Veneer from firewood question...

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Forum topic by NoSpace posted 01-26-2015 10:04 PM 943 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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120 posts in 1205 days

01-26-2015 10:04 PM

It occured to me while walking into the grocery store the other day and seeing “hardwood firewood” for sale that hey—did that say hardwood? (I’ve never burned wood in a fireplace in my life so I know nothing about firewood)

I recently bought a small 10” bandsaw, and on the recommendation of someone from this forum, I purchased the “woodslicer” blade for it, and it plows on through maple strips from Home Depot so would I like to see how it does on a real log (or fragment thereof that will fit through the saw). Then as I thought about it, the possibilities expanded into cutting the logs into veneer to patch together and I have several project going on this could work great as an alternative to plywood only. Certainly, it would be fun to experiment.

I’ve done some web searches and there are plenty of websites that talk about processing firewood on a bandsaw or in general, creating veneer from a log, but there’s one point of ambiguity I have not been able to answer in my research.

The possibilities seem endless until you read down to the part where it says “let your new planks dry for one year per inch before using”. Well gee, that kind of puts a damper on things. But none of the sites I’ve read are exactly clear on the order of operation. Is it 1) resaw the logs into planks 2) dry 1 year 3) resaw planks into veneer or is it 1) resaw log into veneer (say 1/4 inch) 2) let dry 3 months (a little more reasonable)?

A couple other questions come to mind.

1) would firewood sold in grocery stores for urbanized folks typically already be pretty dry given it needs to well, burn?
2) Is veneer subject to the same dyring rules as hardwood to be used for structural purposes? My gut instinct is that veneer glued to plywood isn’t in danger of warping…splitting or something maybe, but perhpas we can dry this in less time…?

5 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6587 posts in 2163 days

#1 posted 01-26-2015 10:23 PM

Firewood is already dried.. or at least it should be as otherwise you get lots of crackling and popping when burned. And hardwood is the best as it burns cleaner and doesn’t gunk up the flue like some woods with lots of resin (like pine). The stuff you see in the stores already bagged is a bit more pricey than what you will find from local sellers (usually seen on the side of the road or found in the local classifieds), but it will work just the same. A half or full cord of firewood from a local guy is usually pretty darn cheap if you compare it to what you get in one of those little bags.

Now, is it good for veneers? That you will have to decide for yourself depending on what you plan on using it for. Would work for smaller stuff, but if you are talking about making a dresser or something like that, you will need a lot of those little pieces and a way to join them so it doesn’t look like an assembled jigsaw puzzle.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View bondogaposis's profile


4682 posts in 2316 days

#2 posted 01-26-2015 10:43 PM

The drying rules of thumb are for green wood and the order is: saw first, then dry, then plane. For grocery store firewood it should be fairly to really dry. Making veneers from dry firewood should only need to be acclimated for a few days I would think.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View alittleoff's profile


539 posts in 1241 days

#3 posted 01-27-2015 03:28 AM

Best place to get pieces of hardwood is in the local paper. If you look under firewood there is usually a lot of people selling it this time of year. Call them up and I’m sure they will be glad to cut you any amount of small oak or hickory logs you want. I go by a guys house here and pick up a few pieces every once in a while. They usually have some green or dry. They make more money on it selling it in pieces 3 or 4 ft. Long cause they don’t have to cut, split and stack it.

View NoSpace's profile


120 posts in 1205 days

#4 posted 01-27-2015 04:00 AM

thanks guys. I took the plunge and bought the “bagged” stuff at the store and processed my first log into 1/4 slices. It was—interesting—to say the least. Quite a learning curve to feeding that log through and probably put 5 years of wear on the saw for the first half. Seems like with all the advise on saw setup I’ve read, what it really came down to was getting the hang of guiding it correctly (with the homemade ‘push blocks’) and so the last few cuts went pretty fast and look really good. I think it looks good enough to build something with, of course, I don’t have a planer or jointer, but I’ll practice on the rest of the logs and think of something.

View TheFridge's profile


9249 posts in 1451 days

#5 posted 01-27-2015 05:17 AM

You could always get to know some hand planes. Never hurts.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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