Planing rough-sawn lumber with a jointer and planer
Flattening and squaring up rough stock opens all kinds of possibilities.
If you want to move on to the big leagues of woodworking, you absolutely have to learn how to flatten rough-sawn wood. That’s 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, you’ll find online sources for lumber. They’ll deliver the sizes you want right to your home. Home centers may carry only a few different species of wood, but you’ll be amazed at the variety that’s available from a real hardwood supplier.
It isn’t hard at all to flatten lumber—you’ll pick it up right away. And it’s incredibly rewarding to bring out the beauty hidden within a gnarly board that looks like it’s only fit for pallets. But here’s the best part: When wood is purchased in its rough-sawn state and then flattened, it stays flat. It’ll 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