How do you create the rough cut mill looking texture?

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Forum topic by Danestar posted 05-21-2010 07:36 PM 69093 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Danestar's profile


32 posts in 4125 days

05-21-2010 07:36 PM

Without running boards to a mill are there methods used to create the rough cut and rough scraped wood. Similar to the texturized hard wood flooring seen in custom homes. Was curious how people are achieving this on hard wood. Anyone know the process?


26 replies so far

View lew's profile


13353 posts in 4832 days

#1 posted 05-21-2010 07:37 PM

How about sand/soda blasting the surface?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Danestar's profile


32 posts in 4125 days

#2 posted 05-21-2010 07:44 PM

Ahhhh now that makes sense.

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 4031 days

#3 posted 05-21-2010 08:25 PM

There are probably a lot of different systems all of which give a slightly different look.

Some ideas …

  • When you flatten the initial face of a board on the jointer, take just enough passes to get the board to sit flat. (That’s proper jointer technique anyway.) Then when you plane the board to thickness, take all of your passes off of the other side. This will leave a board with some mill marks, and some smooth spots on your show side. The obvious drawback to this idea is that the board cup/twist/bow due to the taking all of your planing passes from the same side. But, then again, if you T&G it, and nail it to a floor, it’s probably not going anywhere.
  • Build yourself a “surfacing” machine not unlike the drum sanders that some of the guys here have built, but with a circular arbor, and some sort of cutting or grinding attachment to give the sawmill look. (Sounds dangerous.) Joint/plane as normal and send your boards through your surfacing machine.
  • A variation on the surfacing machine idea … get yourself a crappy table saw with a dull blade that will leave lots of marks, set up some featherboards so you can run your stock through on edge, put the guards on the saw. Again, joint/plane as normal to get even stock.
  • Use standard distressing methods (chains, rocks, hammers, sandblasting) in conjunction with whatever idea you use to get the regular “sawmill” pattern.
View GregD's profile


788 posts in 4212 days

#4 posted 05-21-2010 08:34 PM

How do I achieve rough cut and rough scraped wood? I’ve been working for the past year or so to not achieve rough wood when I work it. Making good wood look bad is no-problemo for me. I must be a natural! 8-)

-- Greg D.

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4653 days

#5 posted 05-21-2010 08:37 PM

You can make the rough cut look buy setting up your fence on a band saw and running the board backwards so it rubs against your blade.


View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4661 days

#6 posted 05-21-2010 08:39 PM

please write this down carefully, whack the wood at regulo mark 99 for twenty four hours beating constantly with a sock full of cold grits ,and the rub down with an elderly naked lady for four hours on both sides .Then when allowed to cool down,a final wipe down with a dirty diaper full of wet sawdust and donkey fur .Then a final pass over with scalding hot leg irons or chains to texturise the surface, then soak the completed project red beetles urine about forty gallons should do for a week,then leave over the next forty years to dry out in the desert sun.And if that doesn’t work I really have nothing better to suggest.PS please don’t block this message as it may one day save a few bucks to someone.and as a half live morphined Scotsman this is ultra important. Alistair

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

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4653 days

#7 posted 05-21-2010 08:42 PM

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4661 days

#8 posted 05-21-2010 08:49 PM

I always new it but am too shy to shout or proclaim it from the rooftops .That is till I discovered Morphine loosened the tongue somewhat, or in this case the keyboard LOL .Alistair

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

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4653 days

#9 posted 05-21-2010 08:51 PM

Keep shouting it works


View Danestar's profile


32 posts in 4125 days

#10 posted 05-21-2010 08:54 PM

Thanks guys… I am trying to find the image on my phone showing what I’m talking about specifically. As soon as I locate it I will post up.

View Porosky's profile


619 posts in 4440 days

#11 posted 05-21-2010 09:17 PM

I have to say the old circle mills are becoming a thing of the past. First off the running of one and care for the saw (Sharpening, Hammer, Swedging) are becoming a lost art in this modern era of band milling. Also Circle saw mills not being able to compete with modern efficiency are slowly going out of business or upgrading to band saw. Lumber with circle saw marks from the saw mill surely are harder to find. This will become more of a prominent question as time continues to pass.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1527 posts in 5201 days

#12 posted 05-21-2010 10:41 PM

For the scraped floor look, several of the power planers actually have alternate blades to help with that. Not my aesthetic, but perhaps a tool you could use.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Gary's profile


9419 posts in 4509 days

#13 posted 05-21-2010 10:46 PM

Hey fellow Texan…...come home. We’ve got lots of mills where you can buy it that way!!

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

160 posts in 4136 days

#14 posted 05-22-2010 12:35 AM

In the past I’ve taken an old 10” sawblade, laid it on the bench and tapped down one tooth just a little with a wood mallet. then skip 4 or 5 teeth, bend another, then run the wood through and it somewhat simulates the old sawmill look. Of course the sawblade is useless for real work after that so mark it in some way.

-- Les, Missouri,

View Tim Lawson's profile

Tim Lawson

17 posts in 4028 days

#15 posted 05-22-2010 06:04 PM

Go back to the original surfacing method – a hand adze? It’s on my agenda to make one and learn to use it. The demonstrations I’ve seen are remarkably fast. Not rough cut but still a random hewn look. Wouldn’t scale to production but could be fun (and quiet) in a smaller shop.


-- Tim Lawson

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