Question about milling lumber

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Forum topic by woodyourather posted 04-26-2018 07:13 PM 1011 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View woodyourather's profile


8 posts in 1150 days

04-26-2018 07:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood milling jointer planer warping

I recently acquired a jointer and planer thanks to an awesome wife. I’m so excited I want to just mill all my lumber down nice and square, but am wondering if it’s a mistake, and I should wait to do it when I’m going to actually use the pieces. My concern is if I do it now and then let it sit for who knows how long, it will just warp over time. Most of it has been sitting in my shop(garage) and has had time to acclimate to the environment etc. so do you think if I mill it down it will be ok or just cause me to waste wood by having to do it again down the road?

Thanks in advance.

10 replies so far

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1543 days

#1 posted 04-26-2018 07:23 PM

Your spidey sense is correct. Don’t mill it until you know how you need it.

[ By the way… It won’t continue to warp over time if its already dry, but it may warp after being milled (one-time effect) as it reacclimates to different stresses as material is removed. ]

That said, if you feel like milling some lumber, who’s gonna stop you?

View bondogaposis's profile


5783 posts in 3118 days

#2 posted 04-26-2018 07:34 PM

No, don’t do it until you are ready to use it. For one you may need some pieces that are thinner than 3/4 inch and some maybe thicker. I like 13/16” as a standard for hardwood. You don’t really know what your desired thickness is until you make something. If you plane it now and you need it thicker, it will be too late. If it warps after you plane then you will have to make it thinner to take out the warp. Conversely if you need thinner stock, your effort will be wasted. If you are making panels it is better to glue them up first then plane to thickness after glue up. If you are desperate you use your tools maybe joint one edge of your boards. That is as far as I would go. Get yourself a project, then you will get plenty of use from your tools.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View HokieKen's profile


13987 posts in 1906 days

#3 posted 04-26-2018 07:37 PM

I agree, don’t mill anything until you know what you’re going to use it for. You may end up planing it too thin or you may have to do it again anyway because you need to make it thinner.

Now, if you want to play with a new toy, I don’t see any harm in jointing a face and an edge on your lumber :-)) Just save the planing until you know what you need.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4415 days

#4 posted 04-26-2018 07:38 PM

If you can’t see the grain because of sawmill
fuzz it can be scrubbed with a hand plane or
a light pass through a planer. That’s all I would
recommend until you are ready to use it. Once
you can see the grain you can make choices
about where to get the parts you want from your
boards. If a board has a kink in it you might not
want to flatten the whole board, but crosscut
at the kink before jointing and planing the two
halves for example. You’ll get to hold on to more
usable thickness that way.

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1307 days

#5 posted 04-26-2018 07:46 PM

No, don t do it until you are ready to use it. For one you may need some pieces that are thinner than 3/4 inch and some maybe thicker. Get yourself a project, then you will get plenty of use from your tools.

- bondogaposis

The biggest advantage to having a jointer and planer is that you can mill wood as you need it. Don’t mill it all now. I don’t have a planer at the moment and every time I walk by my nice stack of nicely milled wood I think I see it warping.

At school we mill our lumber down to 7/8ths and let it sit for two days before we plane it to it’s final thickness. Wow… do have a nice wife….

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View woodyourather's profile


8 posts in 1150 days

#6 posted 04-26-2018 08:10 PM

Thanks for the info guys, that’s pretty much what I thought but figured I would get advice just to make sure.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6149 posts in 3580 days

#7 posted 04-26-2018 08:13 PM


And cut it to rough length before you mill it for best yield. You may have an 8’ board that is warped, and will never make a long straight board. That’s okay, cut it to 3-4’ length before jointing and planing. At least you’ll get some usable stock out of it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Clarkswoodworking's profile


289 posts in 901 days

#8 posted 04-26-2018 11:20 PM

I am re-sawing walnut down to 3/16” out of a block
3” thick by 5” wide and about a foot long
No issues no planning

I doubt the new Dewalt 735x planer will help as this us way to thin
Took a little setting up the bandsaw to cut perfect but it will do it

View AxkMan's profile


65 posts in 893 days

#9 posted 06-16-2018 01:11 AM

If you are worried about warping, you should be more concerned about how to store the wood. The proper way is to store it flat. Also do so in low moisture atmospheres. Keep covered during the winter…

As for shaping you should just go with what works until the time comes. The biggest concern is rather it is right for your shop. I don’t see cutting corners as always the best way. The more corners you cut now, the more it won’t cut it in the end.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5788 posts in 3076 days

#10 posted 06-16-2018 01:20 AM

Looks like the question has been answered.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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