Klingspor's Woodworking Shop (Moving)

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  1. #1
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    Almost had myself convinced

    Thought I would save a large amount of money by purchasing rough cut lumber. Boy was I wrong! Few things I learned in the process.
    #1 This requires the correct machinery
    #2 My DC is not up to snuff
    #3 Just because it looks good on the outside doesn't mean it looks good on the inside
    #4 Almost convinced myself I just needed bigger and better tools.
    #5 Unconvinced myself that I needed bigger and better tools (because you are not as skilled in woodworking as think)
    #6 Decided that purchasing the lumber already to size is going to be cheaper, and easier.
    #7 After destroying 50% of the (money saving rough cut) a light bulb appeared over my head, and I came to the conclusion that saving money buying rough cut, for me is not saving money.

    So the search for "project" lumber begins.

    Which type of wood shall I purchase to learn and improve my woodworking skills? A maker of fine furniture I definitely am not. Bookshelves, honey bee boxes, small things, think I will start there. Guess that narrows it down to pine, cypress maybe some cedar.

    Okay got that off my chest, I feel better now.

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    This is a reality that one can only come to themselves. Welcome to it. Bask in the glow.

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    Processing rough cut lumber definitely requires some tools. You can go cordless of course and use hand planes, but that requires considerable skill (sharpening!). With power tools, a jointer, planer and dust collector will easily set you back a grand. And there is a lot of waste when dealing with cupped/ twisted/ bowed boards, knots, splits, and cracks. But, when you run a rough board of cherrry through the planer and it comes out all smooth and fresh, that's pretty darn special. Plus, buying presurfaced lumber means you're limited to what you can find at the home center, and typically only 3/4" thick.

    (Some of us also like buying tools... Let's face it, I didn't go into woodworking because of all the money I'd save on kitchen cabinets, dressers, end tables etc.)

    The real secret is the "boat" secret. You don't want a boat, you want a friend with a boat. Likewise, you want a friend with a well-equipped shop, excellent dust collection and a 24" jointer. Who will also serve refreshments. And has a trailer for delivery.

    If you're buying lumber at Lowe's/ Home Depot, your best bet is probably red oak. Cypress/ cedar is very soft, it's good for outdoor projects but less so for furniture/ boxes. Some of the sawyers listed here on the site will surface lumber for you for an additional fee. And you can also get surfaced lumber via mail order. For smaller projects the shipping costs would not be too bad.
    Bas.
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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    What do you currently have to process rough lumber? Maybe you can do this with what you have already purchased. Processing rough lumber (hand tools or power tools) is the only way to go if you want wood that is straight, flat and square. Working with lumber that is twisted and bowed is not fun and it does not yield good results. For me this rules out buying pre-dimensioned wood at the big box stores. Just my 2 cents.

    Wear a good dust mask to protect your lungs and almost any dust collector will help keep a lot of the chips off the floor. You don't need to drop serious money an a top of the line dust collector to do basic woodworking.

    In the end, different strokes for different folks. Do what makes you happy.

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    I bought my first lunchbox planer in 2005. It was a used Craftsman, paid $90 for it, sharpened the blades, set them in the drum, adjusted them and never looked back. Have only worked with rough cut wood since then. Saved tons of cash, built up a nice reserve of working lumber, built some nice things for my family...

    Maybe you just need a little help sorting things out to get up to speed with the process?



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    Maybe you just need a little help sorting things out to get up to speed with the process?[/QUOTE]

    This is a true statement.

    Short history, was giving some rough cut cedar, beautiful wood very few knots. Neighbor had a planer, said he would plane it down for me free. When I got it back half of the thickness was gone and none of it was the same thickness. Lesson learned.

    Bought a lunchbox planer, bought some rough cut cypress, I am good to go right? Negative, cypress too much for the lunchbox, unless I was willing to run each board through 20 times, another negative. Took that to a local wood shop and pleaded for the use of the planer and jointer. Afterwards and about 100 bucks later I had some workable cypress.

    So I figured I needed a bigger planer and jointer, bought an antique delta planer that weighs 200 lbs, replaced the blades, belts and changed the oil in it ( yes it has oil in the gearbox) and thought, heck I am in business. Negative, cypress is tougher than I thought. Maybe only have to run it through 10 times per board.

    So I figured well might as well buy a jointer, found a 4 inch Rockwell in CL. Replaced the blades, bearings and pulley. So I am ready to joint some stuff right? Another big fat negative, have not figured out why it will not produce a flat edge. Still studying on it though.

    Well what is a wood working shop with out a table saw? CL provided the answer with a Craftsman 10 inch contractor saw. After the smoke escaped from the motor, and you know it has to have smoke on the inside not the outside, rebuilt motor was the next item on the list. Okay motor fixed, now lets get down to business, new saw blade, motor, belt. Hey this thing won't cut a straight line for nothing. Okay let's work on the fence, sheesh, tighten the fence, check it against the blade, everything looks good. Let's cut 3 pcs and see if the are the same width. Negative, but I figured heck just use it and do the best you can.

    Brother works for a company that buys old buildings, so I figured hey, how about some of that old thick pine you got laying around bro. Sure he says here is a few 2x6's. Now when I say 2x6 I mean it. So I think this is a good plan for my planer and table saw. Free wood, old wood, real wood! He said all the nails were out, join me in saying negative ghost rider. Well there went my favorite Freud saw blade. And I learned old pine is hard and brittle.

    So after much consideration a lot of sawdust, and very little usable wood to work with. Maybe I should pay more up front for nice stuff.

    I dont say all of this to be crying the blues, actually it is a bit amusing to me. I like woodworking I really do, wish my projects would come out like I plan.

    But I will not be defeated by a mere piece of wood, I don't think I will be defeated, at this point it is still undecided who will be victorious.

  7. #7
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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    You say lesson learned but are you learning the correct lessons?

    Never leave work to be done by someone else unless you KNOW they are competant and experienced, you have explained exactly what you want and they fully understand.
    I would have stayed with the neighbor and checked the thickness as he worked. All boards should be same thickness if they are to be glued up into panels or used in same project as matching boards... How do you get them the same? Run each board through the planer in sequence, one after the other, run all boards at same setting for the final cut.

    Cypress is not all that hard, was the wood much thicker than needed? Maybe should have resawn first?

    Lunchbox planers typically take off 1/32 inch per pass and up to 1/16 on soft wood like eastern white pine or red cedar.

    Was your cypress really 20/32 = 10/16 = 5/8 too thick? Assuming 1/32 per pass.

    Are the knives sharp?

    Most places charge 25 cents per linear foot to surface wood that you buy from them. Did you have 400 feet of cypress? Did they over charge? Was your work an inconvenience to them?

    Bigger old Delta? What size? I sometimes run a board 10 times or more if the grain is wild and I only take off 1/64 per pass.
    Not unheard of nor too much.

    4 inch jointer? Short bed could be problem or beds are not coplaner (in line with each other) and can be adjusted.
    Remember you are going to get one edge straight then cut the other edge on the table saw.

    Craftsman table saw seems to have problems. Check to see if the blade has movement from side to side, could be bearings worn. Could be other things but sounds like you adjusted the fence. Maybe fence still moving? Does it flex when you apply pressure to the side?

    Used wood always has nails and screws no matter what anyone tells you. Always check with metal detector before cutting or use an old blade for first rough cuts.

    There are a few saw mills that have surfacing equipment, not sure how far you are willing to drive. Not sure who is in your area.
    I know some of the lumber stores will ship and offer special UPS packages.

    Hope some of this helps. Hopefully someone in your area can offer services or information on where to get surfaced lumber.



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

    WWFD

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  9. #8
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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert166 View Post
    Maybe only have to run it through 10 times per board.
    What is your starting and target thicknesses? If you are trying to go from 1" rough to 3/4" finished in 2 passes, I don't think there is a planer out there that will do that. I've been using a Delta 12 1/2" lunchbox with great success for many years. I typically take about 3/64" per pass (1/2 rotation of the height adjustment on mine), and then a 1/64" pass as the final cleanup.

    As far as the jointer goes, it sounds like some setup tweeking is in order. More description of the machine and the troubles you are having will help us help you with it.

    If you have very thick material that needs to be reduced alot, consider re-sawing. This can be done with either a band saw or table saw - with the table saw you can do up to twice the width that your table saw maximum depth of cut is. Then you can clean up with a couple of light passes in the planer.

    Granted, working with rough lumber can be frustrating, even for experienced folks. But once you get comfortable working with it, it can be very satisfying (and much less expensive!).

    WRT getting an idea of what material you are considering buying might look like, I take a block plane with me so I can smooth a small area to see what the grain pattern look like.

    HTH, and know we are hear to answer any questions you may have!

    C.
    "Remember - If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy!" - Red Green
    "Always take hold of things by the smooth handle." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    One other tip. I always try to reduce my stock length to about 2" more than final length needed for a specific project before dressing it. A shorter board is MUCH easier to true up than a very long one!
    "Remember - If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy!" - Red Green
    "Always take hold of things by the smooth handle." - Thomas Jefferson

  11. #10
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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    Cypress is averaging 1x8x8. Will try standing it on edge and running it through my table saw. Band saw not wide enough. Lol, I didn't even tell you about my bandsaw story. Another day perhaps, but it went pretty much like the other ones.

    Final question and I will leave you guys alone, other than pine, what would be an economical choice in wood to hone my skills? I really want to make a old farmhouse style dining room table. Nothing fancy, considering oak maybe?

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    Poplar is is a good wood if you don't mind the color or don't mind some dark oak min-wax stain.



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert166 View Post

    I really want to make a old farmhouse style dining room table. Nothing fancy, considering oak maybe?
    Scott Smith will sell you some beautiful quarter saw oak, the likes of which you most likely won't be able to duplicate. Sometimes, you have to do what you are good at and leave the rest to someone else.

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    Very true statement junquecol, I have done more mechanic work than woodwork. And I learned that using quality tools will make a huge difference in the ease and quality of work.

    But before I would spend a large amount of money on a hobby that I wasn't sure I would continue, I started down the path I am on.

    I have always had the mindset that if someone else could do it, so could I. Since I have had no teacher it has been mostly trail and error. I firmly believe if I had quality tools, mistakes would be less and quality higher. But the price of that equipment is the problem. Buying used had its pros and cons.

    Many will probably say "I don't have expensive tools and produce quality products" which I am sure is true. But the difference is knowing how to do it and learning how to do it.

    The first time I removed a motor from a vehicle it was difficult, the second, third became easier. I learned which tool works best and which ones I needed and which ones I didn't.

    Like going to Sears and buying the 300 piece tool set, in the beginning one would think, good deal. In hindsight you find out only 25% of those tools are used and needed.

    I think that is where I am at. Once I figure out what I need and don't need things will become easier.

    That is why I am asking the questions I am. To learn what others have done and gain advise on what not to do.

    I want to thank everyone for the knowledge you have shared.

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    Easiest motor removal I ever saw was bunch of saw mill laborers. The took every thing loose, laid some quilts on top of pile of shavings, and rolled car over so motor fell on quilt. Then a couple of them picked up motor and put it in back of a pick up truck.

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    Re: Almost had myself convinced

    Bookshelves, honey bee boxes, small things, think I will start there. Guess that narrows it down to pine, cypress maybe some cedar.
    Ok, that's a good place to start. I also don't have the $ or space to have a lot of the "absolutely necessary" equipment to make fine furniture or a bee box.

    1. Lowe's and HD have a limited selection of "Appearance" boards in red oak, poplar, eastern white pine, and red cedar. They're expensive and ready to go, but pay attention to the finished dimensions listed. Construction grade lumber is often spruce, pine, fir (SPF) or southern yellow pine; 2 x 4s, 2 x 8s, 2 x 12s, etc. are fine for some projects so don't trash the idea of using them.

    https://www.lowes.com/pl/Appearance-...ies/4294402499

    2. Rough cut lumber is sold by the board foot and waste is a given when processing it into usable lumber so how many tons of dollars do you save after you buy all of the equipment? I pay $1.00/bf extra for S4S surfacing (both edges and both faces square and parallel to each other).

    https://hardwoodstore.com/lumber-prices

    Example: A rough sawn 4/4 board is 1" thick so I may specify a finished thickness of 7/8" or 3/4" coming in my door.

    A rough cut 6/4 board is 1.5" thick and you could order a finished thickness of 1.25" coming in your door for your farmhouse table.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ8wT6Z6pQQ

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