milling rought lumber

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Blog entry by teenagewoodworker posted 01-16-2009 04:25 AM 3063 reads 4 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Everyone, in this video i go over milling rough lumber. just to show you that you don’t need a big jointer and all that stuff to get acceptable results. that with a benchtop planer you can get acceptable results too. this is just how i do it and there are plenty of ways out there but this is how it works and has worked for me so i am showing it to you. so here it is!

so i hope that everyone liked it. next time i will be doing surface prep on this poplar. i do my surface prep a little differently than most people and it gives me a great surface in minimal time. since this is a frame construction in addition to just surface prep i will be able to show some things about going cross grain and using scrapers and all of that. so again i hope you liked it and all your comments, questions, and opinions will be greatly appreciated!

21 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4275 days

#1 posted 01-16-2009 04:47 AM

Nice job Denis. I thought at first that you were just going to use the planer without shimming the lumber. Glad to see that you did with the second pass. That is something that a lot of woodworkers tend to “forget” when they are anxious to get started on a project. And nice idea about letting the lumber rest for a few days after the initial milling to account for wood movement and stress.

Nice video.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4237 days

#2 posted 01-16-2009 05:20 AM

If I could own one power tool, it would be a jointer. Or a planer. Or a jointer. Aw heck, I’m not picky. Just give me both.

-- Eric at

View 93mwm's profile


59 posts in 3873 days

#3 posted 01-16-2009 05:46 AM

very informative video, congrats1 (Maybe try something a litlle different in regards to sound next time( bit patchy))

-- mwm! Before you criticise walk a mile in their shoes, and when you do criticise you will be a mile away and have their shoes!

View roadrunner0925's profile


43 posts in 4074 days

#4 posted 01-16-2009 06:13 AM

very nice presentation. keep it up. i own a 6in jointer and a 13in planer. big planer, small jointer causes me problems as well as others. you have a neat solution

-- wm, brandon,ms

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4221 days

#5 posted 01-16-2009 01:01 PM

thanks everyone! and 93mwm i can’t really do much with the sound. i am only using a photo camera and it doesn’t have a mic input. but i will probably upgrade sometime soon. just have to stop spending my money on wood :)

View AaronK's profile


1508 posts in 3917 days

#6 posted 01-16-2009 04:00 PM

i like this. i have neither a planer nor a proper jointer – been using a router table with longish fence for jointing.

If i understand you correctly, you’re using shims to support warped lumber going through the planer so that you can get both faces parallel after you plane both sides? that is, if you start with the concave side down, you place a shim in the hollow? so how many shim supports do you need under a bowed/cupped length?

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3940 days

#7 posted 01-16-2009 05:27 PM

Good vid Denis. My guess is you are a midfielder aka your lacrosse shirt…

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4126 days

#8 posted 01-16-2009 05:48 PM

Nice work, Denis.

View TexasTimbers's profile


67 posts in 4268 days

#9 posted 01-16-2009 06:26 PM

Denis, nice video thanks for the lesson. I have used a planer bed to flatten boards since the early 90s. I eventually sold my jointer because I never used it. For jointing edges, on short boards I use my router table and an extended fence. For boards longer than half the width of my jointing fence I use one of two “straight-edge shooting boards” that I built for one of my PC routers.

They are set up to take from 1/16 to 3/16 off (adjustable) in one pass. I made the shooting boards (one is 50” and the other is 100”) so I would not have to clamp and re-clamp the board and a straight edge onto the workbench every time.

I have never missed my jointer. As long as your planer bed is flat and true, and you shim properly, I am of the thought that this method is far superior to jointing. Most woodworkers never master the jointer anyway and unless the jointer has an extended infeed table long enough to accommodate the full length of the board or edge prior to entering the knives, then accurate jointing is not possible anyway.

I get admonished regularly by other woodworkers who do not like my philosophy. I’m glad to see you are blazing your own trail.

The only question I have is this: I noticed every time you put your headphones on, you turn them on. What kind of music are you listening to? ;-D

Edit: FYI I go back and forth from my classic rock station and talk radio. I listen to classical when I am in the shop on Sundays. I have had this tradition of listening to classical music on Sundays since 1981 when I was a flyboy in the USCG. I listen to Handel’s Water music, and Holst’s The Planets quite often. I throw in some Stravinsky, Beethoven and an occassional Mozart, but I prefer Water music most Sunday’s.

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

View CharlesNeil's profile


2495 posts in 4323 days

#10 posted 01-16-2009 06:31 PM

excellent Denis, allowing your wood to aclimate ,is crutial, that skim plane, acclimate thing is critical…it makes a world of difference in the stability of the wood, and the shimming , and use of a planer “dog” , to insure you have a true flat level surface from which the wood can index ,is also a must…you did a great job….good stuff

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4221 days

#11 posted 01-16-2009 10:28 PM

AaronK you don’t really need to put shims under the board. the board will not move that much over the width but you just need shims along the edges of the board for support. i usually put one anywhere from every foot to every 6 inches depending on the length of the board and the amount of warpage

PetVet yep I’m a midie :)

TexasTimbers yep i totally agree with you. those 6” and 8” ones aren’t that effective. if you’re like me, you and, Mr Neil. 8” capacity just won’t cut it. you can’t even get a little keeping chest out of that never mind a sugar chest. thats why the only time i would go for a jointer is if i was able to get one of those huge 16” ones with the like 8 ft beds. because like i;ve heard said before. modern woodworking is going downhill because people are relying to much on machinery and building projects based on the machines they have. like glueing up 10 boards to get 17” instead of buying your machines around your projects. just simple enough.

View AaronK's profile


1508 posts in 3917 days

#12 posted 01-16-2009 10:49 PM

thanks for the notes TW. i dont know why i never considered this as a solution to my problem (too poor/cheap to buy both jointer and planer of sufficient size/quality). Whenever I’d read anything about making boards 4-square, no one ever wrote about using shims on a planer to remove cupping.

in addition to projects based on available resources (which is a problem that plagues WAY more than just woodworking, from hobbyists to industry), another thing that is often neglected in a lot of writing about woodworking that I have read is how to make do with what you have. I’ve read about what to buy first, jointer or planer, but in those discussions (by single authors – not in message boards like this) there was never a mention of how you could use a router instead of a jointer or how you could remove cup on a planer… infuriating! but there are several good lessons tucked away in all of this.

anyway, enough ranting/babbling. suffices to say, I’m glad this method works and will now seriously consider the purchase of a benchtop planer. thanks for bringing this to light.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4221 days

#13 posted 01-16-2009 11:02 PM

your welcome. it does work well and thats why its good to be out there. i know i don’t do it for a living or anything but i do sell pieces and take in commissions. the real people who do woodworking for a living and have been doing it successfully for a long time are your best resource. they’ve been there done that. you can’t get much better than experience.

oh and Kevin. i forgot but i listed to rock. WBCN 104.1 i like it but i perfer metal but i don’t know any good metal stations. my favorite band is children of bodem.

View pat's profile


123 posts in 4168 days

#14 posted 01-17-2009 12:04 AM

best video since charles neil was over good job.

-- check out my amazing woodburning , Pat

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4221 days

#15 posted 01-17-2009 12:05 AM

thanks pat. you liked that little thing in the end too right! :)

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