Jump to content

Milling Lumber for my upcoming POF projects...

Recommended Posts

So here's an "as received" photo of the cast-off table saw a friend recently gave to me.  An older Delta 10" contractor saw in functional condition with a nice cast table, extensions on both sides, and a decent fence...but it is rough as a cob.  I'll be renovating this one to use for resawing lumber for my upcoming POF projects...I've got a 24T thin kerf blade on order, and the white zero clearance insert that will replace the red original will be a key component of the rebuild.  Looking at the gap in the red stock unit makes it easy to see why standard table saws without alteration are not acceptable for making thin boards.  I've done a good bit of woodworking over the years, and restored several old machines, so I'm pretty confident I can pull this off....


The piece of wood in the background is a 4' length of 8/4 basswood....I picked it up for $15 at the local woodworking store to use for testing as I get this machine together....don't want to use expensive Boxwood until I get the table saw "dialed in".


I would like to ask a question of the group....My plan is to obtain Boxwood (for making frames), Swiss Pear (for planking and other furniture on the ship), and Holly (for decking).  I'll start with 8/4 or 12/4 lumber, and will be slicing off slabs that are 2" to 3" wide....but what thicknesses to resaw my lumber to?


I've looked at the lumber list for the Galley Washington here on the site as a starting point, but it only provides dimensions, not what the various thicknesses will be used for.  (BTW, I'm modeling in 1:48 scale)  I think I'll need some boxwood 1/4" for frames, but perhaps some thicker and thinner boxwood as well?  If I'm using pear for planking and other misc items above and below deck, I suppose I'll need mostly a thickness for planking, but a variety of thickness for other items?  And for making the decking out of holly, what thickness for that?


I know I'll be able to use my thickness sander to finalize the wood, but where to start?


If anyone has a material list for something like a Swan class ship in 1:48 scale by type of wood and size I would be most appreciative....


Any guidance would be most welcome....



As received, with zero clearance insert.JPG

Edited by clifforddward
Added note indicating modeling scale.
Link to comment
Share on other sites



I think the size will depend on the scale.  For example, my 1:64 Licorne is using 1/8 X1/16 inch wood.  I don't think that saw will be able to cut off pieces that small as the tooth count, even on the finest blades is too low in teeth per inch.  I'm cutting my wood as needed and I'm using blades with counts of 10 to 18 teeth per inch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a same saw that I bought several years ago and it is a workhorse.  Try to find fine tooth hollow ground blades intended for cutting veneer.  Harold Hahn built his exquisite models using a Sears "Thin Rip" hollow ground veneer blade, and I have used the same with good results.  In Mark's example above, produce 1/8in sheets using a more conventional rip blade, sand in your thickness sander, then use the veneer blade to slice off 1/16in planks.


Cutting up wood to standard sizes only wastes it.  Cut it as you go.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point Mark...I forgot to mention I'll be modeling in 1:48...hoping I can gain an understanding of what is a good mix of thicknesses in the different types of wood (Boxwood/Swiss Pear/Holly)


I'll be using the table saw to resaw 8/4 and 12/4 lumber into 2-3" wide slabs that will end up 2-3" wide x approximately 24" long x ? thickness.  I should be able to cut as thin as 1/8" for certain; probably even 3/32".  After that I can use a thickness sander to reduce further as needed.


I'll use my Byrnes saw to cut the resawn slabs into final dimensional stock.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mill my own strip wood using an old Delta contractors saw with a 3/32' kerf blade, a Byrnes saw and a Byrnes thickness sander. I would not by any rough lumber larger than 3x6 inches. 3" is about all you can cut on the Delta 10" table saw. I usually cut the billet 1/32-1/16 inch over width and finish it to thickness with the Byrnes thickness sander which has an incremental adjustment of 0.02 in. I usually get within .005" for the final dimension using the micrometer fence adjustment and my digital caliper.


To find out what final dimension strip wood you will need. See if there is a parts list for a kit. Then add 10% to the included quantity - for spoilage.
This should give you the dimension and quantity of the strips you will need. As a recommendation: once you do the set up for a particular width, cut all the pieces for that width regardless of the height dimension with this one set up. Then you will have total consistency in this dimension across all heights. 


Hope this helps


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Definitely "cut as you go." A bandsaw with a decent re-sawing blade will save an awful lot of what would otherwise be turned into sawdust on a table saw unless you are using an expensive veneer blade, and even then, you will be able to cut much wider stock on the bandsaw. It may be obvious to many, I'm not sure, but the grain needs to be taken into consideration when milling stock. There's a lot of difference between a vertical grain plank and a flat-sawn plank in terms of how each bends, tends to split, and so on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for what you stock dimensions should be,  for scratch POF, you need to get works with

the scantlings as close as possible to the age of your project.

If Swan is your subject:

by Allan Yedlinsky


For 19th c. I use Meade, and Rules from ASA.

For 17th c Deans.



Bob is center target as far as the proper tool for resawing is concerned.

You may get 8/4 on one pass, but likely will take at least two, on a 10" tablesaw.

As for getting the saw thickness setting that minimizes the number of passes

thru a sander necessary to get a 220 grit finish with no blade scars, I use

2x4 framing lumber - Home Depot had it at $3.30 each - they cut it into 2 foot sections

for me - my Z can't carry anything much longer.


Let us know where you find 8/4 and 12/4 Boxwood - the Pear will be

easier to find at 4/4 too.  Holly is a small tree to begin with.


You may wish to investigate what the result will be at 1/4" as far as the size of the model.

I have opted for hulls that are 1/2 the volume of 1/4" scale = 1:60.  The hull of the brig

USS Porpoise  1836 is about right and USS Flying Fish 1838  also.  The hull of the 118 gun

liner Commerce de Marseilles is almost overwhelming though.  I would not want to deal with

the size that the published 1/4" produced.

It is impressive - just how much stock is needed for the framing timbers - lots of BF - and the

yield - at least 50% will end up as sawdust. 


Going for a Swan as a first POF,  and asking what you are asking - I recommend that you consider

framing and planking with Black Cherry-  being as how you are a Tarheel, that species should be

a reasonable cost and easy to find. 


Edited by Jaager
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are good saws I had one for a few years then bought a new one at home depot. Turns out the home depot one had identical trunions and table top. They were both made by Emerson electric now based in China. Clean up the top with steel wool and Naval Jelly and then use a saw top dressing after. Hopefully you got a good parallel guide with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You are golden.  A quick search and I found 2 Raleigh

hardwood suppliers - at least 8/4 Cherry and Hard Maple up to 12/4

and one has Beech.  Both have Poplar also.  The open pores can be a

problem, but there is Black Walnut - 

I am thinking that the furniture industry there is gone to Asia, but there may be

hardwood mills a bit west on I 40 around Hickory.  I kinda think that the time, 

petrol, and hassle negates any material cost savings though and it may be green.

There is a custom lumber company in Raleigh.  If you want one of the stars as far as

domestic species, perhaps they can find you some Apple.   But if you intend to use it for

frames, get a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...