Face Jointing

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Forum topic by lexxx07 posted 01-21-2013 11:03 AM 1617 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 2908 days

01-21-2013 11:03 AM

Face jointing boards what is the best thickness to start with in order to get to a final thickness of 3/4”, or is there a general rule of thumb in getting a certain thickness over what you target thickness

14 replies so far

View Melanie's profile


13 posts in 2564 days

#1 posted 01-21-2013 01:02 PM

That really depends on the availability & condition of the wood you are using. I have milled wood with some extreme mill chips in it. Had to remove lots from the surface to get a nice face. Are you planning on resawing & planing? I like to start with a thick piece. You never know what will happen to some pieces when you release the internal pressure. Some will twist & turn & if you start out too thin there is nothing left to fix the twists with.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2720 days

#2 posted 01-21-2013 03:06 PM

I usually figure an 1/8 to 1/4 inch per face. I have some equal-pressure clamps I use whenever possible to keep the pieces aligned.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 3286 days

#3 posted 01-21-2013 04:00 PM

Generally speaking, you face joint one side of the board until it is flat, and then you plane the opposite side of the board to dimension it. Once you have done both sides, unless you have extraordinary figure on one side, it is best to continue to plane instead of face joint, alternating sides until you achieve your desired thickness.

Keep in mind that face jointing flattens one side of the board, and planing will machine it to consistent thickness.

You want to try to removed the same amount from each side of the board in order to keep the MC% levels consistent between the faced.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View lexxx07's profile


49 posts in 2908 days

#4 posted 01-21-2013 05:43 PM

I’m thinking that a good width to start with is 6/4 stock I tried some that was 15/16 and most of it was to caddy wompuss to get to my target of 3/4 not to mention that my jointer knives are on the dull side.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6040 posts in 3422 days

#5 posted 01-21-2013 06:06 PM

If it is well sawn at the mill, 4/4 rough lumber will yield 3/4” S4S lumber.
If it is severely bowed, or you need long planks you may have to resort to 5/4 rough. I can’t imagine planing 6/4 rough down to 3/4 finished. That almost makes me cry.

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

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4186 days

#6 posted 01-21-2013 06:15 PM

Generally I will try and get close to the 7/8”-1” unless there are apparent defects in the wood that you are jointing. If you have twist of gashes in the piece your jointing you have to start with much thicker wood.


View David's profile


199 posts in 3273 days

#7 posted 01-21-2013 06:19 PM

A good board you can usually get by with only taking 1/8” of each side, the stuff I usually buy ends up being more like 1/4” per side (mostly air dried from craigslist). All depends on quality of the wood and how much it moves around while cutting.

I usually cut piece down to rough size plus an inch in each dimension and then do my jointing/planing. That way I can use more badly warped pieces than if I were to joint/plane a board first and then cut it to size.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 2857 days

#8 posted 01-21-2013 07:01 PM

As others mentioned, it depends a lot on how the wood was milled and processed initially. At my local saw mill, I can easily get 2 clean faces between 1” and 7/8” (final thickness) out of 4/4 stock. At the hardwood re-seller I go to, I am right about 3/4” after cleaning mill marks from 4/4 stock.

I’ve found it also helps sometimes to pre-cut pieces into rough lengths before processing. There may be a twist present in a 10’ long board, but cutting into two 5’ sections often results in a lot less jointing/planing than trying to get the defect out of the entire 10’ board at once.


View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2797 days

#9 posted 01-21-2013 07:34 PM

There’s a lot of poor boards out there these days, ones with cup and even twist. It’s often a challenge to get 3/4” out of a board that is 1” rough thickness.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 2573 days

#10 posted 01-21-2013 07:45 PM

I think you guys need to find better sources for your lumber. I buy 4/4 rough sawn and have never had a problem getting a full 3/4 thickness. As a general rule, you lose 1/4” when milling lumber. 4/4 yields 3/4”, 5/4 yields 1”, 6/4 yields 1 1/4”, and so on.

It does help to cut the lumber down to rough dimensions first, especially to width if the board is badly cupped.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View jmartel's profile


8697 posts in 2759 days

#11 posted 01-21-2013 08:00 PM

The 4/4 rough lumber I usually bought I could have both sides with clean faces end up at 7/8” thick. Just depends where you get your stock from.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 3286 days

#12 posted 01-22-2013 01:47 AM

I just re-read your post and realized that my earlier response does not address your question.

Typically you allow 1/8” per side for flattening and dimensioning the lumber. The exception to this is wide boards.

If you’re planning to leave them wide, once you go past 7” or so in width it is a good idea to add an extra 1/16 – 1/8” per side to allow for any wood movement across the wide board.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2907 days

#13 posted 01-22-2013 04:02 AM

mill your lumber and get an an even thickness from what you have then go from there the thicker the better that way when your jointing your wood you wont be pushing a bow down and then gettin bowed wood after you face joint something I done myself even when you mill you will still have enternaL stresses that you have to contend with so the wood has to acclamte to the shop that your in its a process that has to be done for good straight lumber watch Charles Neil on building a pie safe and you will learn alot about milling he rarely uses a jointer in this video but its a good video

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View lexxx07's profile


49 posts in 2908 days

#14 posted 01-24-2013 02:57 PM

I would like to say thanks to everyone for there input on this matter

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