What to do after resawing lumber?

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Forum topic by groland posted 08-16-2019 04:57 PM 726 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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230 posts in 4296 days

08-16-2019 04:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: what to do to lumber after resawing

I just finished my first effort resawing 5/4 quarter-sawn poplar and white oak. My plan is to use them for drawer sides or boxes mainly. The poplar seemed pretty stable after passing through the bandsaw. The white oak tended to start a slight bowing away from the saw cuts.

I am wondering now what is the best thing to do to these boards? I know I ought to stack them, stickered so they can dry and acclimate to my shop, but I don’t know what else I ought to do. I feel that the bowing of the white oak is perhaps partly due to the center of the board being freshly cut while the outer surfaces have been drying. Also, there might be stresses in the wood that were released.

I feel something ought to be done to skin off the dry lumber on the sides of the oak opposite where the saw blade went through. Could run everything through the planer for that.

Anyway, ought I to run the boards over the jointer to truly flatten them and then plane them flat to even thickness prior to stacking/drying?

Many thanks,

George Roland

3 replies so far

View Rich's profile


5989 posts in 1473 days

#1 posted 08-16-2019 08:12 PM

Sticker and dry them before any more milling. Give it at least several days. Sometimes they’ll straighten out, some times they don’t completely.

Search around for tips. One trick is to wet the convex face and then flatten the board with weights. I know it seems counterintuitive, but the idea is that the damp cells will compress and stay that way when they dry.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View therealSteveN's profile


6464 posts in 1458 days

#2 posted 08-16-2019 08:35 PM

Unless you are turning them green on a lathe, no tools at all until you get a significant reduction in the moisture content.

From felling the tree

1) Paint the ends of the log with Anchorseal, or at least a few coats of paint to try to prevent checking. This is best day it’s cut down.

2) Cut, and if possible stack and sticker right then. I start with a tarp, or plastic sheeting on the ground to at least make bugs work to get to the wood. Put posts, treated, or concrete blocks as piers to lay the support beams that lift your stack off the ground, again, away from bugs

Stack and sticker with same size stickers. Sticker preference is all over the board, you hear yes to Oak, no to oak. Most of the objections are one or the other has caused sticker stain across the boards. I’ve not used every wood, but I think the stain has as much to do with moisture, as anything. Last stack we used 1” diameter PVC pipe, and it was great. Consistent, no stain, wash and reuse. It has a crush strength way over the weight of any wood stack I have made. Biggest thing the “rolling” you might think you would get, didn’t happen. The surfaces of the wood, are evidently rough enough to counteract the round part.

Some kind of roof with an overhang of about a foot, you want the sides open for air circulation. Put weight on the roof to keep it from blowing away.

I’ve always gone with 3 months if a kiln is the next step, and 3 months if I am moving it indoors to finish air drying. Being in Ohio. I use 1” per year for air dry time, and increase with a doubling rate for each additional inch of thickness. Tell the truth, if I want it thick I have always kiln dried, because air drying thicker can take a while. Also it seems less predictable.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Rich's profile


5989 posts in 1473 days

#3 posted 08-17-2019 04:49 AM

As someone who understood your post, you’re obviously working with dry wood and don’t need to worry about any green wood issues, such as sealing the ends of the boards or kiln drying.

Resawing often results in pieces that either curve outward, as yours seem to have, or inward, making a bow shape. There are reasons they go one way or another, but it doesn’t affect the fact that they’ve bowed or how they will straighten out.

Based on experience from hundreds of cuts, you can’t predict how they will turn out. Some will bow more than others. Some are straight to start with. It appears to depend on how close to the face of the board the slice comes from. I haven’t done any rigorous research though.

The good news is that, over time, they all seem to straighten out significantly. I resawed a piece of 8/4 mesquite into five slices. One of them bowed at least an inch or more over its 3 foot length. I set it aside probably 6 weeks ago, and when I just checked it for this post, it was straight enough to work with. Maybe 1/8” bow instead of over an inch.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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