Planing rough-sawn lumber with a jointer and planer

Flattening and squaring up rough stock opens all kinds of possibilities.

planing rough-sawn lumber
If you want to move on to the big leagues of woodworking, you absolutely have to learn how to flatten rough-sawn wood. Thats because the shrink-wrapped 3/4-in.-thick wood you buy at the home center is limited to, well, 3/4-in. thicknesses. Furniture building calls for a myriad of different thicknesses, any of which you can create yourself. But flattening wood takes a couple of essential and pricey tools, namely a jointer and a thickness planer.

Enter your city, state and rough-sawn lumber into a search engine and you might find a local supplier of rough-sawn lumber. And if not, youll find online sources for lumber. Theyll deliver the sizes you want right to your home. Home centers may carry only a few different species of wood, but youll be amazed at the variety thats available from a real hardwood supplier.

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It isnt hard at all to flatten lumberyoull pick it up right away. And its incredibly rewarding to bring out the beauty hidden within a gnarly board that looks like its only fit for pallets. But heres the best part: When wood is purchased in its rough-sawn state and then flattened, it stays flat. Itll be perfectly straight, flat and square, so building a nice piece of furniture is that much easier.

Flattening rough-sawn wood with a jointer and planer video

This video is referred to in The Family Handyman magazine, May 2011, Shop Rat, Flattening rough-sawn wood, on page 78.

Watch the video for a primer on flattening wood and then go for it.

Travis Larson, Senior Editor

More on milling rough-sawn lumber:
How to Use a Bench-Top Planer