Author Topic: Processing rough hardwood  (Read 5676 times)

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Offline Randall

  • Posts: 5
Processing rough hardwood
« on: February 15, 2007, 01:28 PM »
Is it possible to process rough hardwood boards efficiently using the Festool system?  I cannot dedicate my available space to typical floor-standing woodworking machines such as a jointer and planer.  I need a system that will be as portable, versatile, and efficient as possible. Would a Festool solution be best, or should I look at a combination of Festool and some benchtop units?  I already have the TS55 saw and guide rail, ETS 150/3 and RO125 sanders, CT 33 vacuum, an MFT 1080 table, and a Bosch router.  Quite a few tools for someone as inexperienced as me.  I am interested in building cabinets and furniture but I don't want to waste time learning and using inefficient methods.  Any assistance with this will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Randall

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Offline Mirko

  • Posts: 394
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 01:55 PM »
Is it possible to process rough hardwood boards efficiently using the Festool system?

 What, like plane wood down to thickness??  for that just buy a cheap 200-300 planer from the "Depot"
I have the jointer setup for my Festool Planer it works really good, I was surprized. Its just a toy though, I mean I would'nt use it to join 8' long boards.

Mirko
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 02:00 PM by Mirko »

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1723
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 02:00 PM »
Somewhere, I think on John Lucas woodshopdemos.com I saw edge jointing with the table saw, but as far as I know that's about as much as the Festool system will do.  If you don't have room for a jointer and planer, I would suggest you have the lumberyard mill the wood for you.  They will charge, but you can get a lot of wood milled for what you would pay for a good jointer and planer.

Also, I have seen people build sleds for routers to run over rough wood to make it flat.  But that would take a longgg time and a lot of energy ::)

Offline Dan Lyke

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Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2007, 02:03 PM »
I too am a beginner with little space and just trying to figure things out, especially since there seems to be an awful lot of different ways to do things that we need to figure out with the different tools.

So here's a brain dump for the moment: The Wood Shop demos method of jointing boards is worth a read, as is the notion that if you use a good adjustable/sliding square and razor blades you can resaw 4" stock with the circular saw by cutting from both sides.

I haven't done too much with it yet, aside from cutting up a madrone log that we were trying to see if we could make anything out of, but the long blades on the jigsaw seem like another good mechanism for resawing, and on the rail the jigsaw makes some amazingly clean cuts.

For flat faces (rather than edges, which you can usually deal with via a router or the aforementioned circular saw jointing technique), and depending on the size of what you're surfacing, the router on an XY jig (or the MFS with the sliding rail) seems to be good way to do the same thing you'd use a wide jointer for.

We may yet end up getting a benchtop planer, though.

And I got a chunk of 3/4" dowel and a bunch of electrical tape (to wrap the 3/4" dowel out to a snug fit in the MFT holes) so that I could make one-off and throw-away stops on the table for things like ripping narrow edge bands from hardwood boards.
Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

Offline JayStPeter

  • Posts: 364
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2007, 02:10 PM »
To process rough lumber you'll at least need a planer, but a jointer also would be preferable.  There are a number of ways to deal with the lack of a jointer, all less than optimal IMO.  If a board is warped (cupped etc), the planer won't fix it, it will just follow the warp.  
1. You can make a sled for the planer.  FWW had a nice one in their mag a few months ago.  The sled is a flat surface and you essentially shim the board on the sled and pass it through the planer until the top is flat.  Then remove the sled, flip the board and plane to thickness.
2. You can use a handplane, or possibly the Festool power plane to remove any warp from the board, then use the planer.  This requires some skill to get right, but does work well.
3. Some lumber wholesalers have surfacing machines and will surface your boards for you (for a fee).  Look around and you may be able to get away without jointer/planer for a while.  
Most benchtop planers work very well.  The Festool system will take care of the edge jointing and most other operations, but I personally prefer to have a tablesaw as well for ripping.  If you get into making tables or cabinets with legs, the TS55 will be inadequate for dealing with the thicker lumber you'll use.  But, for basic cabinets using ~3/4" material, you have what you need.  You may want to start off with some project using sheet goods and getting fully surfaced hardwood from the local home center.  That way, you can add the tools to allow you to use rough lumber of different species later.
Jay St. Peter

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2631
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2007, 05:00 PM »
Randall,

I am also in a similar position, and also have a good start to a Festool equipped shop.  I purchased a 12" bench-top planner and think that this will do (at least for now) using the method Jay described above.

Corwin
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline Eric Parham

  • Posts: 10
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2007, 08:02 PM »
You could always do what I did until I got a surface planer and use a belt sander and jointer plane ;)

Offline Les Spencer

  • Posts: 487
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2007, 08:22 PM »
Randall,

Unless you access to very cheap rough lumber, you can buy a lot of surfaced 2 or 3 sides for what it would cost and you would sacrifice in floor space for a jointer and a planer. As has been stated, John Lucas' process for edge joining with your TS and guide rails will give you a good piece to start with. Find a sawmill in your area. They will have better prices than a lumber yard or a Borg. Once you've built some furniture projects, you can then decide what equipment to buy. Don't be in too big of a hurry.
Les (near Indy) XL

Offline Dan Clermont

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Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2007, 11:58 PM »
Hi Randall

I have lived many years without a tablesaw and a jointer. Still don't have either. Also went up till last year without a power planer and let me say that I am glad I finally bought one

You can joint or flatten a board with a jointer plane with very little effort providing you have a method of clamping the board and know how to sharpen a plane iron.

I have a good Bandsaw capable of resawing 12" so I have been able to joint a face and edge of a board, thickness it with the bandsaw and then use a plane to remove the bandsaw marks. You could probably clean this same board up with the Festool hand held planer or the RO-150.

John's Woodenshop demo's gives a good tutorial on jointing boards with a TS-55 . Here is the link

http://www.woodshopdemos.com/fes-53.htm

Here he shows how to resaw with the Festool saw

http://www.woodshopdemos.com/fes-sc-1.htm

Good Luck
Dan Clermont
Canadian Festool Dealer and User!!!
https://www.ultimatetools.ca/
604.291.9663

Offline Dave Rudy

  • Posts: 771
  • Coloroda Front Range, in the lee of Pikes Peak
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2007, 12:02 AM »
Another reliable, easy and fast way to edge-joint boards is using a router table with an offset outfeed fence -- a jointer rotated 90 degrees. 

For face jointing, you can either use a hand plane (or maybe Festool planer) or a sled on the planer as described previously.

Dave

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2007, 01:28 AM »
Get a benchtop planer when you can afford one.   You'll eventually find for certain projects that you want/need stock of a particular custom thickness.  With a planer you can quickly make whatever you want/need.  Also, if you are making raised panel doors, having all the stock to be used for the rails and stiles of the same thickness is a huge help in getting a perfect fit of the cope and stick cuts, and when gluing up panels without aid of any biscuits or splines or glue joint router bits.  When you buy pre-planed stock, it will vary somewhat in thickness.   When you plane it yourself, you get the same thickness when you want it.  Back when I started woodworking, bench top planers did not exist.   Even though I paid several times the cost of today's portable planers for my small floor model, I have never regretted it.  It has more than paid for itself in savings from buying rough KD and air-dried wood and planing it myself.  I started with a Shopsmith and a few Craftsman power tools.  I first "jointed" boards using a 12" sanding disk on the Shopsmith saw arbor and offsetting the fence.  That worked, but it was slow, required a delicate touch and smooth board movement, and generated a lot of dust. Later got a 4" jointer, which was a big improvement.  I later replaced it with a 10" combination jointer/planer which I still have, which has good dust collection.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 05:38 PM by Dave Ronyak »
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Randall

  • Posts: 5
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2007, 06:41 PM »
I really appreciate the input.  I'm leaning toward buying a benchtop planer for surfacing the faces.  For edge jointing it appears that I am already equipped for a couple of options.  I can edge joint with my router or my TS 55. 

Thanks again,
Randall

Offline Jon3

  • Posts: 42
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2007, 08:14 AM »
Grab yourself a Dewalt 735 and don't look back.
TS55, CT22, ES125EQ, Domino, C12, RO125, OF1010, OF1400

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1723
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2007, 11:01 AM »
Hey Randall,
Me again.  After reading the thread, I think we may have given short shrift to your comment "I don't want to waste time learning and using inefficient methods".   I think we may have focused on whether milling rough lumber with Festool was possible, rather than efficient.

IMHO the main efficient use for Festool in the milling process is making an initial straight line cut with the TS55 and a rail.  Yes, you can mill with a router or edge joint with a TS55, but they are not time savers compared to jointers and planers.  I don't mean any disrespect for Festool at all.  Its just that thats not what these tools were designed to do.  The fact that they can do it is cool, but lets not kid ourselves that its the most efficient way to go.

Sorry for running on so, but your question pressed a button for me.  One of my few regrets in life is wasting time learning and using inefficient methods.  Life is short.  I have a lot of new skills to learn while I still have the health to use them, so I think a lot about best methods and try to do it right the first time. 

My two cents...  ;)

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2007, 12:37 PM »
In general, I (and most people) agree with you - that a planer and edge jointer are better for edge jointing and planing.  That is, IF the following conditions apply:

1) You do enough of this work to warrant the extra cost of these tools plus a separate DC.
2) You have enough space for a jointer, planer, and big DC.
3) You don't need portability.

It's the last two that give many people fits.   I suspect that you are one of those who are fortunate enough to meet the last two requirements.  Unfortunately, I'm not that lucky.

So do I give up?  NO!    I figure out a workaround and keep going.   At some point, I'll probably buy a lunch box planer and build a sled for face jointing.   I can get by with using my TS55 for edge jointing.   Is it efficient?    Not from a theoretical point of view.  But from a realistic point of view, it's far more efficient than trying to to figure out how to store a big jointer and DC.

Dan.

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3662
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2007, 10:10 AM »
For me, a jointer is an absolute imposibility.  I do have the DW 735 which does get a lot of use.  I get most of my lumber rough cut and sometimes the board might be 1-1/2 " at one end and 1" at the other. Sometimes there will be a pretty good twist from one end to the other.  There are many reasons for not making my first milling by running thru the planer.  Sometimes, I have taken a couple of straight 2x3 clamped down to MFT and to either side of a board, then a piece of 3/4 Inch plywood to bottom of my router with a 3/4" flat bottom cutting bit and slide the router back and forth across the two rails.  If i miss a couple of spots here and there, a quick fix with chisel or block plane and i am good to do the parallel face with the planer.  Later on, I bought the Festool power plane and flatten one side with that.  i get as close as possible, but sometimes go to the handplane and winding sticks for final flattening.  this is a bit quicker and cleaner than the router method described.  Sometimes, i just use a handplane for flattening the first face.  I don't think you could go wrong in getting a good thickness planer and a good hand plane, but I think there are a lot of other toys you can get and learn to use before getting a jointer.  My opinion is that if you go for the jointer, wait til you can afford a stationery model.  You can get into a lot of trouble by trying to use a jointer before you learn what is happening when you mill with basic processes and tools.  In my case (not for everybody), I do not see ever getting a jointer. (I have used them from bench models to 8" long bed.  The larger the better, but there is no way to get one into my shop space)
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3571
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2007, 11:22 AM »
For me, a jointer is an absolute imposibility.  I do have the DW 735 which does get a lot of use.  I get most of my lumber rough cut and sometimes the board might be 1-1/2 " at one end and 1" at the other. Sometimes there will be a pretty good twist from one end to the other.  There are many reasons for not making my first milling by running thru the planer.  Sometimes, I have taken a couple of straight 2x3 clamped down to MFT and to either side of a board, then a piece of 3/4 Inch plywood to bottom of my router with a 3/4" flat bottom cutting bit and slide the router back and forth across the two rails.  If i miss a couple of spots here and there, a quick fix with chisel or block plane and i am good to do the parallel face with the planer.  Later on, I bought the Festool power plane and flatten one side with that.  i get as close as possible, but sometimes go to the handplane and winding sticks for final flattening.  this is a bit quicker and cleaner than the router method described.  Sometimes, i just use a handplane for flattening the first face.  I don't think you could go wrong in getting a good thickness planer and a good hand plane, but I think there are a lot of other toys you can get and learn to use before getting a jointer.  My opinion is that if you go for the jointer, wait til you can afford a stationery model.  You can get into a lot of trouble by trying to use a jointer before you learn what is happening when you mill with basic processes and tools.  In my case (not for everybody), I do not see ever getting a jointer. (I have used them from bench models to 8" long bed.  The larger the better, but there is no way to get one into my shop space)
Tinker

There is a lot of experience encapsulated in Tinker's post.

To me, the greatest feature of the lunchbox planers (DW 735 seems to be the best of the bunch) is that the bed is stationary. This allows you to set up sturdy, level, in-feed and outfeed beds which can support a sled for shimming and supporting boards, so you can use the planer as a jointer. After a few passes have cut off the high spots you can flip the board over and plane as usual.

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2007, 10:16 PM »
I expect to get a bit of criticism for my planer "technique", but here goes.  I used this approach frist when I had 600 BF of rough KD 5/4 red oak to process into flooring, paneling (resawn) and a built-in bookcase, and had a 4" delta jointer and a 12" Belsaw planer/molder.  The boards were minimum 10 ft long and ranged in width from about 8" up to 18."   Kind of hard to flatten much with a 4" jointer!  When processing this and other rough lumber, I often skipp the recommended primary step of jointing one face flat before running the board through my planer.  Instead, for most boards having only a little warp/wind I took relatively light cuts and flipped the board for each successive pass, unless due to a surface defect removing more stock from one face seemed best to me.  Most of the time, this technique reduced the amount of warp/wind sufficiently for use of the boards, since in most applications, the individual boards are going to be joined to others that will keep them aligned after they are coaxed into final assembly.  Of course, this means you need to be referencing your cuts relative to the local edges and faces of the boards.  For boards that have greater warp/wind, I rip them into narrower strips and/or cross-cut them into shorter lengths before running them through a jointer or planer.  Instead of doing as others have suggested with hand or power plane, or a router and a jig to flatten a winding board, I use my jointer to intentionally machine away some of the obviously out of plane areas before even attempting to pass the entire length of the board over the jointer.  For example, for a bowed board whose side edges are not straight, I start with the "high" ends of the cupped edge and only pass those through my jointer to take out some of the cup before passing the entire board over the jointer.  This was before I had Festool's TS 55 and guide rails, which would be a much faster and less laborious way to get one or both edges to be straight.  I had no problems with any of that oak in 30 years after installation of the flooring, paneling, door casing and baseboard trim or the base cabinet/bookcase (8 ft wide, floor to ceiling) made from it.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline John Stevens

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  • Ardmore, PA
Re: Processing rough hardwood
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2007, 03:22 PM »
Didn't somebody in the old forum post a link to a post at an Australian forum that showed how a guy made a jig from an aluminum ladder to use his festool router for milling a flat surface on rough lumber?

Regards,

John
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart