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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I retired about ten years ago. As a kid my father had a lot of tools . My brother and I would go over to my uncles place where he lived . He built houses over the years on this property we would gather scraps from his builds. We built things go carts from old lawn mowers. Ended up working summers with my uncle building house while we were in college. So when I retired my desire to build things was still there . Now I had the time so got into wood working. I would buy magazines get ideas.
Here is a couple of tips lets call them don'ts . Don't go down to the big box store and buy the lumber to the exact dimension but buy wider and rip and remember you loss 1/8 from ever rip cut. Usually you will have one bad edge you may lose 1/2 inch so factor that in your decisions. Others may not agree with I'm going to say but works for me. I next cross cut all my parts that are the same dimension to length using a stop block. This way your getting all same length. Plan ahead the most efficient cutting. Another don't just cut the stock find the best edge and most square. Try to work around knots eliminate if possible or make sure knots are not in work piece ends. The reason for cross cutting first less length to rip cut . The safer the cut on the table saw. Always rip all cuts the same width together. Same applies to cross cuts. Except where you may similar parts if you use the shorter length not enough board length. In that case cut to the longer length and cross cut the remainder to there length
 

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Hi Gary, HD carries a pine board about 1x4 that is a bit oversized. By very careful selection, I have been able to find some pretty straight boards with minimal knots. When I've really been lucky, I fine pieces with long clear spaces between knots. I've been able to make a few nice frames with this clear stock, just not too large. To get out of big box wood, you must pop for a jointer and planer.
 

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Hi Gary, HD carries a pine board about 1x4 that is a bit oversized. By very careful selection, I have been able to find some pretty straight boards with minimal knots. When I've really been lucky, I fine pieces with long clear spaces between knots. I've been able to make a few nice frames with this clear stock, just not too large. To get out of big box wood, you must pop for a jointer and planer.
Well said, Tom. The big box stores don’t sell consistentLy dimensioned lumber of any kind, but it certainly more expensive when it comes to hardwoods! A jointer and planer become unavoidable if you want to make any fine pieces. Unless you have a very generous friend with a wood shop...

I find it a challenge to mill down sawmill stock but the options are endless for whatever your project calls for. Wood choices are more plentiful too compared to the big boxes
 

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Yes. Milling down rough stock makes for a good step forward in "production quality". Not only do you have a much, much wider choice of wood but you can also make a much wider (and more interesting, imo) range of things. I love being able make just the right thickness boards for my projects.

By the way, Rockler and Woodcraft have some stock of hardwoods that are useful for small projects if you don't have a planer. In general, they are reasonably close in their dimensions. Both often run sales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
My point is if you do not have planer or jointer buy wider stock and work around the defects rather than buying big box store pine near the size you need and rip to width. My local lumber store allows picking through stock. This way you get consistent width and cross cutting first not as long rips. With my track saw cutting table . I can cross cut up to 24 inches wide stock with mft home built table .
 
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