Is it advisable to run stock over the jointer before resawing it with a
I'm thinking of situations where you have a fairly rough piece of wood and
would like to resaw it into two halves.
I'm looking at this chunk of wood I have to process, a 4"x8"x6' hunk of
poplar and there's a cup running down the middle - so if I rip it into two
halves I won't get a square shaped object - the top and bottom will be bowed
which will make subsequent planing that much more difficult.
I generally face joint one face and joint one edge before resawing. This
allows me to better judge "half" and gives me a more stable base. As unusual
as it may sound, I have no blade drift with my saw and having the face
jointed gives me a nice consistent face to run along the fence. The same
would be true if you adjust your fence to the blade drift.
If the wood is particularly cupped I joint, resaw, face joint again, and
resaw again to get rid of the worst of the remaining waste before running it
through the thickness planer.
On a table saw, the wood travels in a straight line along a fence. No
problem as long as the fence is parallel to the blade.
If you set a bandsaw fence parallel to the blade and try to rip it the blade
will most likely try to pull the wood so it is NOT running along the fence.
That is "drift".
The way to fix it (if you want to use a fence) is to cut a piece of wood
maybe 2-3' long without using the fence...just freehand it so that the cut
line is parallel to the edge that would normally be against the fence. Once
the wood is cutting straight, hold the wood in place, stop the saw, move the
fence to the wood and - using the swivel ability that should be in any
bandsaw fence - adjust the fence so it touches the wood all along its
length. The fence is now adjusted for THAT specific blade at THAT specific
When you use a table saw the blade is fairly rigid and forces the piece
to follow the blade. On a band saw the blade is extremely flexable and
when you pass a board past the blade the blade will twist in one
direction or the other. The amount of twist seems to be fairly constant
for a given saw and blade tension. You can take this twist in to account
by first drawing a line on a piece of wood and setting a fence to this
line cut the board. The amount of deviation from the line is "DRIFT".
You can then adjust the fence so that the drift line is square to the
blade or mount a curved guide on the fence so that you can twist the
work to keep your resaw width even.
Go to your local woodworking store and ask the staff about resaw
accessories. They will be happy to assist you. Once you see what is
involved you can either buy or make what you need.
In addition to John's excellent advice, I'd like to point out that best
results are obtained by crosscutting to the shortest length possible (within
reason) before either jointing or resawing. For example, in the OP's case, if
that six-foot-long plank needs to yield three-foot-long boards after resawing,
crosscut it to three feet first. The stock will be easier to handle, and the
magnitude of any defects either in the wood or in the operator's technique
will be reduced by 50%.
Unlike John, I do have to correct for drift. But once the setup is made I
can slice very thin sheets off.
As for jointing, absolutely. If you are going to be resawing anything where
you need control and uniformity.
In dealing with the cup, why don't you freehand cutting the ends of
the "cups" off and then treat as you wish?
I appreciate both yours and John's responses.
As to why I don't freehand it - because I'd butcher that baby up so bad it'd
look like a piece of driftwood when I was finished.
As for jointing, seems like 6" is the most a hobbyist would ever afford -
I've priced out larger units and that's some mucho deniero. But the other
thing I noticed is that low end jointers have tables that are all of 2' -
practically guarenteeing you won't do a good job facing a longer board.
On Wed, 30 Jul 2008 16:38:48 -0700, Eigenvector wrote:
There are some long bed 6" jointers, but they do cost more.
If you remember that all your jointer is is an upside down plane, you can
handle long boards a lot easier. Nothing says you have to run the whole
length through on each pass. Take down the high spots first.
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