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Dimensioning lumber into 1.5” by 3/4” by 6’ ?

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Forum topic by pontoon posted 09-13-2021 09:25 PM 543 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pontoon

3 posts in 44 days


09-13-2021 09:25 PM

Hi all,

I have a project which needs 7 pieces 1.5” by 3/4” by 6 ft long (and a few other dimensions including 1.5” by 1.5” by 18”, etc) from walnut.

I don’t think I can expect to get dimensional walnut lumber in 1×2s.

So if I need to make my own 1×2s, should I buy 4/4 lumber and rip it 1.5” wide, or buy 8/4 lumber and rip it 3/4” wide?

I have a track saw, table saw, a thickness planer, and hand planes.


8 replies so far

View LesB's profile

LesB

3100 posts in 4690 days


#1 posted 09-13-2021 10:58 PM

If you haven’t already figured it out dimensional lumber is not exact. One by is often 7/8” and 2” is not a full 2 inches so double check what you are buying. As I look at your needs I would get 8/4 and work from there.

Next, is the direction and type of grain critical to your design. For example a flat sawn 8/8 board ripped to expose the side of the cut will look entirely different than the front side. This is why most of us end up with lots of “scraps” as we cut the wood to fit our design from what is available.

I suggest you check you local supplier and work from there.

-- Les B, Oregon

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pontoon

3 posts in 44 days


#2 posted 09-17-2021 06:07 AM

I think I’ll probably do 8/4 plain sawn lumber so I get an interesting figure and can ideally get all 12 long pieces from the same board. This would allow me to have a continuity of the grain from slat to slat on the bench.

I think plain sawn walnut is probably more common anyway. I’ll check with the lumber supplier to be sure.

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

549 posts in 844 days


#3 posted 09-17-2021 01:31 PM

Check around… My local lumber yard sells in 25/32 thickness, varying widths (and lengths, of course) on a lot of stuff. They probably carry 20+ different species like this. Some even quarter or rift sawn.

Depending on how flat you need, and how flat you can find at your local dealer, that kinda thing might work out for you?

Honestly, that 25/32 works out well when building most projects I do for home owners. They aren’t paying for furniture quality stuff, unfortunately.

As for resawing your own, it would really depends on a couple of factors. If you get 4/4 and run it through the planer, you’d only need to run it across the table saw to get your 1 1/2” pieces. If doing the 8/4, you might need to mill a little bit more to get where you need to be. But, also the grain will look different… If your 4/4 is flat sawn, then you’ll get flat sawn wood. If you’re 8/4 is flat sawn, you’ll end up with more quarter/rift sawn stuff.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4073 posts in 3499 days


#4 posted 09-17-2021 02:06 PM

Good advice here. Nothing to add to your question, but if you need 12 pieces, make 13 if you have the wood.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

2292 posts in 2896 days


#5 posted 09-17-2021 02:18 PM

As wood moves so much after milling, you do start with pretty big wood. Work your way down and let is sit a few days until you are getting within trimming of your dimensions. Especially with 6 foot long, likely to get some movement that takes a lot of milling to get to a strait piece that is relaxed.

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

1403 posts in 3746 days


#6 posted 09-17-2021 03:15 PM

I usually adapt my project to the wood available, not the other way around.

See what you can get close to your initial plan and modify it where necessary.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

3098 posts in 1835 days


#7 posted 09-17-2021 06:01 PM

Thicker lumber is more expensive. Buy 1×6’s & you’ll get 3×1-1/2” strips. The last walnut (recently) I got from my supplier was closer to 1” than 3/4 as S2S. Craftsmen Supply in Tampa ships.


Live edge walnut top overhang is 1/2” shallower than plan.
Did you know, or notice?

One thing us old timers do is not work to plan but adapt to the material at hand. How much of a difference will 1-3/8” or 1-9/16” make in the appearance of the final product? Say you went to 1-1/4” instead? This would get 4 pieces from a 1×6 instead of 3 at 1-1/2” increasing your yield by 1/3 for just a tweak of the dims. No one without a ruler and a copy of the plan is going to know that the dim you built doesn’t match the plans. Don’t obsess. Be willing to drift the dims if it saves materials.

Consistency & uniformity are more important than absolute dimension.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View pontoon's profile

pontoon

3 posts in 44 days


#8 posted 09-22-2021 10:06 PM



As wood moves so much after milling, you do start with pretty big wood. Work your way down and let is sit a few days until you are getting within trimming of your dimensions. Especially with 6 foot long, likely to get some movement that takes a lot of milling to get to a strait piece that is relaxed.

- tvrgeek

I was originally planning to

1. flatten the board face with hand planes
2. run the bottom through the thickness planer
3. use the track saw to create a straight edge along the length
4. use the table saw to rip long pieces slightly oversize. Each piece should now have four reference surfaces
5. cut necessary dadoes
6. glue up

Are you saying on step 4 I should actually cut the pieces well over size (maybe 1” by 2” instead of close to 3/4” by 1 1/2”)? And then let the pieces rest for some days/weeks so they release tension, then mill all 12+ pieces on the four sides individually? Milling all 12 individually seems like a lot of work. I’ll do it if it’s important. I don’t have a power jointer so it might be time consuming for me.

Thanks to everyone for the help. I won’t obsess too much on the exact sizes. I want it to be close but not necessarily perfect. It seems the original design was based on the result of milling 8/4 or 4/4 stock to a finished size, so I think I’ll be close to the original dimensions whether I try hard or not.

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