resawing #2: first test of the new jig!

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 06-16-2009 09:47 PM 11927 reads 20 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: At last, a resawing jig! Part 2 of resawing series Part 3: some samples straight off the new jig »

I routed in grooves on the fence of my new resawing jig for screwing logs to it, and with that, it was ready for action:

new grooves routed on fence face

new grooves routed on fence face

Here’s a video – shot on yesterday’s lunch break, edited together last night, with the jig I made on Sunday – of my very first resawing work. The Timberwolf blade works very well, with no resistance and a clean cut. The Craftsman 18” wood/metal bandsaw is a slightly different story. It’s wobbly, which is just a ‘feature’ of its flimsy housing – nothing I can tighten down any more than it already is – but it gets the job done, and if the first plank is any indication, it’s going to serve me for resawing admirably. Veneering may be a little difficult, unless I go a bit thick, and plan to sand everything down a lot. I can’t express how much fun this was. I’ve been waiting for months to finally make a jig and try this out. I think I’m going to have a very exciting year of watching 1” slabs dry :)

Here’s my first cut ever!

first resawing cut ever

And the first 1” slab, ready for a year of drying:

first 1

first 1

I ordered a metal detector wand (the Lumber Wizard III) from Rockler this morning, and a 5gal. bucket of Anchorseal from UC Coatings. It’s time to get serious!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

42 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118310 posts in 4920 days

#1 posted 06-16-2009 09:58 PM

This will bing lot’s of great wood your way. super sled


View littlecope's profile


3136 posts in 4845 days

#2 posted 06-16-2009 10:01 PM

Lookin’ good, Gary! You’ve gotta be excited about that!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4869 days

#3 posted 06-16-2009 10:25 PM

Gray I am doing the same thing. I have 300 BF of Alder that I got from “socalwood” (great wood he has) and each day I walk by it and give it a bit of a pat. Watching it dry… waiting… invisioning…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4724 days

#4 posted 06-16-2009 10:30 PM

Hope you guys don’t mind, but I edited in some pics after your comments. I didn’t think I had them online yet, but it turns out I did.

Jim – thank you very much! I’m hoping you’re right.

Mike – VERY!

Kindlingmaker – Nice! I haven’t seen or worked with alder yet. Maybe in a year, when the various woods I’ll soon be resawing and setting up to dry are ready, I’ll be a much better woodworker, and more worthy of working in them. I’ll keep practicing until then!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4868 days

#5 posted 06-16-2009 10:35 PM

Gary, it sure is fun to mill your own wood, isn’t it.

Are you aware that limbwood isn’t what you want to use for making lumber? You need to use only the main trunk, and save the limbwood to turning, or firewood due to the twisting/warping due to the internal stresses.

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4928 days

#6 posted 06-16-2009 11:11 PM

Really a good idea but it’s must be said you have also made a very neat job of this I like the plywood you used,it looks vary nice.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


23357 posts in 5019 days

#7 posted 06-16-2009 11:18 PM

Looks like that sled works great. How are you going to do the pigger pieces in the pile? Rip them with a chain saw?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5071 days

#8 posted 06-16-2009 11:54 PM

I’m thinking that if pieces are no larger than a couple feet long, warp/twist should be pretty minimal.

One thought Gary on getting pieces to use earlier. If you only want a few, you can always bring them inside and keep them near an air conditioning unit or a dehumidifier. You could probably use them in just a few months. also, the thinner you slice them the sooner you could use them.

I realize you probably want to keep nice 1” slabs, but just in case you thought you’d be tempted to try them out earlier, this could work. Last, you might need to keep contraction in mind. maybe you dont’ really need 4/4 material, but once it dries, it might shrink some. You seem to research pretty well and already know what you want to do, but I figured I’d throw this out there just in case. thanks for another fun post!

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5331 days

#9 posted 06-17-2009 01:22 AM

Great looking jig!

One suggestion, draw a scale on each end so that you will know exactly how much you are moving the fence before each cut.

Do you have a method of adjusting for blade drift?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Jeff Roberts's profile

Jeff Roberts

35 posts in 4647 days

#10 posted 06-17-2009 01:27 AM

Very nice jig!

Perhaps you could get a splitting maul and a wedge to make the bigger pieces more managable. When I’m splitting firewood with a hydraulic splitter and find a nice piece, I’ll get it as square as possible then finish it up on the bandsaw. This works well for thicker blocks. You have inspired me to build a nice jig like that. I’m currently drying some honey locust, sasafrass, ash, maple, and walnut. Nothing like free project wood!

-- Jeff, Dayton, OH

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4724 days

#11 posted 06-17-2009 02:38 AM

Julian – I was aware, but had completely forgotten. Thanks for the reminder! I’m going to try it anyway for a lot of small things, like jewelry box lids – stuff that can’t possibly warp all that much :)

Alistair – The wood is baltic birch. It’s always gorgeous, with laser straight, perfectly matched plys, and it smells really nice when you cut it.

Topamax – I’ve been thinking of creating a little Alaskan mill. Basically, it would be a metal framework that clamped onto a chainsaw bar on both ends, and slid along a rail that sat over the large logs. I’ve seen it done other places, and at least once here on LJs. I will need a bigger chainsaw at some point, though!

Hokie – I’ve been thinking the same thing. I can only resaw about 2.5’ lengths on this thing, and that’s a bit of a stretch. I think because I have so much of several kinds of wood now (olive, eucalyptus, fig), I can try a few different experimental drying locations, in and out of the house. Of course I will report back my findings. And yeah, I will be making thinner pieces, too. In fact, on my lunch break today, I cut a piece of veneer, around 1/16” thick! It’s fig, and already bulging and warping all over. I gave it to a girl I work with who paints. She’s going to let it dry under some books to keep it flat, and then use it as a canvas :) Thanks!

Gary – I have one of these which I’ve been planning for months to incorporate into the jig, but I just can’t find it. I think it’s in the dining room, which is a mess right now :) It comes with rulers that go in both directions, so I can put 0 up at the 0-clearance edge facing whichever way I ultimately find comfortable. I think what I might end up doing, however, is picking up some small metal rulers, routing a channel just deep enough to hold them, and securing them in place such that the sled rides right over them. Zero can be based on the back edge of the sled, so the rulers won’t really be in the log cutting area at all, and I won’t have to rout the channels that far. As for blade drift, so far I haven’t had any. The blade isn’t touching the wood when I stop pushing. It slides between both sides, rattling a little bit. It’s a 1” thick blade, and tensioned pretty well, and I push slowly to give it time to cut cleanly. Is it possible I’m getting 0 drift? Perhaps I’ll get some in harder woods? If so, the fence can angle 8° either way. I suppose I can see how it’s drifting, and then move one ruler to compensate. A question I have about drift, however, is this. How can there be drift? If it keeps drifting to one side, wouldn’t it keep getting farther off its center line? Is it just that it will walk to one side, then stop walking, or walk that way, then back, then out again, making a sine wave pattern? I’ve never fully understood what’s meant by drift. Also, isn’t detensioning and retensioning the blade going to introduce a different drift? Thanks!

Jeff – We had a hydraulic back home. Here's a pic. It was a constant summer chore growing up, preparing for winter. I’ve probably split a few hundred small tractor wagon-loads. In oak, I’d usually get some pretty crazy twisting as the split followed the grain around limb areas and whorls. Even when it split straight, it would usually be jagged when viewed from the side, like a zig-zag pattern, following the rings, and cutting back diagonally across each. I’m hoping to build a little Alaskan mill like this, but smaller. It works like this, and this, though I’ve seen similar concepts used along the grain. My 16” electric may prove a bit inadequate, however. Even if I manage to split things like the 3.5’ tall olive stump I have in the back yard, I wouldn’t be able to get it on my band saw jig. It’s just too long, and still too heavy. For the really big stuff, my plan so far is to get boards slabbed as well as I can on something like an Alaskan mill, and then make and use a router-on-rails system, run around to true up one face. Once one side is nice and flat, I can always run it through the planer, unless it’s over 13”, in which case I’ll flip it and do the router trick to the other side.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4684 days

#12 posted 06-17-2009 03:09 AM

drift is when one side of the blade is sharper than the other ,
and it ( the blade ) tends to favor that side .
if you cut 90 deg. straight in , the blade wants to go to the side it favors ,
and can travel sideways as it cuts .
to compensate for this you turn your cut aproach to acomodate this .
rip fences that are 90’ to saw are fine when the blade is new ,
but as they wear out ( knots and other things ) they tend to ” drift ” to one side or the other .
one way to check this is to take a straight scrap , ( say a 1×2 ) and run a straight line with pencil down its length .
cut it free hand and see if is still 90’ to table and blade , or did you have to move it right or left to get it to cut straight ? that is how you can cut straight if you have a fence that you can adjust out of 90’ to blade and table .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View rons's profile


72 posts in 4694 days

#13 posted 06-17-2009 03:21 AM

gary, Thanks for taking the time to make this video for us to see.

-- Ron, Michigan

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


23357 posts in 5019 days

#14 posted 06-17-2009 03:35 AM

I thnk it would be pretty easy to build a small one. Poke a couple holes in the bar. Bolt on a piece of angle iron and away you go. Shouldn’t need that big frame to keep it flat and square when riping small logs. It would just maintain the width of the plank.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Jeff Roberts's profile

Jeff Roberts

35 posts in 4647 days

#15 posted 06-17-2009 04:36 AM

Sounds like you have a good plan. I’ve ripped a few small slabs with a chainsaw and always wondered how well the Alaskan mill would work. I believe with a ripping chain, it would do a good job. Ripping with a crosscut chain results in stringy chips and a rough surface.

Sounds like you’ve split a lot wood! I’m working on splitting about 7 cords as a result of hurricane Ike last fall. My uncle lost about four white ash and 3 black cherry. Lots a BTU’s!

-- Jeff, Dayton, OH

showing 1 through 15 of 42 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics