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First Resawing Adventure

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I don't have room for either a full size table saw or large bandsaw, so I took advantage of a program at our local university where alumni can pay a reasonable annual fee to gain access to the woodshop at the craft center on campus.  This is a boon for my woodworking efforts as it is only a 20 minute drive from my home and while the equipment is not perfect it is fully workable for my needs.


Last night I took a stab at first resawing efforts with some Castello, Holly, and Pear I had obtained to make lumber for my Echo Cross Section fitting out kit.  


All in all I was pretty pleased with the effort...the magnetic fence I picked up worked fine for resawing.  I do think I'll add a couple more magnets to the fence...they are available separately from the manufacturer.


In the photo grouping of resawn wood you'll notice a stack of basswood at the very back...I had picked up a piece of cheaper basswood for testing...this proved to be a wise move as I was able to develop my technique before cutting into the more expensive wood.  I saved the holly to last as I wanted to make a number of thin strips for planking...this proved easy once the fence was properly set and technique was mastered.


In the final photo I've taped bundles of the cut wood so it can acclimate to my home workshop before further processing....I'll be taking delivery of a thickness sander from Jim Byrnes during next week's NRG convention in Florida...I'll post further photos once I start thickness sanding of these pieces.








Edited by clifforddward

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Pretty impressive work Cliff. May I ask what saw blade (teeth per inch and width) was used and if you noticed any after market blade guides such as Carter?


Edited by Thistle17
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Hi Joe

There are a couple of Bandsaws in the shop...this one is about a 16” model and has a rip type blade with about 5-6 teeth per inch with width being about 5/8”. The blade has a few flaws I could see that created irregularity in some pieces...I’m looking forward to seeing if the thickness sander cleans things up.  


I suspect the workshop would allow me to donate a new blade and I may consider that in the future... although I doubt they would allow a wider resaw blade as this bandsaw sees general use by many students and would not be dedicated to redrawing... such is the nature of shared shop equipment.  So I am hoping the slabs I sawed will clean up OK on the thickness sander...if so this will turn out to be a satisfactory solution.


The bandsaw had pretty good guides with fairly well adjusted roller bearings...a heavy commercial looking bandsaw.

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Good start.


You have more bravery than I have. Being compulsive, I would have taken the sanding planer with me.

I am never sure how much thicker my stock must be to get a 220 finish on both

sides and have all of the blade scars removed.

I try to keep it as close to final as possible to get max yield.  The additional passes thru

the thickness sander is tedious, time consuming and poor wood economy.


In your place, I would find out the blade length for their bandsaw and if I could use my own on

their machine.  If I could I would purchase 3 or 4  1/2" Wood Slicer blades from Highland.

A 5/8" or 3/4" blade is not better at resawing than a 1/2" blade.  The steel is top quality.

the blade is thin and it only has a minimum set,  so the kerf is as low as can be had.

These blades last longer, but they are expensive and you only want to use  them for resawing.

The trick for efficient tracking when resawing, is not having a wider blade.  The trick is in

the blade position.  The cutting edge of the teeth should ride on the crown of the top wheel.

And, a wider blade will not stop it wandering when the cutting edge gets dull

I know for a fact that even a hard steel blade will snap if you push it when dull.

The blade only needs have just enough tension. A tighter blade does not resist wander,

it just more likely to break.



I would also make friends with a couple of local tree service companies and pay them for any

Pear, Hawthorn, Plum, and especially Apple butts and large limbs.  18-24" is plenty long.

Cherry is great, and Sweet Cherry is similar in hardness and grain to Black Cherry, but the color is tan.  Unless they

work old fence rows,  a tree service is only likely to cut eatable cherry trees.  Fortunately, Black

Cherry is readily available from  commercial sources.  And half the work is done over self harvest,

billeting, and drying.


You are a good haul from the mountains and the deals to be had on rough cut 

Hard Maple and Black Cherry, But it may be worth a trip, especially if you do not have a retail 

yard like Yukon Lumber near by who also sell rough stock.. The mill planers take off significant wood, so a  smooth planed 3/4"

board at a retail yard is 1- 1 1/4" thick at a country saw mill.  And yes, it is a PITA to get

smooth face on the top and bottom edges of slabs resawn from rough boards, But frame  timbers

do not need this anyway and you have up to a 1/2" more width - depending on how much checking there is.

Edited by Jaager
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Cliff Your resawn lumber looks great, and a good solution for the sharing of tools. On Thursday last week we had some tree pruners come and do some serious thinning of some overgrown apple trees in the back yard. I took the time to share my affection for wood and let the pruners see my collection of wood. I gave the foreman a small piece of boxwood.

Next thing he asks for my phone number and says that they get to cut stuff like Russian Olive, Cherry and Elm. He will call me when something good comes up.


I will be re-sawing the apple and stickering it for future work.



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