using power or manual tools. Do a lot of reading in the interim. Youtube has some great milling videos.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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pallystu

75 posts in 1074 days


#7 posted 01-06-2014 04:36 AM

all right then thanks guys! ill look around for some thickness planers on sale or used. Might end up saving me some cash in the long run any ways.

-- take your time

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jmartel

6575 posts in 1616 days


#8 posted 01-06-2014 04:41 AM

FYI, I had a very bad experience with the Rigid planers that typically go on sale for $300 or under. I wouldn’t buy one.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View BigDaddy2121's profile

BigDaddy2121

10 posts in 1146 days


#9 posted 01-06-2014 04:43 AM

I am fairly new to woodworking as well, so take this for what it’s worth….

Yes a hand planer, either powered or manual, would work to square both your edges and faces, but it is far more labor intensive and far less effective in ensuring you are square. I would actually recommend the hand planer for squaring surfaces anyway as you have to be very precise and that is harder to do with a power planer.

If you are choosing to work with rough lumber, you should really invest in both a jointer and a planer. Both of which are fairly pricey, but well worth the investment from a time and quality of work perspective.

Good luck to you man!

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pallystu

75 posts in 1074 days


#10 posted 01-06-2014 04:45 AM

Is Rigid a brand name? Really If I did have the money to buy a planer I would have a choice between a Porter cable planer and a Dewalt planer. Is there any thing I need to look for?

-- take your time

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CharlesA

3024 posts in 1263 days


#11 posted 01-06-2014 04:54 AM

My Ridgid planer works great, but your mileage may vary. Outside of Dewalt’s more expensive model, all the planers I have seen look like they came from the same assembly line.

Around here Borg lumber works out to about $7bf (red oak). I buy my rough sawn cherry, oak, walnut for $2-3bf. 100bf and I’ve paid for my planer.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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pallystu

75 posts in 1074 days


#12 posted 01-06-2014 04:59 AM

Yeah you have a good point…I guess ill Skip buying a few small tools for a few months and pick up a planer and a jointer eventually as well. In the long run it will be better paying 1/2 the price for lumber. thank you guys you really cleared this up for me. honestly I thought rough sawn lumber was just not sanded down to a smooth finish xD

thanks for helping a newbie out!

-- take your time

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BigDaddy2121

10 posts in 1146 days


#13 posted 01-06-2014 04:59 AM

Yes, Rigid is a brand made by Emerson. It is primarily distributed at Home Depot. Keep in mind that a planer only helps you with the thickness of your wood after it is squared. If you put uneven wood in a planer, you are going to get a surface that is uneven. After you have squared one face and one edge, you are good to go with a planer.

You can square an edge pretty easily with a table saw and a jig (there was one on the LJ homepage today). Squaring the face is the hard part..

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pallystu

75 posts in 1074 days


#14 posted 01-06-2014 05:06 AM

I thought if you planed one face flat and then turned it over and planed again the faces would be close to parallel and then you could do one edge with a straight edge and a circular saw then on the table saw. I don’t know maybe this is an example of me being a machinist messing up my wood working logic lol.

-- take your time

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6575 posts in 1616 days


#15 posted 01-06-2014 05:09 AM

BigDaddy: You can also square a face using a planer jig. Or using a router jig.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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