resawing #3: some samples straight off the new jig

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 06-18-2009 04:07 AM 5647 reads 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: first test of the new jig! Part 3 of resawing series Part 4: European olive (Olea europaea) turning blanks »

I promise not to start posting every log I resaw (lest my blog becoming nothing but!), but I think folks interested in resawing, or copying the jig I just made might like to see some more samples.

First, I forgot I got some shots of this (before giving it away as a gift to a coworker girl who wants to paint on it like a canvas), but here’s some of that first log of Ficus microcarpa, resawn to veneer-like thinness:

veneer-like Ficus sheet

veneer-thin Ficus sheet

It’s about 1/16”-3/32” thick on one end, tapering to nothing on the other, as the blade went out the side of the log. This was the fault of the log not being straight in the jig. As I would learn later, I’m not currently (yet) experiencing drift with the new Timberwolf blade. This piece gives me some ideas… lamp shades and whatnot.

Until I get the accurate measurement guide things in place (still designing that a bit), I just laid some masking tape across the jig, under the fence base, pushed it flush with the side of the jig, which had been 0-clearance cut by the band saw itself, marked the other edge – opposite the blade – at that point as 0, removed the fence, and then measured out 9 more inches worth of lines:

resawing jig with ruler markings for 1

First up was some Victorian Box, AKA Australian Cheesewood (Pittosporum undulatum), a strongly, and pungently fragrant wood (almost like Italian herbs and seasonings) from this haul (at that point unidentified), and sealed here (at that point misidentified as California Bay Laurel). This is also the only wood so far that ‘affects’ me. If I breathe in the dust, my lungs get all swollen, and I wheeze for 2 hours, and then breathe funny for the rest of the night. This is the only wood that causes me tangible, immediate problems so far. Always wear your dust masks when making lots of dust!

slabbed Pittosporum log

These were subtly pretty inside, and almost immediately started taking on a green hue:

Pittosporum log slabs

Cuts like this give me ideas for small, eccentric cabinets with truly natural doors:

Pittosporum slabs

Next up – and my last tests for the night – was a piece of that Eucalyptus detailed previously in parts one, two, and three. I learned already several little techniques, like slabbing one end to flatten it, then flipping it around for a much stronger hold that will keep each new slab’s faces parallel, even as the piece is lowered when the supporting middle has been removed, and clamping around the blade (switching mid-push) to cut small pieces, or pieces I don’t want screw holes in.

Eucalyptus slices

I was getting really parallel pieces, like this one, 1/8” across the entire piece, both sides. Not bad!


So apparently I can consider things like veneers, as long as I don’t mind sanding them heavily to remove the tool marks. Make ‘em thick enough and it’ll work out. I even managed a paper-thin piece, so it’s not out of the question. This wood was pretty inside, and the same wood from which I made the cup seen in most of this post.

Eucalyptus veneer

Seeing the logs turned into thin sheets like this makes my mind roll over and over with ideas, outside of things like turnings, which I’ve already been thinking about plenty.

Eucalyptus slices

It’s an exciting future!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

11 comments so far

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 4715 days

#1 posted 06-18-2009 05:03 AM

It looks like a lot of fun. I need to get started on mine. I’m wondering right now if you’ll get a lot of warp/curling in the really thin cuts. I’m thinking it might be better to cut them thicker, then resaw them thinner when they are dried more, but I wouldn’t know from personal experience. I’m sure another LJ will know, or you will soon enough.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 4722 days

#2 posted 06-18-2009 11:48 AM

Real nice Gary! Keep up the good work!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4713 days

#3 posted 06-18-2009 01:20 PM

Dale – the fig wood in the first pics is wet as can be, and within minutes, it wasn’t just curling, but bulging all over, like dry paint boiling under a heat gun. That settled down a lot later in the day, but I think it’s also a function of it being a Ficus. Very wet, and not all that hard. The euc log must been down for a long time before I got to it, because it’s dry as a bone inside, and a day later, it looks exactly the same – dry and hard, no splits, no warps. I guess I got lucky with these pieces. I’m certain you’re right about cutting oversized and trimming down later. That’s why they rip to 1” and later finish to 3/4”.

spanky – why thank you! I’ll try :)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View hootr's profile


183 posts in 4678 days

#4 posted 06-18-2009 01:43 PM

glad you followed up. i didn’t dream you could get a board that thin on a bandsaw. i’ve already saved your first post on this with plans to build one. have a bunch of walnut and cherry logs that have been drying for about 5 years and found the hard way free hand don’t work for me
thanks for the post

-- Ron, Missouri

View Matt 's profile


212 posts in 5081 days

#5 posted 06-18-2009 08:55 PM

Wow thats amazing! I gotta pick up a bandsaw for this. Whats the longest logs you can mill up?

-- Hold on! Let me get the board stretcher!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4666 days

#6 posted 06-18-2009 10:03 PM

It looks like you are really enjoyed all that found wood and I’m sure that you will get a lot of inspiration from looking at those slices. Thanks for the blog.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4713 days

#7 posted 06-18-2009 11:23 PM

Ron – Others with wider blades and more rigidly constructed band saws can go literally to credit card, and even paper thin thicknesses! It’s amazing. They can saw papery veneers and roll them right up. There are some very wide blades – e.g. 2” – that have a sandpapery surface to the sides, so as you cut, they’re sanding the material on both sides, and you end up with immediately usable veneer with no tool marks. I only wish! Oh, and 5 years!? I’m hoping to have moved well before then, so I actually kind of want to use up a lot of my stock before then, so I don’t have to transport it all to whatever new place I get. Moving is going to be a living nightmare for me regardless.

Matt – 2’ is ideal, though I can probably push it to about 3’.

Mike – Definitely getting some inspiration. I’m glad you liked the post.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4917 days

#8 posted 06-18-2009 11:35 PM

looking good.I tried resawing with my bandsaw but first to get it right I need to make either a jig or increase my fence size as it’s the standard one with the saw and although a great fence is only about five inches I prefer about twelve inch fence for reaswing.thanks for posting Maybe I need to push and take thibngs abit slower too much of a rush I guess that’s part of the problemAlistair

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

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4601 days

#9 posted 06-18-2009 11:44 PM

That is some fine work and great inspiration…..It makes me want to dust off my bandsaw and get crackin….

I have done some resawing for making router inlay templates…but have not had a chance to try it on raw woods. Mostly my bandsaw sits lonely until I need a curve or to cut bowl blanks for turning…

One of the best things about working with wood is those beautiful patterns in the grains…and what a great way to bring them forth to display their hidden treasure!!

Thanks for an excellent post….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View a1Jim's profile


118308 posts in 4909 days

#10 posted 06-22-2009 04:24 AM

Are you having fun yet?


View Karson's profile


35295 posts in 5732 days

#11 posted 06-22-2009 04:55 AM

Nice job on the resawing. I’ve played with mine. I’ve cut 16 pieces of wood out of a 1” piece.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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