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Author Topic: Thickness to saw?  (Read 764 times)

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Offline D6c

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Thickness to saw?
« on: February 06, 2020, 09:39:37 AM »
In sawing hardwood 4/4 material I usually saw 1 1/16-1 1/8, which think is about standard, to be sure it cleans up easily to 3/4".

I'm sure it's been covered here, but there's always a little confusion about what someone expects their wood to finish out to after drying & planing, and how much oversize it should be sawed to.

What are your standard hardwood saw thickness for 5/4, 6/4, 8/4 etc?  Are finish sizes always 1/4" under the nominal "quarter" size or does it get to be more as thickness increase?
Not sure what industry standards are.




Offline Southside

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2020, 11:07:02 AM »
The standard in hardwood is 1/8" over the measured thickness. So a 4/4, grade, hardwood piece of lumber physically measures 1 1/8", a 5/4 is 1 3/8", 6/4 is 1 5/8", and 8/4 measures 2 1/8".  Now what a customer actually wants - that's a whole 'nother story.  
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Online alan gage

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2020, 12:20:16 PM »
A semi-related observation: I've been sawing most everything to 1 1/8". Now over the past month I've had my first chance to run a lot of wood (1500bf) through the planer. Some of this is wood I've sawn and some is rough sawn lumber I bought. I took most of this down to 7/8" and some of it down to 3/4" (the ones that wouldn't make 7/8"). Many of the ones I bought were at 1" before planing.

What I found was that with the vast majority of boards taking 1/16" off each face was enough to clean up both sides and that I made quite a few passes with boards that were clean on both faces taking them all the way down to 7/8". If I were taking them down to 3/4" it would have been another 2 passes per board.

It made me wonder if I shouldn't be sawing some of my boards to 1" rather than 1 1/8" if 3/4" material is the end goal. Wider boards that are more likely to move during drying would still be cut thicker but for narrower boards from good logs (clear with no apparent stress) why not saw thinner and get a couple extra boards/log?

Alan



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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 01:17:36 PM »
 A pencil box requires less extra wood in the rough lumber than a pencil post bed does.  :D
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2020, 01:37:31 PM »
That 1/8" oversize is an old commercial standard. It is for a green mill to supply a secondary buyer with rough hard wood lumber. A sawmill sawing for itself or a known user is not likely to saw a 1x4 oak board 1 1/8" to surface to 3/4". But to ship to market it must be oversize to conform with weights and measure laws unless there is a special agreement.

Offline WDH

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2020, 08:38:19 PM »
Some info on this subject.

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Offline Southside

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2020, 09:41:11 PM »
My own rule of thumb is for 3/4" target S4S that I produce then I saw 1", if it's QS material then I saw 1 1/16".  I find my losses to be very minimal that way and I maximize my yield.  
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Offline gmmills

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2020, 09:57:33 PM »
   I agree that 1/8" over nominal thickness is pretty much wholesale commercial standard for material under 8/4. The last load of 8/4 grade that I have cut was specified to be sawn 1/4" over.  Have, in the past, gotten away with cutting 8/4  3/16" over. Our wholesale buyers will reject 8/4 cut only 1/8" over. Market specs may differ in other demographic regions.  
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Offline mredden

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2020, 09:28:41 AM »
I'm different than you guys in that (1) I'm chainsaw milling and (2) I mill only for wood that I'm going to use in making countertops, kitchen islands, river table tops, etc. I don't sell boards to anybody so I'm a bit off-topic on your market lumber discussion. My csmilling can produce some uneven surfaces. :'(

My goal is to have a top that is no less than 3 cm thick (the thickness of most granite tops) when finished. That's about 1 and 3/16ths inch. I usually mill to 7/4ths in anticipation of planing as much as 1/2" off of each side to flatten. That takes me down to about 1.25 inches. That leaves me about 1/16th to take off with final planing and/or sanding. If I don't have to take off that much to get a board flat and smooth, I don't worry about it.  Nobody complains if their wood top is a bit thicker than their 3cm granite tops.

If I see log stress that indicates that the board is likely to twist/bow cup etc when drying, I may mill 8/4 or 9/4 in anticipation of losing more than 1/2 when flattening.

Offline D6c

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2020, 05:38:08 PM »
I notice that when I'm jointing/planing dry white oak it can still cup or warp a little after it's planed.
I did watch one video where they were planing to rough thickness, letting it sit for a while, and then doing a finish jointing and planing to help keep it flat.

That may be a characteristic of white oak and might be why the "standard" mill thicknesses can seem a little thicker than needed.

Offline hopm

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2020, 05:52:57 PM »
I want to make sure when someone leaves with lumber they can get a full inch ....so I cut everything 5/4. I know every 4 cost you one but folks seem happy and they come back for more.😊

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Thickness to saw?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2020, 08:24:48 PM »
I want to make sure when someone leaves with lumber they can get a full inch ....so I cut everything 5/4. I know every 4 cost you one but folks seem happy and they come back for more.😊
After doing that for a while, don't stop. Customers will come to expect what they got last time and will not be happy if you change your standard. I once had a guy who bought 2x8x 8' trailer planks that went cross ways on his trailer. I don't end trim so most stuff will run a few inches long. He really needed 8' 3" but never told me and when I delivered a batch that where 8' 1" I had to make good. This is how many customers operate, whatever they get from you the first time is the only way you make it in there minds.


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