I have done a lot of scroll saw work in the past, including several
intricate clocks, and have always used 1/4" hardwood ply for this. It
works fine, but I think I'd like to use better looking material. Since
there are exposed edges on these types of projects, they would look
better out of solid wood obviously. Although, if it is better to stick
with ply let me know.
I have a decent tool shop built up now, so I would like to resaw /
plane some 1/4" boards out of Cherry, Beech, and Oak to use for a new
clock I want to build. Will solid wood this thin want to warp easier?
Do I need to let it sit for a while after resawing, or before planing,
or after planing? I am a total noob when it comes to knowledge of wood
movement, resawing, etc. If it helps, I have a 14" bandsaw with riser,
1/2" x 3TPI timberwolf, jointer and planer. All of which I am fairly
Thanks for any information and guidance you can drop about this process!
It depends partly on how intricate the work is, and how well protected from
bumping and bruising the intricate parts are. If you use solid wood, there's
no doubt that at some point, you'll wind up with the grain running across,
instead of along, a narrow segment somewhere. That will be fragile, prone to
breaking off. With plywood, you always have at least one ply that's running at
an angle of 45 degrees or more to the shortest dimension of any portion of the
work, and that makes it *much* less prone to damage.
But as you say, solid wood edges look nicer. It's a tradeoff.
Yes. You can minimize that tendency by using quartersawn stock. OTOH,
quartersawn stock is even more fragile than flatsawn stock when the grain runs
the wrong way on a narrow piece. Tradeoff again.
Yes, yes, and yes.
I don't do a lot of scroll sawing myself, but SWMBO does, and I prep most of
her stock. Here's the procedure I use to make 1/4" wood for her:
1) Joint a piece of 4/4 stock one face and one edge.
2) Plane opposite face parallel, leaving the maximum thickness possible.
3) Resaw right down the middle.
4) Plane the bandsawn faces. Now I have 2 pieces a bit over 3/8 thick.
5) Let the wood rest for a week. It should be done moving by then.
6) Depending on how badly it moves (and sometimes, it'll move a *lot*, if
there was internal stress in the wood), you may need to cut it into shorter
lengths before proceeding.
7) Joint it again. Take *very* light cuts on the jointer (1/64" or less). If
you try to take too much off at once, wood this thin will chatter up and down
as it passes across the cutter heat, and may break. That's a Bad Thing.
8) Plane to final thickness.
You'll be surprised how much some pieces move after they're resawn,
particularly in flatsawn lumber. *Always* let the wood rest _at_least_
overnight after resawing it. Resting a week is better.
You have everything you need. Just practice.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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If you are planing down to 1/4" from 4/4 you should plane from both
sides of the board to minimize wood movement. That can also go for
resawing. I usually plane both side afetr resawing to equalize the
absorbtion/expression of moisture. If the wood is fairly stable, and
you do as above, you shouldn't have too much trouble. Just as in a glue
up, you should stack the wood vertical with air access to both side or
you can sticker stack it for a few days too.
I would do the resawing just so you can get used to it. If you buy
rough 4/4 stock and your real good, you can consistently half it and
get 2 pieces of finished 1/4. Yes, it's best of you can let it sit for
a few days before building it into a box or something but you could
scroll cut it right away I'd think.
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