rough Sawn ?? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-22-2009, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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rough Sawn ??

As my woodworking hobby has progressed, I have been commissioned by the wife to build some cabinets in the study. The basic box with a face frame and two rail and stile doors per cabinet. There will be 4 cabinets, side to side. I'm excited about building them, since I've never built a paneled door. Oh yeh, I forgot to add that she wants the panels in the door veneered with "burl". That oughta be an adventure all by itself. But back to the doors; I'm going to use oak for the rails and stiles and 1/4 plywood for the panel. Since I always look at a new project as an opportunity(excuse) to buy a new tool this is my question. I can purchase oak, I believe in 3 different formats: your typical 3/4 inch stuff at the lumber yard, stair tread oak that is slightly over 1 inch thick(which I would plane down to 3/4), and lastly rough sawn that I would need a jointer for. Since I don't own a jointer, that seems interesting. I don't think the 3/4 inch is the way to go, since unless the pieces are perfectly straight, there is no room for planing, etc. The stair tread would work by trimming the bull nose and all I'd have to do is plane the stock to 3/4 inch. Last would be the rough sawn. I've never bought any. What are the pros and cons of using rough sawn? Would the quality of my project improve if I use rough sawn? Is there a substantial monetary savings in costs with rought sawn? All you folks that use it have far more experience than me on this. So let me know what you think
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-22-2009, 01:21 PM
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Typically rough sawn can be had for much cheaper then demensioned lumber. The other advantage is more species can be had as opposed whats availabe at your local Big Box store or lumber yard.

One other thing that is nice about rough sawn is it needs to be milled, so the quality of the wood as well as straightness is controlled by you. not by a supplier where the wood may have been sitting for a year or so and began to warp.

The disadvantage and expense comes in the form of equipment. A planer and Jointer are needed and it is highly recommended that you use a dust collector as both these machines make a lot of dust and chips very quickly.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-22-2009, 01:46 PM
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I agree with what Nate said. If you don't mind spending the money on a jointer and a planer and a dust collector, then go for it. I like buying rough sawn wood when I can just because it lets me get something different for a relatively cheap price. However, keep in mind it does take some extra time to plane it all down, rip it on the saw, joint the edges, empty the dust collector (they do have to be emptied), etc. If you try to assign an hourly wage to your work to justify it, don't. You will probably find you are maybe up to about 5.00/hour. When it's all said and done, it is very satifying when showing your work to someone to be able to tell them that you started out with rough sawn wood and did everything yourself. Just make sure you do a good job or you won't want to show anybody. Also, if you go this route, save a small cutoff of the roughsawn lumber to show people later what you started out with.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-22-2009, 06:57 PM
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Theese guys are right on.You may also want to consider moisture content.Around here mills cut the logs quick.Green wood moves,twists,warps,crowns and cups,as it dries.I.M.O.I would use kiln dried wood.Some sawyers have kilns,many don't.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-22-2009, 09:53 PM
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There's nothing like flat, straight, square, and parallel wood. It puts you in control and makes the building process a lot more enjoyable. The only way I know to get the wood to this state is buy rough sawn and do it yourself. The wood is much cheaper in the rough but probably works out about the same if your time is worth anything. Get the jointer, you wont regret it. I have used a lot of air dried wood but over the last couple of years have only used kiln dried and will probably continue down that path unless I run into something unbelievable that is properly air dried.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-23-2009, 01:02 PM
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Taking rough sawn lumber, which basically looks like junk, and creating something beautiful out of it can be a very satisfying experience. But, before you go out and spend the $200 on up for a thickness planer, look down the road a bit and think of what other projects you can build in the future. You may find that there are quite a few things that you would like to build that you can do with rough lumber that you plane and joint yourself. There is no doubt that you can save immense sums of money by building your own furniture. You can also save a considerable amount of money by starting with rough sawn lumber.

PS: Once you have the equipment to create your own finished lumber you will be amazed at the sources there are for unfinished wood.

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-23-2009, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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rough sawn

I think you have answered my question. I have never equated my woodworking to an hourly rate or how long it takes me to build something, but more importantly the satisfaction I get from doing it.
I'll start checking out sources for rough sawn and set my sights on an 8 inch jointer from Grizzly. I just needed some justificaction to buy another tool. I have always thought that a woodworking project worth doing, was just a good reason to buy a new tool. I already have the planer. I'll post my plans for the doors when I get to that point. The boxes behind the doors are a bit more plain. Thanks for everyone's advice, as always.
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