Anyone following my other posts know that I finally acquired a planer. I started a new project over the weekend and decided I'd try my hand and finishing my own lumber. I bought a piece of padauk that was 8/4 x 8.34" x 13' long. I only need about 6' of it, but the price was right.
This post is going to be pretty detailed. I really hope someone new to using rough lumber can learn from at least one of my many, many, mistakes. In the end, I ended up with a really nice sanded product.
A few notes about the project
- I'm building a floating desk top for the kids. It will be 32"x24"
- It's the first time I'm using raw lumber
- It's the single most expensive board I've ever bought (so happy I didn't end up with just a toothpick)
- I'm doing a lot of processes I've never done before
- I have to build fixtures for the shop before I can even start on the actual project
- My wife dictated most of the design elements
I started the project Friday night with cutting the board into workable lengths and then ripping the 8/4 lumber in half, giving me two 1" think rough-sawn boards... This was not an easy task. The first mistake I made was I didn't support the board properly when cutting the lengths. My circular saw kept binding at the end of the cut. It wasn't until the third cut that I realized what I was doing wrong. I simply put a piece of scrap under the board on each side of the cut. This allowed the cut piece to slightly fall away from the main board.
Next I took the 3 boards over to the bandsaw to rip in half. This is where I kicked myself... I forgot that my bandsaw only has a 6.25" throat. Makes it hard to cut a 8.75" wide board. Over to the table saw I go. I should have stopped at this point. The rough stock is rough on all 4 sides. I should have waited until after I built a jointer sled for the table saw, but I wasn't thinking... I started to chop off one side of a board and the table saw is having the hardest time cutting through the 2" thick board. Smoke is billowing out the bottom of the board... horrible smells. I'm thinking I'm going to burn up the motor. So I lower the blade and cut half way through. Flip the board and cut the other side. That's when it dawned on me that I still had a fine-tooth cross cut blade on the saw. Dummy. Grab the coarse blade for rip cuts and put it on the saw. Next two cuts just chewed through like butter. Then I cut them to width at just a hair under 6.25". The good news is, I was only wanting to get a 6" wide final board size, so this should still work. Take my now 6.25" boards back to the bandsaw, set it up for the first cut... and halfway through the cut the belt on the saw breaks. It's an old saw, with a very old belt.
Walk inside the house and the wife (really have to love her sometimes) goes, "Done already?"... "Nope! Get the kids dressed, we're going out to dinner." Her: "oh, where?". Me: "Someplace near harborfreight so I can buy a linked belt for the bandsaw." Her: "o.O... oh."
Get back from dinner... time to replace the belt. Use some penetrating fluid to loosen the tensioning bolt on the motor. Get the belt to the right length (took 3 tries)... go to tighten the tensioning bolt and find out it had stripped the threads when loosening it. Probably something to do with the 30 years of rust on the machine. Scratch my head for a few minutes... then I grab a clamp that has the ability to flip the one end into a spreader... throw it on the machine and spread the clamp until the belt is in tension. Finally get the three boards ripped in half, and that's where I left the work Friday night. 6 boards sitting on the bench to air out until morning.