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Thread: 1/2 inch lumber.

  1. #1

    1/2 inch lumber.

    I recently gave in and bought a cheap planer and now regret not doing it 10 years ago. Now that I have it I am playing around with cutting solid hardwoods in my laser rather than plywood for some of my nicer items.

    Right now when I am testing my ideas out I am planing solid 1 1/8" rough cut lumber down to 1/4" to get something I can cut in the laser. Which means I am throwing away about 75% of my lumber and also uselessly putting extra wear on my planer and blades. Can anyone suggest a way to reduce my waste?



    I have a cheap bandsaw that isn't capable of resewing 6 inch boards, I think the thickest it can do is 3 1/2" but even then it lacks power and blade tension. I have also tried splitting boards on my tablesaw by cutting to the center from one side then cutting to the center from the other side which isn't something I would want to do too often. The next time I go to the mill I will see if they can specially cut thinner boards for me but for the small volume I will be using I doubt it.

    I have even though of buying logs, cutting them into 18 inch lengths, splitting them then hefting them into think planks I would then dry and plane to the size I need. This would be the cheapest method but the most labor. It would also guarantee everything I got was quarter "sawn"
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    Glass With Class, Cameron, Wisconsin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Hebron, KY
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    Hi Joe,
    It sounds like you need a good bandsaw. If you are only dealing with 6" wide boards, these can be resawn on a 14" cast iron bandsaw with good results. They come up used quite often on CL for reasonable prices. Grizzly makes a good one that is also reasonably priced for new.

    When "resawing" on your table saw, I would not recommend cutting all the way through. Leave some material in the middle. Then, "resaw" the smaller amount of material left at the bandsaw. This would reduce the loading on the bandsaw and is safer (in my opinion) for the work done at the table saw. After this, run the boards through the planer to get to final thickness.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Keezletown, VA
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    300
    If it were me I would bite the bullet and get a better bandsaw that can handle your resawing needs. That is a ton of wood to waste like that. Craigslist has a lot of good deals on nice used bandsaws.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Coastal Maine & outer space
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    Get your stock clean and flat/straight - at least on one face and 2 edges - and rip incrementally as deep as you can with your table saw. You will have the left over piece in the middle as Michael noted. Band saw or hand saw away the center then thickness plane to clean up. You should be able to get 2 and possibly 3 rips this way. Certainly better than wasting all the lumber through the planer. Buy a good thin kerf blade for the TS and you will be happier. Just don't try to hog out the full height of your blade in each pass. Safer and easier to rip twice from each edge unless your TS saw is 3hp type in good condition. Always good to set up finger boards too. These will need to be moved with each alternate pass so organize your rips to conserve set up time.

    Off course - buying a good bandsaw is the smart move if you can afford it.
    Sam

    ~ Hard to take a guy who looks like this seriously but his 2 is worth all of that ~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    +1 on Sam's approach, if a larger bandsaw is out of the question.

    For this application, where you're going to end up hogging deep into the wood, a low tooth count rip blade would give you lots of gullet-space for the sawdust to accumulate in between the blade entering the wood and leaving the wood. Otherwise your depth per cut will be limited by having a place for the sawdust to reside during the cut. Lacking that and you get burning, which will require more stock prep after the cut.

    If you find 3 boards is feasible, I recommend flattening the fresh-cut side of the thick piece before the second cut. This will leave you with a flat reference side after it's cut into thirds.

    Just my $0.02..

    Jim
    One can never have too many planes and chisels... or so I'm learning!!

  6. #6
    Of all the ideas posted buying a bigger bandsaw is probably the best way to go. The problem is I don't know if I care to spend another few hundred dollars on a project that may or may not pan out. With that said a larger bandsaw with a good ripping blade would be a great addition to my shop for other jobs as well.
    Universal M-300 (35 Watt CO2)
    Universal X-660 (50 Watt CO2)

    Hans (35 watt YAG)
    Electrox Cobra (40 watt YAG)


    Glass With Class, Cameron, Wisconsin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, NC
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    487
    Since you're not sure this will be ongoing, why not buy 1/2" lumber. Steve Wall Lumber has 5 SqFt bundles of 1/2" lumber in domestics and exotics.
    You can see the list here http://www.walllumber.com/thin.asp

    Tony
    "Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily. Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

    Woodworking since 1972

  8. #8
    Tony,

    Thanks for the suggestion, Although even before shipping that is more expensive then buying the full 1 inch lumber. I can also by 1/2 red oak locally (only up to 3 inches wide though) and it is also more expensive than buying 3/4 inch finished lumber of the same width and length.
    Universal M-300 (35 Watt CO2)
    Universal X-660 (50 Watt CO2)

    Hans (35 watt YAG)
    Electrox Cobra (40 watt YAG)


    Glass With Class, Cameron, Wisconsin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ada, Oklahoma
    Posts
    277
    Joe, it doesn't sound like you want a lot of lumber re-sawn -- if you lived near me, I invite you over for a visit and help you re-saw some boards. Maybe you can find someone in your area that would trade some re-sawing for some laser engraving or do it at a reasonable cost.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Hebron, KY
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    1,209
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Murdoch View Post
    Band saw or hand saw away the center then thickness plane to clean up.
    Excellent, I hadn't thought of hand sawing the middle away.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taiwan
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    456
    if you can afford laser cutters you can afford a 14 inch bandsaw.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The Hartland of Michigan
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    5,456
    You are kidding, right? Planing it to size?
    Buy a band saw.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

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