Oak Pub Table #2: Milling the Lumber

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Blog entry by VinnieP posted 07-26-2010 07:19 AM 1630 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Beginning Part 2 of Oak Pub Table series Part 3: Lots to report; Glue up, doweling, tapering, circle cutting... »

Got another step closer today. I cut up the two large boards and milled them to workable dimensions. Excitement is starting to replace the nervousness I had about butchering those two beautiful planks of white oak. I’m hoping to measure out the joinery Tuesday night and glue up the table top some time this week as well.

Today’s lesson… I NEED a dust collector. Filled a 5 gallon bucket by the time I was done on the jointer.

A couple pictures of the oak before jointing the face.

Here are the boards ready to be cut to width. A couple haven’t been planed yet. From left to right: Boards for the top, boards for the arms, boards for the feet, and the boards for the post.

4 comments so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3309 days

#1 posted 07-26-2010 08:18 AM

Looks likes things are coming a long quite nicely. If you just leave the sawdust on the ground it makes it a lot softer, but you loose tools.

View WWilson's profile


106 posts in 3330 days

#2 posted 07-26-2010 06:12 PM

Excellent work. I have the same problem with dust collection. I did break down and buy a dust deputy from Oneida and it works great for one tool at a time kind of thing. I still find that under heavy use I need to clean my shop vac filter probably once per shop session (every 3-4 hours or so).

My question for you with this process is do you let the wood sit or acclimate after you mill it? I seem to have a hard time with wood movement after I plane or joint boards. Any thoughts about milling and then letting the wood sit? Thanks for sharing!


View ChrisForthofer's profile


150 posts in 3335 days

#3 posted 07-26-2010 07:32 PM

Nice looking lumber, be interested to see how the finished piece comes out.

WWilson – I too have also had the same problem with wood movement. I spent a few hours preparing some lumber for some drawers a few months back, but I wasnt going to be able to dovetail them until my next garage day which happened to be a few weeks later.

Once at the dovetail jig, router in hand, I was saying to myself how nice it was to be using milled lumber instead of the S4S garbage the box stores sell. First time I had attempted the drawers I used S4S and wound up with drawer boxes that looked horrible, open joints, werent square, etc. Much to my surprise when I went to assemble the drawer made with my milled lumber, I had similar issues. To a much lesser degree than with the box store stuff but there were still gaps in the joints that I wasnt happy with, they were square though. (I am a bit picky about things I make myself) Let me preface all of this with the fact that I am a machinist by trade. I understand paralleism, flatness, squareness etc quite well. I checked all the lumber as I was milling it and it was all near as perfect as I could make it. Trying to find the cause of my dovetail issues (while saying to myself “this shouldnt be happening, I milled this stuff myself!”, I began inspecting my now dovetailed lumber and found it cupped, twisted and generally not in the state I left it in 2 weeks earlier. BTW I was able to salvage the drawers, I just wont be admiring the joinery on them without cursing myself a little.

Not days later I was on the Wood Whisper’s blog and he mentioned this very thing. Short version is he mills his lumber to within an 1/8” or so and lets it sit in the shop for 2 weeks to move however they are going to move and then finish mills them. I will be doing this from now on as it seems like some very sound advice.


-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View VinnieP's profile


140 posts in 3589 days

#4 posted 07-27-2010 12:46 AM

Very true Bill, but I have enough fun losing tools.

Will – this is my first “bigger” project. When I say bigger I mean longer than a weekend. So I don’t have much experience with movement after milling. It does concern me though. The humidity is pretty high here in the summer so the boards sat in my garage for 3 weeks before I began. I am going to start the assembly process tomorrow so I’m hoping that isn’t enough time for significant movement.

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