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  • rough wood

    I picked up some black walnut rough-cut boards from my Dad. Some of them are pretty warped, both vertically and horizontally. None are twisted, but one will be bent like a real soft u, the other will have a bow, rather like it's u-shaped along the thin side.

    My question is, what's the best method to use this lumber? Should I try and cut the worst of the bows out? I'm pretty sure I can get the boards straight that are cupped end-end. The ones I don't know how to work with are the ones that lay flat, but have the u-shape in the narrow.

    By the way, this is hard to describe! Sorry if it doesn't make much sense.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

  • #2
    I just finished a cedar chest out wood like you describe except my wood was cedar. I soaked the wood down and clamped it in a straight position and let it dry out that way for about a week. After unclamping it most of the boards were straight enough to work with.
    SSG, U.S. Army
    K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.


    • #3
      Just to clarify

      VASandy - just to clarify the types of defects:

      Click image for larger version

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      What are the dimensions of the stock and what dimensions do you need? Also I know you have a jointer, do you have a planer?


      • #4
        Thanks, cjh20!! There's several bent, several bowed, and a lot of checking. Not a whole lot of cupping.

        Yes, I have a planer. DeWalt 12.5". I plan on finish planing the wood on that, after I get some flat faces on the jointer.
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


        • #5
          Trying to selvage bent boards and keep the original length usually yields a very narrow board depending of coarse on the severity of the bend. If your project requires short boards you will get a lot more mileage out of your bent boards using them for this purpose, you waste a lot less lumber truing up a short board.



          • #6
            What size?

            What are the dimensions of the boards? thickness X width X length.
            Got any idea what you want to make out of them?
            "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


            • #7
              These boards are rough-sawn. And it seems they were done at 2 different mills, at that. Some are bandsaw-cut, while others obviously weren't.

              The thickness is about 1" and they vary from 4" to 12" wide. They are around 8' to 10' in length.

              I want to use them to make an entertainment center for our new place.
              I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


              • #8

                I would start with a lot of planning before jointing. If you tried to correct the defects on the entire rough-sawn board first, you will probably lose a lot of wood unnecessarily.
                I’ll start with the checking. Generally this can be cut out. On wide boards, you maybe able to rip around the problem.

                For boards with bends, cut to rough length. Then use a bandsaw to cut a straight edge. Use the jointer to true that edge, then the tablesaw to rip to width. If the faces are also defective, use the jointer to make a face flat (after cutting after the bandsaw), then joint the edge then send it through the planner then rip to length.

                By cutting to the rough length first, you will minimize the amount of defect to be removed.

                The same is true for bowed stock, but you can face plane the defect out. Depending on the amount of bow, you may end up with thin trued stock. When I am planning my cut list, I use bowed stock for the shortest or thinnest pieces. It’s easier to remove a 1/16” bow from a 15” board than to remove a 1/8” bow from a 30” board.

                Overall, look at what size pieces you need, and match them to the rough stock lumber with the defects. I usually start with the longest & widest needs, mark them on the boards and work my way down the cut list.

                I hope this makes sense and helps.

                Just want wanted to make sure that the first line of this post was clear: plan the cuts before using the jointer... I don't mean to use the planner before jointing.
                Last edited by cjh20; 03-18-2006, 09:08 PM.


                • #9
                  Plan the cuts first, got ya!!!

                  Thanks for the advice, cjh20. The common sense approach you suggest seems to be the best way to go.
                  I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


                  • #10
                    Am. Woodworker

                    I just received the latest American Woodworker (issue #121) in the mail, and there is an article on preparing rough lumber.