Rough sawn Hardwood Prep Project

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Project by robscastle posted 06-02-2021 09:55 AM 852 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project is simply to turn rough sawn timer into usable project material.
See image 6 of 6. I might add right from the outset this project is pitched at those learning woodworking and the results you can obtain from rough sawn lumber, its possible of no interest in any way to advanced skilled woodworkers.

Upon my completion of my wood repair at Smiths Chips I had remaining stack of Aust hardwood.
Planks and bearers along with metal angle 50×50 x 3mm

The 150×25 x 1160 mm planks were milled up to make beehives so they have now gone.

The bearers 90×45 x 1160 I took a good hard look at and thought I could dress them and produce 2×19 mm x 85 mm x 1160 planks as a result and use them for cupboard door construction.

The Process:-

Preparing workable surfaces.
First of all I examined the stock and determined the faces and edges suitable for jointing.

See image no 5 of 6.
The jointer
To do this you use a straight edge to determine cupping and bowing on the face and edge of the timber.
Mark the edges and faces you intend to joint if the defect is only slight and not obvious.
The bow or cup has to face up an the lowest points being the ends of the timber face down on the jointer otherwise the bow down will not achieve a flat surface
Start with the face side and continue until its almost completely flat, the reason I say almost completely flat is if the timber has checks or split and other defects at the ends it will be cut off anyway.
See image No 4 of 6,
Next using the jointer set to exactly 90 deg to the bed joint the edge the same way.
Yo mow have a face and edge both flat and at 90 deg to each other.
The job for the jointer is now complete and it can be put away.
The Thicknesser
Next the thiicknesser is used to produce a parallel and flat face surface.
You can if you wish group them together jointed edge down and do the edges or just use a table saw on individual pieces.

You now have dressed timber to work with.

The table saw
Set the table saw to about 20 or 21mm and rip the boards face wise, this produces planks once finally thicknessed of a useable 19 mm thick.
Dont do the rip in one pass its too much of a strain on the machine do 2 x cuts from either edge, your going to do a final thickmess anyway.
See image 1 of 6.

Now for the other off cuts, if the bows and cups were not too great you may have a second plank able to be thicknessed to again 19 mm.
I think I only obtained 1 x plank for the 19mm stack.
The remainder were 17 and 18 mm so they got thicknessed to 16mm.
See image 3 of 6.
A couple were less than 15mm and 13mm so the finished up at 12mm.
The reason being after jointing and deducting the saw kerf it was not physically possible.

So what are they now all for?

no exact next project in mind but the activity provided me with some more practically dimensioned timber to work with.

Quite a lot of work but produced some nice workable timber which had nice features then the gnarly looking original bearers.
Conclusion:- You can also achieve the same results using a straight edge and table saw or a bandsaw, the bandsaw producing more pieces able to be finished to 19 mm due to its thin kerf.

-- Regards Rob

11 comments so far

View BobWemm's profile


2985 posts in 3046 days

#1 posted 06-02-2021 10:51 AM

Thanks for sharing this info.

It’s always good to see how others do this.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View EarlS's profile


4555 posts in 3468 days

#2 posted 06-02-2021 11:07 AM

I just finished something like this with a pile of walnut, another of oak, and some cherry using a bandsaw, planer, jointer, and table saw. The walnut didn’t yield much as it was well and truly scrap, though I did get some decent boards out of it. The cherry and oak turned out better. Processing all of the wood has taken the better part of a month, working a few hours a night during the week and spending more time on weekends.

Around the Midwest (US) there are numerous saw mills where you can buy both rough wood like you mention as well as more finished wood. Rough cut boards from there are usually in pretty good shape and don’t make too much work to clean up.

There are also folks that want to sell their stack of air dried wood that has been sitting in a barn. Those boards generally are the ones that take a lot more time and effort, as well as having a lot more waste due to their condition.

You get what you pay for, rough lumber from a saw mill may be more expensive, but you spend less time turning it into something you can use.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8070 posts in 4473 days

#3 posted 06-02-2021 12:56 PM

Nice work Rob! Thanks for sharing!
Only a woodworker see the beauty in rough sawn boards. Non woodworkers look at it as trash.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View HokieKen's profile


17929 posts in 2258 days

#4 posted 06-02-2021 01:15 PM

I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t use your sander even once Rob.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View recycle1943's profile


5486 posts in 2742 days

#5 posted 06-02-2021 02:41 PM

Rob, some very interesting information and most of which I’ve been using for years as I am one of those guys that buy the air dried wood in the barn.
Thanks for sharing -

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View therealSteveN's profile


8009 posts in 1694 days

#6 posted 06-02-2021 06:15 PM

Note to noobs, read this post twice. This step is only the most important part of woodworking.

Start with fresh crispy edges, and wood of the same dimension, end up with nice projects. Just start putting it together as you bought it, well, we’re gonna call that “rustic”

Nice post Rob.

-- Think safe, be safe

View corelz125's profile


3044 posts in 2096 days

#7 posted 06-03-2021 01:35 AM

Nice looking timbers you have there

View pottz's profile


17579 posts in 2104 days

#8 posted 06-03-2021 02:48 PM

Nice looking timbers you have there

- corelz125

you checkin out robs timbers ?

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View corelz125's profile


3044 posts in 2096 days

#9 posted 06-04-2021 01:48 AM

you checkin out robs timbers ?

- pottz

I cant help it theyre just hanging out in the wide open

View pottz's profile


17579 posts in 2104 days

#10 posted 06-04-2021 01:51 AM

you checkin out robs timbers ?

- pottz

I cant help it theyre just hanging out in the wide open

- corelz125

yeah thats thats the problem when you get old,they just sag and hang their ! oh were talkin about wood,right ?

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View robscastle's profile


7948 posts in 3324 days

#11 posted 06-04-2021 04:23 AM

OK you Guys,....calm down and wait until I start sanding, ...if only I could find out how pinched my sander, and of course assistant!

-- Regards Rob

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