Lumber 101

Written by Dave Markel

Milling Lumber:

The sawyer is faced with several different options forrepparttar wayrepparttar 116179 log is to be cut. Depending onrepparttar 116180 species ofrepparttar 116181 log andrepparttar 116182 desired use forrepparttar 116183 lumber that get milled off. Two main choices are flat sawn and quarter sawn.

Flat sawn lumber can be identified byrepparttar 116184 arcing end grain and open, flame look onrepparttar 116185 face ofrepparttar 116186 board. Flat sawn lumber isrepparttar 116187 most economical to produce and there for is most common.

Quarter sawn lumber is almost exclusively used for wood working. With quarter sawn lumber a log is milled into quarters,repparttar 116188 quarters are then sawn perpendicular torepparttar 116189 grain. This givesrepparttar 116190 lumber a unique characteristic withrepparttar 116191 end grain being vertical. The face ofrepparttar 116192 boards showrepparttar 116193 growth rings as alternating light and dark grain lines.

The big advantage to quarter sawn lumber is it's stability. Although it still moves it is a lot less prone to warping then flat sawn lumber becauserepparttar 116194 grain isn't subject to radial forces. Depending on what you are building you haverepparttar 116195 choice of what type of lumber you want to use.

Buying Wood:

Soft wood is common and is easy to find throughout North America. Almost every lumber retailer carries plenty of softwood in stock. When buying DO NOT letrepparttar 116196 attendant inrepparttar 116197 yard select which lumber you are going to buy. Go look throughrepparttar 116198 lift and select which pieces you want because there tend to be more pieces inrepparttar 116199 lift that are rejects for wood working.

It is a good idea to restack allrepparttar 116200 boards that you rejected while looking throughrepparttar 116201 stack. This keepsrepparttar 116202 rejects from warping and twisting beyond being useful and will keeprepparttar 116203 lumber attendant happy.

Keep your eye out for defects when buying wood. this means looking at all four side ofrepparttar 116204 piece of lumber before selecting it. A board that looks good on one side may have wain onrepparttar 116205 other side, something you want to avoid.

Hardwoods are a bit trickier to find at a regular lumber yard, especially out here inrepparttar 116206 west. In British Columbia I can go to almost any private sawmill and find spruce, fir or cedar without a problem and pay a good price for it. Of course all these species are readily available, but try doingrepparttar 116207 same for oak of maple. Good Luck.

I have been lucky to find an independant hardware store in Kamloops that supplies a wide variety of domestic and foreign hardwoods. They allow me look through all their stock to chooserepparttar 116208 best pieces and even will cut a long board in half if that is all I need. Needless to say I value this relationship very high.

Milling Four Square Lumber

Written by Dave Markel


This tutorial assumes that you know how to safely operate your power tools. Always refer torepparttar manufacturer instructions if you are unsure how to use your tools.

Any wood worker needs to take a board fromrepparttar 116178 lumber yard or their local sawyer and make this board a uniform thickness, length and width. This board needs to have all four edges square to each other. This is referred to a milling a board four square and is a pre-requisite to any wood working project.

This is best accomplished by using a jointer, thickness planer, miter and circular saws and a table saw. In this example we will mill a board 30" x 4-1/2" x 5/8" with all for edges square to each other.

Step 1: Rough cut your stock Rough cut your stock to 30-3/4" x 4-3/4" and maintainrepparttar 116179 same overall thickness. Start by selecting a piece of stock larger then your finished size (obviously) and use a framing square to square off one end ofrepparttar 116180 board. Be surerepparttar 116181 end isn't checked (cracked) and if it is squarerepparttar 116182 board off just beyond whererepparttar 116183 cracks end.

Makerepparttar 116184 cut using a circular saw being careful to make a fairly square cut. Now measure 30-3/4",repparttar 116185 rough length, and square offrepparttar 116186 board using your framing square. and makerepparttar 116187 second cutrepparttar 116188 same way you maderepparttar 116189 first. Be careful to cut onrepparttar 116190 waste side ofrepparttar 116191 line.

Step 2: Rip to rough width The table saw isrepparttar 116192 best tool for this cut. Setrepparttar 116193 rip fence so it is 4-3/4" fromrepparttar 116194 blade and setrepparttar 116195 height ofrepparttar 116196 blade sorepparttar 116197 gullet ofrepparttar 116198 teeth arerepparttar 116199 same height asrepparttar 116200 stock. Followingrepparttar 116201 directions included with your table saw startrepparttar 116202 blade and makerepparttar 116203 cut, being sure to use a push stick.

Step 3: Truing one face Now that your piece of stock isrepparttar 116204 rough size needed it is time to true up one face. This is best accomplished withrepparttar 116205 jointer.

As always withrepparttar 116206 jointer it is advisable now to take more than 1/16" per pass. Taking more wood per pass will overworkrepparttar 116207 machine and give results that are less than optimal.

Analyzerepparttar 116208 board to determinerepparttar 116209 direction ofrepparttar 116210 grain and whether there is cupping. It is best to placerepparttar 116211 cupped face down since it will site better onrepparttar 116212 jointer table. Runrepparttar 116213 board through for a couple of passes until you have a uniform face free of voids and dips.

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