LumberJocks

Appropriate Bandsaw for Resawing 4x4 Lumber

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by DarthPicard posted 06-02-2021 05:49 AM 947 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DarthPicard's profile

DarthPicard

15 posts in 483 days


06-02-2021 05:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw milling question

I’m making cabinets for my house and I’ve been looking into ways to save some money, and milling my own stock for the face frames and panels is what I am looking into currently. I have a jointer and planer, but I do not have a bandsaw. What I am thinking about doing is getting pine 4×4s from a local lumberyard and cutting it into 4 strips, then milling it each to about .75 inches thick. I choose 4×4s because I can get them relatively cheap and I need pieces that are at least 2.5 inches wide.

Now, my question is what bandsaw would work for what I want to do without breaking the bank? My main concern with just picking up any old bandsaw from the big box stores is that 1) the motor will burn out or stall and 2) how long it will take to make the cuts. My time is also valuable and I don’t want to spend a crazy amount of time to get the cuts made.

I was looking at this saw, it has good reviews, but I cannot find any reviewers who are doing quite what I plan on doing.

I also have read the blade matters, so I would also need to get something other than the stock blade that comes with the machine.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


31 replies so far

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

3092 posts in 1827 days


#1 posted 06-02-2021 06:18 AM

You should be able to get four 3/4 slices with a ts and standard blade with 1/8” to spare. Nearer to 1/4 if you use a tk blade. You’ll have to cut from both edges, but its doable.

You can’t get a 5th 3/4 slab out of 3-1/2 stock even with zero kerf so use the tool you have. Lots of smaller bandsaw only go 3” so a 4×4 is just out of reach.

Bandsaw cut faces may need truing depending on your fence and feeding skills. This can lead to valleys in the faces after planing if your hand & eye aren’t steady.

Are you going to rip to 2-1/2 on the bandsaw? You might need a lot of jointing to get things right. TS is better for long rips than band saw. You can get a glue line edge right off the ts, on the bs, not so much.

Pine is really soft for cabinets and will tend to show dings and dents over time. Screw retention may be iffy on high use hinges. Knob and pull areas are prone to denting and marking.

Cost difference between pine and reasonable hardwood may be less than you think. If you were planning on staining the pine that step could be completely eliminated by using appropriate hardwood. This can reduce the final cost of real hardwood.

Finally, the tripling of lumber prices in the past year have been primarily for construction softwoods and to a lesser effect hardwoods, again reducing the price spread.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View TDSpade's profile

TDSpade

141 posts in 3654 days


#2 posted 06-02-2021 06:28 AM

You need a 14 inch bandsaw with a 1 horse power motor minimum, to do what you want to do. That is still going to be slow going. I know because I have done it. Also pine is messy full of pitch which will gum up your blade and cause burn marks. And the burn marks may not go away by planing. Also you will find that pine has pitch pockets and voids.

I went to a 18 inch bandsaw with a 2 horse power motor, and I try to avoid resawing pine.

-- For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2635 posts in 4031 days


#3 posted 06-02-2021 11:40 AM

I wouldn’t waste your time on it. 4×4’s are not worth cutting into face frame stock. If they were, the mill would have done it.

View SMP's profile

SMP

4814 posts in 1144 days


#4 posted 06-02-2021 12:26 PM



I wouldn t waste your time on it. 4×4 s are not worth cutting into face frame stock. If they were, the mill would have done it.

- ibewjon

Yep, this ^. Unless you are going for a knotty rustic look. Even then 4×4s are probably “white wood” or SPF, depending on where you live so may not even all be pine.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

4065 posts in 3036 days


#5 posted 06-02-2021 02:18 PM

I also think it’s a bad idea. Most 4×4 s have the pith or center of the tree it’s the most unruly part of the tree.

-- Aj

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2635 posts in 4031 days


#6 posted 06-02-2021 02:55 PM

If I wanted knotty and rustic, I would buy knotty pine stock. It is cut from better stock and won’t turn into a pretzel.

View DarthPicard's profile

DarthPicard

15 posts in 483 days


#7 posted 06-02-2021 03:28 PM



Pine is really soft for cabinets and will tend to show dings and dents over time. Screw retention may be iffy on high use hinges. Knob and pull areas are prone to denting and marking.

Cost difference between pine and reasonable hardwood may be less than you think. If you were planning on staining the pine that step could be completely eliminated by using appropriate hardwood. This can reduce the final cost of real hardwood.

Finally, the tripling of lumber prices in the past year have been primarily for construction softwoods and to a lesser effect hardwoods, again reducing the price spread.

- Madmark2

What hardwood would you suggest for the cabinet frames/panels? The boxes are going to be MDF because I want to paint them. I have been testing a method where you apply Shellac to the MDF before the paint and it prevents it from absorbing the paint.

I wouldn t waste your time on it. 4×4 s are not worth cutting into face frame stock. If they were, the mill would have done it.

- ibewjon

Yep, this ^. Unless you are going for a knotty rustic look. Even then 4×4s are probably “white wood” or SPF, depending on where you live so may not even all be pine.

- SMP

I wanted to get a smooth finish for paint grade cabinets. The ones we have are particle board with vinyl so they cannot be painted.


I also think it’s a bad idea. Most 4×4 s have the pith or center of the tree it’s the most unruly part of the tree.

- Aj2

I did not know that. I was just going off of the volume of wood for the price when I landed on 4×4s. The math worked out that if I used those over premium or select it would be over 50% in savings. But I don’t want to end up with junk cabinets just to save a buck.

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

8971 posts in 1951 days


#8 posted 06-02-2021 03:51 PM


What hardwood would you suggest for the cabinet frames/panels? The boxes are going to be MDF because I want to paint them.

popular :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View splintergroup's profile (online now)

splintergroup

5844 posts in 2461 days


#9 posted 06-02-2021 03:56 PM

100% agree with the comments about construction pine 4×4’s being “junk” for resizing. The pith in the center virtually guarantees the cutoffs will severely twist and warp. A better approach would be poplar, very inexpensive and much better for paint (plus it probably would negate the need for a BS)

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

3092 posts in 1827 days


#10 posted 06-02-2021 04:02 PM

Try at least poplar for paint grade work.

MDF will melt the first time it gets wet. Even cheap ply is a step up. Shellac, paint, etc will slow, but not stop, the melt. Uneven finish absorption may itself contribute to MDF swelling.

There is a reason 4×4 is cheaper than 4 pieces of 1×4. It is lower grade wood.

Try pricing 1×6 stock. If you’re ripping to 2-1/2” you’ll have higher yield (95%) from a 1×6 — 2×2-1/2” = 5” + 2 kerfs from a 1×6 with only a 1/4” leftover.

If you rip 1×4’s to 2-1/2” you’re wasting a full inch per piece or ~30%!

Volumetric sizing (counting cubic inches) is not the correct path to minimizing cost or maximizing yield. The “right” way has been determined by centuries of cabinet making and millwork. The 2-1/2” stile width didn’t just fall from the sky, it was selected for overall efficiency of material use. Ditto for the majority of sizes in all the trades.

Don’t be different for the sake of being different. If you cheap out, you’ll get a cheap & shoddy job. Don’t go for “least quality”, go for “standard practice”. Remember: “There are no shortcuts to quality”.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

6046 posts in 3590 days


#11 posted 06-02-2021 04:10 PM

That bandsaw will not do what you want. You need as a minimum a 14 inch saw. That saw will be woefully under powered for resawing. The problem with smaller saw is that you can’t tension a 1/2” resaw blade enough to get a decent cut and the shorter blade builds up too much heat. Then onto the problem with 4×4’s, most of them have the pith and that will give you really wonky lumber once you mill it out, the warpage, waste and time spent will not be worth it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View DarthPicard's profile

DarthPicard

15 posts in 483 days


#12 posted 06-02-2021 04:32 PM

I took a scrap piece of 4×4 (I think Douglas fir) and cut in on the table saw then cleaned it up on the jointer and planer. That worked a lot better than I expected.


Try at least poplar for paint grade work.

MDF will melt the first time it gets wet. Even cheap ply is a step up. Shellac, paint, etc will slow, but not stop, the melt. Uneven finish absorption may itself contribute to MDF swelling.

There is a reason 4×4 is cheaper than 4 pieces of 1×4. It is lower grade wood.

Try pricing 1×6 stock. If you re ripping to 2-1/2” you ll have higher yield (95%) from a 1×6 — 2×2-1/2” = 5” + 2 kerfs from a 1×6 with only a 1/4” leftover.

If you rip 1×4 s to 2-1/2” you re wasting a full inch per piece or ~30%!

Volumetric sizing (counting cubic inches) is not the correct path to minimizing cost or maximizing yield. The “right” way has been determined by centuries of cabinet making and millwork. The 2-1/2” stile width didn t just fall from the sky, it was selected for overall efficiency of material use. Ditto for the majority of sizes in all the trades.

Don t be different for the sake of being different. If you cheap out, you ll get a cheap & shoddy job. Don t go for “least quality”, go for “standard practice”. Remember: “There are no shortcuts to quality”.

- Madmark2

I have searched high and low, but the only places that sell plywood near me have it for like $100 for a 4×8. MDF is about $20 for the same size. I can try calling a few other places that might sell it. What kind should I be looking for? I have also never experienced MDF melting before. My wife and I made her desk out of 1/2” MDF and it has held together perfectly for over a year.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

3092 posts in 1827 days


#13 posted 06-02-2021 04:51 PM

Desks don’t get wet like kitchen/bath cabs do. Anything with a sink in it should NOT be made from MDF unless fully encased in laminate and even then the seams and edges are problematic.

You should be able to get three carcasses from two sheets of 1/2” ply. More if you use 1/4” for the backs.

Take a scrap of MDF and set a wet glass down on it. Leave a block outside in the rain. Even just outside on the covered porch out of the rain and it’ll swell and shed crumbs.

Google MDF SWELLING, click on IMAGES and see for yourself.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Phil32's profile (online now)

Phil32

1582 posts in 1142 days


#14 posted 06-02-2021 06:13 PM

I’m surprised that no one included the cost of the bandsaw in the cost analysis. Yes, it can be used for other tasks, but the investment becomes part of the expense of the plan as proposed.

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8826 posts in 1812 days


#15 posted 06-02-2021 06:28 PM


I choose 4×4s because I can get them relatively cheap and I need pieces that are at least 2.5 inches wide.

- DarthPicard

The cheapest wood is a 2×2, then you start climbing into the 2×4 family. As you progress upward to 2×10, and 12 it is pretty consistently better grade of wood. 4×4’s are a special cut, generally depends on what you are getting, as to if they are much higher than 2×4 or same as. Whenever they are close to a 2×4 you can expect the wood to be total crap the mill wasn’t able to make into boards yielding more $$$$$$.

They aren’t there to make you a better deal, they are there to convert trees to cash. Huge amounts of cash. Low priced wood, especially in the current market is trash, just a step ahead of the bark, and mulch that ends up in a bag.

If you want to hunt that bird, you would be best to find someone with a bandmill cutting actual hardwood, and see about drying your own, or taking the green after it has stickered and air dried a month or 2, to a place with a kiln, and get it dried there.

-- Think safe, be safe

showing 1 through 15 of 31 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com