Wood Prep, Part 2

Its a love-hate relationship. When starting a project, I love the anticipation of starting something new and working out design details, choosing wood and getting the shop all ready to go, I hate the process of preparing the rough wood stock. Perhaps hate is too powerful of a word, strong dislike would be more appropriate. On small projects like boxes, I will usually prepare the stock using a band saw and then clean up with hand planes. This process is pleasant and often very rewarding. It allows me to really get a chance to examine all of the nuances in a piece of wood as they are revealed one thin shaving at a time. On a larger project there is usually a lot more prep work and the need to break out the planer. It is noisy and loud and creates a huge mess. Part of this problem is that I do not have room for a dedicated planer in the shop with the proper in-feed and out-feed tables and good dust collection. So I haul my lunchbox planer out onto the driveway and set it up on a Workmate bench with an added bed to help with snipe. I stack up the wood, get my sled ready, don the earmuffs and glasses and just dive-in. Eventually I end up with a large pile of shavings and a much smaller pile of surfaced wood.
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Perhaps it wasn’t so bad after all. The surfaced pile of wood looks mighty fine. I hope it doesn’t move around too much as it acclimates to its new dimensions and awaits its new life. Now the fun part begins!

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7 Comments

  1. David Jeske

    Been planing some Port Orford Cedar. mmmmm

    Reply
  2. Roger

    I too really like the beginnings of a project with rough wood. After going through the jointer and then the planer, that wood comes alive. Luv it!

    Reply

  3. Tania Devito

    Major thankies for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

    Reply
  4. David Jeske

    Maybe you could be in the specialty lumber business or do on-site wood prep!  I do love the smell of milling lumber. I was down at the walnut lumber yard the other day and it is always a good feeling driving into the parking lot. The smell is so strong it gets into your clothes like cologne! Check out Goby Walnut.  I am lucky to live nearby.

    Reply

  5. exactly how I feel, though I compare it to hitting my head against the wall, it feels good when I stop. Like you said, just jump in and get it over with 🙂 I’m at the exact point right now with my next project.

    Reply
  6. Terry Chapman

    Isn’t that funny? My favorite part is doing the prep work on the rough lumber. I love seeing the finished pieces all cut to rough length and planed smooth and ripped to width. So much gets done in a short time and after that the whole thing seems to slow down so much.

    Reply

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