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Resawing could be a wild trip.

You by no means know precisely what’s going to occur whenever you minimize open a board! Just getting your tablesaw or bandsaw to work proper could be an journey, too. Resawing usually pushes these machines to their limits.

If you’ve tried resawing, and have had solely had restricted success, I hope that I may help you. I’ve been an expert woodworker for umpteen years, and now run a college dedicated to nice woodworking, the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop. I’ve taught dozens of college students how you can resaw–of us who got here to class with many tales of irritating experiences, however left with a stable grounding in how you can succeed. You can, too.

Why resaw?

Here are 4 methods you possibly can enhance your woodworking by mastering the artwork of resawing:

1. Resawing can produce beautiful outcomes, reminiscent of these bookmatched boards for a big desk. You can obtain the identical impact–with smaller boards, of course–in your house store.

Make bookmatched panels and tops. When you narrow down the size of a board and lay the 2 items facet by facet, you’ll see that they’re mirror photographs of one another–type of like a folded inkblot. They’re “bookmatched.” It’s an impact that may be fairly beautiful, notably when your items have irregular determine (Photo 1). Before you noticed, you will get an concept of what the bookmatch might appear like by holding a mirror alongside your board. Bookmatched boards are extensively used to make panels, cupboard sides, and most notably, stunning tabletops, reminiscent of these made by the well-known craftsman George Nakashima.

2. On a a lot smaller scale, resawing can be used to make strips for bent laminations. All of these strips had been minimize from the identical board; by placing them again collectively in the identical order, the glue joints will likely be virtually invisible.

Make bent laminations that appear like stable wooden. Bent laminations are made by gluing a quantity of skinny strips over a type (Photo 2). The best technique to make these strips is by resawing thicker wooden. If these strips are randomly organized, the lamination might appear like it’s clearly comprised of many layers; through the use of resawn strips, you possibly can primarily re-assemble the unique board by stacking the strips in the identical order that they had been minimize. The layers all mix invisibly into each other–as if the bent piece had been stable wooden.

3. Mastering the artwork of resawing lets you make your individual veneer. You can noticed it thicker than business veneer to be able to make a extra sturdy floor.

Make extra-thick veneer. Veneering is a technique to make use of stunning, however unstable, wooden in your furnishings. However, most veneer isn’t out there over 1/32″ thick. By reducing your individual (Photo 3), you may make veneer for tops and edges that’s extra sturdy than the skinny stuff.

4. Resawing additionally lets you “stretch” a particular board. These legs are stable walnut, however the rails are confronted with thick veneers, created by resawing the identical board.

Stretch particular wooden. You could make one board go a great distance by resawing all or half of it into thinner items (Photo 4). If that board has a novel look, resawing it lets you combine veneered and stable items, sustaining uniformity of grain and shade all through a undertaking. You may also salvage materials that will in any other case find yourself as waste. 

Choosing your inventory

5. Good materials is crucial for fulfillment. Your wooden ought to be dry and free from defects. Knots and different flaws make re-sawing harder–but it surely’s nonetheless doable.

Most inventory for resawing ought to be dry, having 6-13% moisture content material (Photo 5). Kiln-dried wooden ought to be nice, however test air-dried wooden with a moisture meter. If your materials isn’t dry, it gained’t be steady. If it’s not steady, it gained’t stay flat after resawing.

There aren’t any ensures that resawn boards will keep flat, nevertheless. No matter how dry the wooden is, or how steady the species is reputed to be, typically a board will cup or bend proper off the noticed. There’s no sure-fire technique to predict whether or not a board will warp earlier than you noticed. If the primary board off your pile warps, assume the remaining might warp, too. Resaw the following items thicker, should you can, or accept thinner items, as soon as they’re jointed and planed.

Consider how your resawn items will likely be used. A bookmatched crotch slab could make a spectacular tabletop, however wild materials like this could be a little unpredictable–you by no means know if it’s going to remain flat. A slab-topped desk gained’t endure a lot if the highest twists a bit, so go forward–take the prospect. But be cautious of utilizing resawn items for door frames or thick door panels. If these items warp, you’re actually in bother. 

Preparing your inventory

6. For the very best outcomes, flatten one face and sq. one edge of a board earlier than resawing it.

Let’s say you’re beginning with tough lumber. To get the straightest cuts when resawing, and to attenuate waste, mill a minimum of one face and one edge of your boards earlier than you start (Photo 6). If you’re resawing a board into greater than two items, it’s normally a good suggestion to re-joint the face of the board after every minimize.

How a lot do you have to permit for waste? If I don’t anticipate my lumber to maneuver a lot after resawing, I’ll add 1/8″ for cleansing up. If I want half″ thick materials for drawer sides, for instance, I’ll re-saw it at 5/8″. Adding within the noticed kerf and preliminary jointing, I want to begin with 5/Four materials (1-1/4″ thick) for these drawer sides. The lesson: You can’t get two half″ thick items from a 1″ thick board. Adding an additional 1/8″ is enjoying it protected. It’s positively doable to resaw with a smaller margin, however you’re taking an opportunity that a number of items gained’t clear up on the thickness you initially meant.

If I’m fairly positive {that a} board goes to warp after resawing, I’ll add 1/4″ somewhat than 1/8″.  In any case, I normally resaw in levels, letting a board sit for a number of days between cuts. It can transfer the best way it needs to, after which I re-flatten it earlier than going again to the bandsaw.

Of course, resawing strips for laminations doesn’t require such broad margins. For strips, add an additional 1/32″ to 1/16″.

Using the tablesaw

7. If you don’t have a bandsaw, you need to use a 10” tablesaw to resaw boards as much as 6” broad. Make a shallow minimize from each side, then regularly elevate the blade and repeat till the cuts meet.

You can get fairly good outcomes by resawing in your tablesaw (Photo 7), however there are some things you need to know earlier than making an attempt it.

8. Be positive to make use of a riving knife or splitter behind the blade when resawing a board. Both of these units stop the minimize from closing up, which may trigger the board to relax at you.

First, take into consideration security. You ought to use a splitter or riving knife to keep away from kickback (Photo 8). If your items are pretty slim, and you may minimize all over them in a single cross, the splitter that got here together with your tablesaw will work nice. But should you’re making non-through cuts on wider items, this splitter gained’t work. Your greatest guess is so as to add a brief splitter to a shop-made throat plate.

A riving knife will work for by means of and non-through cuts. It rises and falls with the blade, and may normally be adjusted to sit down just under the highest of the blade. Most older saws do not need a riving knife, and are tough to improve with one; new saws are required to have a riving knife.

Still fascinated by security, it’s a good suggestion to make use of a zero-clearance throat plate when resawing items lower than 1/4″ thick. The throat plate’s slim opening helps your workpiece all through the minimize and prevents skinny offcuts from wedging themselves between the blade and throat plate.

Choosing the correct blade can ease the pressure in your noticed’s motor, notably if the motor has lower than 2 hp. For re-sawing arduous materials, use a 18-tooth ripping blade. This gives you clear, straight cuts–with out burning or binding. For comfortable wooden, a 40-60 tooth mixture or general-purpose blade will likely be nice. As you narrow, hearken to your noticed. It ought to run easily and quietly (roughly), and never generate an ear-splitting racket or a blinding cloud of smoke.

9. You’ll get a extra correct minimize through the use of a featherboard to carry the workpiece tight towards the fence. This featherboard locks into the noticed’s miter slot.

I additionally use a featherboard and a push stick (Photo 9). The featherboard helps keep a straight minimize (see Sources, at backside), which minimizes waste. (After all, you’re already dropping a noticed kerf’s price of wooden with every minimize!) Without the guard in place, a push stick is crucial for retaining your fingers protected.

How properly does the tablesaw methodology work? Pretty good–but it surely’s not good. In my expertise, regardless of how rigorously you information and assist the fabric in the course of the operation, your cuts in all probability gained’t line up completely and would require some clear up.

10. Partially resawing a board on the tablesaw is perhaps a good suggestion even should you do have a bandsaw. Your closing minimize could also be straighter, and your bandsaw’s motor is much less prone to bathroom down.

One final notice: Starting to resaw a board on the tablesaw could also be the best technique so that you can resaw broad boards in your bandsaw (Photo 10). If you might have a 14″ or smaller bandsaw, with a 1 hp or smaller motor, that is positively the best way to go.

Using a bandsaw

The bandsaw is the perfect machine for resawing. It can deal with a lot wider boards than a tablesaw, and, utilizing a narrower blade, yield thicker resawn items–or extra of them–from one board.

In serving to you to reach utilizing the bandsaw, there are three subjects I’d like to speak about: your noticed, choosing the blade and adjusting the noticed, and selecting a fence and setting it up.

Any bandsaw can resaw a board, however the extra highly effective the noticed’s motor, the higher the job it might probably do with broad boards. Most 14″ or smaller saws have 120 volt motors, which may produce as much as 1-3/Four hp. While that’s sufficient for resawing a board as much as 12″ broad (including a riser block to a 14″ noticed will increase its capability from 6″ to 12″), it’s important to feed at a gradual and regular charge to keep away from bogging down the motor. When the motor slows down, the blade has a larger tendency to wander–and that’s not an excellent factor.

Bandsaws which might be 16″ or bigger usually have 240 volt motors, from 2 to five hp. This additional energy actually helps (strive one as soon as and also you’ll see!), however a bigger noticed presents one other benefit: You can use a wider blade. The wider the blade, the much less tendency it must wander, as a result of there’s much less likelihood it can bend backward and twist, inflicting a wandering or bowed minimize.

No matter what measurement your noticed is, it’s a good suggestion so as to add or construct an outfeed desk to assist boards over 3′ lengthy. To get that superb, straight minimize, your workpiece wants that assist, identical to on a tablesaw.

The blade

11. Use a bandsaw blade that’s as broad as your machine can deal with. It ought to have hook tooth with deep gullets to effectively clear particles from the minimize.

Use the widest blade your noticed can deal with (Photo 11). For most 14″ saws, this will likely be a half″ blade. Many 14″ saws can settle for a 3/4″ blade, however it’s important to watch what you’re shopping for. Many 3/4″ blades are .032″ thick–too thick for 14” wheels–and can break prematurely from steel fatigue. If you desire a 3/4″ blade, search for one which’s .025″ thick. Most inventory half″ blades are .025″ thick.

12. Before you resaw, be sure that the guides and thrust bearing are inside a paper’s thickness of the blade. Check the guides and bearing below the desk, too.

Now, concerning the blade’s tooth. Using the improper blade for resawing can result in a small catastrophe. A blade that’s too nice can have a tough time clearing sawdust from the minimize. The blade will get extremely popular, which may distort it and produce an uneven minimize–and even trigger the noticed to stall. I take advantage of an aggressive hook-tooth blade, with 3-6 tpi.  A hook-tooth blade has massive gullets and tooth configured to effectively take away sawdust from the kerf. The minimize surfaces is perhaps a littler rougher than if I had used a finer blade, however the resawn materials will likely be flatter and of extra uniform thickness.

13. Lift up the guidepost and test that your desk is sq. to the blade. For a vital operation like resawing, it’s greatest to not take something as a right!

When you put in the blade, alter the strain in response to the dimensions on the noticed; there’s actually no have to over-tension the blade. Position the facet guides and thrust bearing one paper thickness away from the blade (Photo 12). Raise the guidepost and be sure that your desk is sq. to the blade (Photo 13). Then decrease the guidepost so the guides are not more than half″ above your workpiece.

Resawing Logs

Did you already know you can resaw a log? Resawing is a good way to transform small logs and tree limbs into useable lumber.  At the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop, the woodworking college I assist run, we bandsaw inexperienced logs to construct Windsor chairs. The conventional methodology is to separate the logs, however bandsawing  provides us a greater yield.

When sawing a log, make sure you fasten it securely to a carriage.

The trick is to assist the log in order that it doesn’t roll. I take advantage of a shop-built plywood carriage that’s braced for energy. I nest the log into the nook of the carriage, then fasten the log to the carriage’s vertical face with a lag screw (see photograph, above). After making the primary minimize, I unscrew the log, flip it 90°, and screw it to the carriage once more. Once the log has been squared, I deal with it like another board with a jointed face and edge.

The lengthy fence

If your necessities aren’t actual, you don’t want a fence in any respect–you possibly can information the fabric freehand. However, to be able to carry out this operation safely, don’t freehand boards which might be over 6 occasions taller than they’re thick. A 1″ board, for instance, ought to be not more than 6″ tall, standing on edge on the noticed. The wider the board (and the upper the minimize), the extra unstable freehand reducing turns into.

Using a fence is safer than sawing freehand and may yield extra correct outcomes. The solely restrict in board width is what your noticed can deal with. There are two sorts of fences: lengthy and single level. I take advantage of each, relying on the state of affairs. 

14. To make the straightest minimize doable, use an extended fence. Ideally, the fence ought to be virtually as tall as your board to forestall the board from tipping.

An extended fence extends the complete size of the desk. Some producer’s lengthy fences are OK, however an extended fence ought to have three key options: 1) it ought to have or accommodate a tall face; 2) for a 14″ or smaller noticed, it ought to be adjustable to compensate for drift (extra on that under); and three) there ought to be some provision for tilting its face to be precisely parallel to the blade.

15. Make positive that the fence is precisely parallel to the blade. I take advantage of a graduated tapered gauge to measure the gap from the blade to the fence at each the highest and backside of the minimize.

We use a reasonably easy selfmade fence in my store (Photo 14). It has leveling screws at every nook of its base to make sure good alignment with the blade. I take advantage of a business tapered gauge to regulate the fence (Photo 15; see Sources), however you possibly can use a ruler, sq., or only a picket wedge.

16. A tall featherboard helps you produce straight and clean resawn boards of a constant thickness. Having two arms, this featherboard works properly for bearing towards a roughsawn face.

To get the very best outcomes, I usually use a featherboard with an extended fence. This indispensable store fixture firmly presses the fabric towards the fence because it passes the blade, guaranteeing uniform materials thickness–and retains my fingers safely away from the blade. My favourite featherboard has two adjustable arms (Photo 16). For slim boards, I both take away the upper arm or push it out of the best way.

Whether you employ a featherboard or not, take note of your fingers close to the top of the minimize. To get your hand out of the best way, push the board with a hooked push stick or a chunk of scrap. Alternatively, cease pushing, stroll to the other facet of the noticed, and pull the board by means of.

Compensate for drift

There’s one main problem in utilizing an extended fence, and that’s the problem of drift. On a tablesaw, you set the fence parallel to the blade and noticed away. On 14″ and smaller bandsaws, the very best place for the fence could also be a bit skewed to the blade (16″ and bigger saws normally don’t have this drawback). If you set the fence consistent with the blade (parallel to the desk’s miter slot) the minimize might need to wander, or “drift.” The trick is to determine what this drift angle is earlier than you arrange your fence. Don’t be tempted to battle drift–study to compensate for it.

Begin by scribing a line parallel to the sting of a 12″ lengthy board. Feed the work into the blade, following the scribed line. As you progress with the minimize, you could have to angle the board to maintain to the road–that’s the drift angle.  About 2/Three by means of the minimize, cease reducing and draw a line alongside the sting of the board, onto the bandsaw’s desk. That is your drift line. Adjust the angle of your fence to this drift line.

The single-point fence

17. A single-point fence is a substitute for the lengthy fence. It’s simpler to arrange, however you in all probability gained’t get a fully straight minimize.

I usually use a single level fence after I solely have a number of items to chop, or when a board is thick sufficient that I can afford to let the minimize wander a bit bit.

A single-point fence solely contacts the fabric at one place, the place the blade’s tooth interact the wooden (Photo 17). This sort of fence may be very simple to make–simply make sure you spherical over the fence’s nostril. When you clamp the fence to your noticed’s desk, align the nostril with the noticed’s tooth.

18. When utilizing a single-point fence, steer your work backward and forward till you discover the angle at which the blade cuts straight down the road.

Why the rounded nostril? It’s a pivot level. It lets you compensate for drift as you noticed (Photo 18). Instead of angling the fence, you angle the board. This makes a single-point fence a lot simpler to arrange than an extended fence on 14″ and smaller saws. The draw back is that your minimize gained’t be as straight as with an extended fence, so that you’ll get minor variations within the thickness of your resawn items. 


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Veritas Fractional Tapered Gauge

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