3-in-1 baby bed #2: Rough milling - the rough way

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Blog entry by JSOvens posted 11-19-2016 06:21 AM 1280 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The plan, the stock, and some adjustments Part 2 of 3-in-1 baby bed series Part 3: Beefing up the legs »

So what to do with all of this rough cherry? The title of this entry is meant to allude to the fact that for me milling stock has never been as simple as running it through a jointer, planer and table saw to achieve S4S boards. For the first complete project I’ve written about on LJs (poplar shoe rack), I did all of the initial milling using a router planing jig and a table saw. It was a ton of time and effort but the results were decent. When I started building a hand tool cabinet (which, by the way, I still haven’t completed), I said “enough” and found a good DeWalt 745 planer on Craigslist for a great price. Not having a jointer, I used a hand plane to sufficiently flatten one side of the stock and sent it through the planer. This was still a lot of work, but the results were better – this is also a small project, which made it doable. Now don’t get me wrong, I salute those of you who “rough-it” with only the horsepower supplied by their own body – and to be honest, I didn’t mind the work – but it’s not the type of woodworking I signed up for when I began this hobby.

Now here I am, still without a jointer with a much bigger project than anything I’ve previously attempted, so to the point, hand jointing one face on each board is out. I instead opted to build this jointing sled from ShopNotes issue #137:

While I did build the little stock support sliders, I didn’t like them. In the end, all I ended up using was the platform; I used wedges and superglue to support the stock to be milled as seen here:

To check my progress, I scribbled on the upper face with a pencil and planed until the pencil marks were all gone. Once done, I could turn the piece over and keep running it through the planer.

This project is built of 1” and 3/4” (or 5/8” if 3/4” didn’t turn out to be possible) pieces. The 1” pieces were obtained by continuing to thickness the pieces as above until they were about 1-1/4”, where I would leave them until closer to the time I would need to do joinery. I had considered resawing about 3/8”-1/2” off to cut down on waste, but with this clumsy milling process and my lack of experience at the bandsaw, I figured the margins were pretty slim and I didn’t think it was worth risking the stock I had already spend quite a bit of money on. I know purchasing 5/4 material would have been a better choice, but such wasn’t available.

The 3/4” pieces will be made by resawing the 8/4 stock in half. In order to do this well, I decided to joint one edge to ride on the bandsaw table. But once again: no jointer. I know table saw jointing sleds are handy for this, but my table saw only has a 2” depth of cut (and is underpowered), so cutting through 2” of stock plus the thickness of the plywood is a no-go. Instead, I ran my router along a straight edge clamped to the board:

Now with the stock milled to S3S, I proceeded with the resawing on my new (to me) Powermatic bandsaw. I managed to find this saw on Craigslist which is quite uncommon in Canada (at least the Vancouver area) as these typical US brands (Powermatic, Grizzly, Jet…etc) are not well distributed up here. The best part was that I was unable to take it with me when I agreed to buy it, but when I came to pick it up later that week the seller came to me and said “oh, I found this riser block that goes with it, I just never got around to installing it… why don’t you take it as well…”

Anyways, enough with the aside, I built a resawing fence for the bandsaw and went on my merry way resawing several boards in half:

I got some nice book-matched pieces which I’ll have to strategically place to add symmetry to the project. These thinner pieces will be used for the vertical stiles on all four sides of the project. I used chalk to keep track of how the individual pieces are related.

Finally, I used the bandsaw to cut these pieces to rough widths and then stickered them all up on my workbench until needed.

Okay, well eventually I needed my workbench space, so I ended up moving the pile elsewhere. Some of the thicker pieces you see at the bottom are for the leg posts which I haven’t yet discussed – those I will deal with next time.

Now it is time to address one board in particular: the headboard panel. The piece I found (shown in the previous entry) was about 14” wide. I cut it down to about 12-3/4” so that it would fit through my 13” lunchbox planer, but it was still too wide to effectively use the jointing sled I made. So here is what I did:

I’m sure this method is familliar to many of you. Even after this, there was a bit of remnant twist which I knocked down with a hand plane.

So if you’re like me and don’t have all of the basic milling equipment, it is certainly still doable. It was hard work with the jointing sled and took me several days to do what I presumably could have done in one. I think it’s worth mentioning that even with a jointer, this process would still be required to an extent, as I have some very wide boards. The headboard panel at 12-3/4” would probably be too much even for an 8” jointer, and there are also a few 10+” boards included in this project as well. I personally feel it would be a tragedy to rip up wider boards just so they can fit on a jointer and then glue them back up again, or to be forced to use narrower boards than you planned to, so it’s always useful to be comfortable with some alternative milling methods in these cases.

-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada

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#1 posted 12-01-2016 02:14 PM

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