Don't understand the logic


Twice this week while watching wrecker progs the experts have said that when it comes to wide stock you're better off ripping it into narrower pieces, flipping some over (to alternate growth rings) and gluing up again to get the width. That way it's less likely to cup. OK I can see that alternating rings will result in a more stable wide surface. BUT, what I don't understand is this: why get the wide stock to begin with?
Let's say you want a 10" wide bookcase top. If you have a piece of 12" X 1/2" stock to work with, the advice is to rip it into 3 pieces 4" wide, flip the middle piece over and glue up then rip it for final width. But why not just start with 3 pieces 1/2" X 4" to begin with? Usually you will pay more per b/f for wider stock than narrower. It's not like you're going to lose any great grain match because you've already lost it when you flipped a board over to alternate the rings.
If all you have to begin with is a 12 X 1/2 plank that's one thing There must be a simple explanation but I don't see it.
FoggyTown
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While what you are getting at makes sense, If you get a wide board to begin with you are more likely to end up with wood that is the same color and grain that does not like it is from another board when you reglue the pieces. That said, I never rip to reverse sides and reglue. Finish both sides of the board and you are not likely to see any significant cupping.
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foggytown wrote:

You may want to flip then end-for-end, not just roll them over. That way the grain on the top and bottom will line up better and you'll have an easier time planing it down.
> OK I can

If it comes from the same piece of wood it may be more uniform in grain, color, moisture content, etc.
And sometimes the wide stock is actually cheaper (by BF) then the narrow stuff. I ran into this once when buying pine boards. However I'll freely admit my lack of foresight in that I just glued up the wide boards without considering ripping them narrower. We'll see how it does over time.
Chris
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Chris Friesen wrote:

Yeah. Fifty years from now you may regret that decision. :)
FoggyTown
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Sixty years at most.
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If you buy stock from a wood mill rather than from a lumber yard you are less likely to choose the width of your boards and at least from my guy the price is by the bf not by the width. Puff

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I think that this is a sort of reflex. Perhaps the assumption is that in recovering materials from old construction you will be more likely to encounter wide stock that you wish to reuse. Of course, if the board has been in place for 100 years without warping, the chances are it is not going to start just because you picked it up.
If you follow the advise, you should also consider flipping that center piece end for end. Othewise, if there is significant dip to the grain of the piece, you will have created a miserable piece of wide wood to plane in which the center third needs to be planed in one direction and the outter two third in the opposite direction.
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