Is it wasteful to mill down 6/4 to 3/4"?


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Yeah what Mike said...unless you plan to dry boards in your basement like Cremona does or your boards have been in a barn for ten years like yours, Cliff...you just won't get down to the 6-10% you need to get to...not in muggy midwest states anyway.  Out in Arizona or southern California, sure.  Brendon also mentioned the creepy crawlies and that's another major factor for me.  I don't need to spend a hundred hours on a project just to see it lay bugs a few months later.  No thanks, not a risk I'm willing to take.

Even something so seemingly simple as stickering can cause major damage to an entire pack of lumber if done improperly.  There are many factors that go into producing top-quality lumber.  I don't trust most backyard mill operators to do everything right.  If you find a good one, you're lucky.  I know zero in St. Louis, but that doesn't mean they're not out here...I just haven't met them yet.

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Make the face frames thicker and adjust the depth of the case to compensate. Problem solved !

For those prices I'd buy, drive two hours, sell for $5 per until I had enough for a bandsaw. 

And there's no such thing as a cheap woman

2 hours ago, Cliff said:

Ahh I didn't know you couldn't hit that low.

Yeah here in the midwest .. life is stupid :) I need to get a moisture meter soon. The walnut I'm using right now is air dried. But I bet it's been dry for 10 years or more. I need to find out what the MC of my shop is for kiln and air dried. 

Knowing what MC should be for your area will lessen many headaches down the road!  Moisture meters are inexpensive and should be in all of our shops!

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The kiln actually will compress or better put, close up (to a point) the wood fibers. Thus restricting what moisture the wood can drink up in the future. Think of it as making a piece toast in the morning with a toaster. The bread shrinks and becomes stable.

Kiln drying can actually remove the natural stress in wood. The heat of kiln drying will set the resin in sappy woods.

Some sticks will react adversely to kiln drying and that s*&t is way over my head. Sometimes, you just get a bad stick and the only way you find out is when you're cutting and it turns out banana shaped. Kiln drying is for a reason, or it wouldn't exist. 

Don't build with boards containing pith, (center of the tree) It's going to move or crack no matter if air or kiln dried. 

Air dried and kiln dried are two different animals. Kiln drying adds to the cost of woods and hands down make for a better product.

Woodworking has tradeoffs. Example, if I have snipe on each end of a board, I simply cut it off. You may think, thats wasteful. But you can drive yourself nuts tuning planer tables to prevent snipe. You buy thicker lumber and ask if it's wasteful to mill way down to achieve thinner lumber. The majority spoke...YES IT IS.  You make the call what's best for you.

To me, your wood is what it's all about. This is what your crafting to create. We spend hard earned cash on tools and everything that goes along, but we skimp on quality of wood and finish products. Go figure :rolleyes: 

 

-Ace-  

     

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7 hours ago, AceHoleInOne said:

Woodworking has tradeoffs. Example, if I have snipe on each end of a board, I simply cut it off. You may think, thats wasteful. But you can drive yourself nuts tuning planer tables to prevent snipe. You buy thicker lumber and ask if it's wasteful to mill way down to achieve thinner lumber. The majority spoke...YES IT IS.  You make the call what's best for you.

To me, your wood is what it's all about. This is what your crafting to create. We spend hard earned cash on tools and everything that goes along, but we skimp on quality of wood and finish products. Go figure :rolleyes: 

 

-Ace-  

     

I just filled two 50 gallon steel drums with shop cut offs.  most of it can from long, skinny (2" or so) strips that were left over from ripping boards down to the size I needed.   Of course I had a bunch of snipe cut offs and random odds and ends.   They will feed my firepit and smoker.  Yes I am sure I could have made cutting boards or some crafty things out of those pieces. Wasteful? Well they were a waste of space and that is something I don't have in surplus.   I don't fret over what to do with planer chips or random cut offs.  

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I hear ya, and my question was answered. I understand most people are not planing a board down to half it's rough thickness, lol. It makes sense and is what i was thinking. I will likely find lumber closer in dimension to my final desired dimensions or wait for the bandsaw (the last large piece of machinery I've been looking for to add to the shop).

And here's the thing, I don't have a problem dropping cash on some nice lumber of a different species than maple for a project when I know exactly what I'm building and I'm more confident in my ability so I know I won't be wasting much or screwing anything up. In the mean time, I've got a good source for rough lumber, some in slab form and air dried, some dimensional and kiln dried, primarily maple. I'll be finding projects to practice different joinery and milling using the stuff I can get for decent prices and not be terribly upset if I screw a piece up.

I appreciate the constructive thoughts and knowledge from those with more or different experience than me.

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Well, you need to be a little picky with maples too for project building. Nothing wrong with maple, I love maple :D. Maples can have mineral deposits or bark inclusions giving you issues. Your premier boards should be nice and white grain straight and absent of the darker brown heart wood. Just saying :)

 

Hey man good luck and enjoy the fun. 

 

-Ace- 

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1 hour ago, Mike. said:

Personally I prefer maple with color.  I know the "good stuff" is supposed to be all white sap wood and that is typically what you see commercially.  But look at what krenov did with more "natural" maples.   Most folks don't realize maple can have lots of color, not just white.   To get maple with color, like Krenov used, you actually need to go see Uncle Cletus.  

And the wood with "color" can be cheaper, thus better to afford more Buffalo Trace. :P Nothing wrong using heart on the "inside" of projects where it won't be seen.....hehehehe!  To hell with Uncle Cletus, I liks he brohtre Rosco. He has better wood. So much so, he's constantly yelling "hey I got wood, what can I nail or screw" :D

 

-Ace-

 

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I like unique pieces of wood too, but you don't have to go slumming to find them.  And generally speaking, I prefer properly milled, properly dried, clear and consistent lumber over nasty bowed, cupped, twisted, defect-riddled, bug-infested, improperly stickered and halfway dried, rotting, checking cellulose.  I'll take the snob wood any day, thank you very much.

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This thread is a classic example of why I love woodworking. There are as many answers to the original question as there are woodworkers.  And all of them have merit depending on need, priority's and perspective.
 
I have been butchering wood for as long as I can remember, something like 50 years. About 10 years ago I started milling my own wood. That completely changed how I see, use and value wood.  Woodworking is a VERY deep rabbit hole.   Money has always been a major obstacle as it relates to my hobby. When I was buying lumber for a project I would try and buy what I needed with a 20% cushion for waste. Like Eric suggests I bought from a local Hardwood source, kiln dried and milled to a close proximity of my intended use. They supply a quality product that is harvested and processed with the mass consumer in mind. That does reduce the amount of work I needed to do and it also reduces the amount of  "waste"  I had.  From a ease of use and space efficient point of view this is great right!  From a artistic point of view that method just isn't practical for me. Because I am a cheep skate I would buy what I need plus the waste. Then carefully measure out parts and cuts to get the most for my money with the least amount of " waste". Again, great right?
 
 Now what if instead of buying just what I need for that same project I have a pile of lumber large enough that I don't mind pulling out a 8 ft long board just to cut out a 2 ft piece from the middle of the board for the perfect color and grain pattern for a given piece.  Knowing that the "waist" can be used for other things. But more importantly I am chasing that perfect look. If I am taking the time to do the best possible job I am currently capable of than I don't want to try to save a few bucks or board ft.  Waist is all Perspective whether money material's or time.

As for air or kiln dried either way is fine as long as it is done well. As far as I know the killing of said creepy crawlies is the only big difference. To me that only matters if I wanted to use "wormwood" in a project. Other wise I would be inspecting each piece as I mill it down for checks splits loose knots and bug holes all of which get cut out anyway.  The milling process also greatly improved my ability to read the grain patterns of a board and have a better idea of how and why a board will want to move.
 
To answer the original question. Waist is a matter of opinion as stated before.
It is your money and time.Spend it as you see fit.
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23 minutes ago, martym said:
That does reduce the amount of work I needed to do and it also reduces the amount of  "waste"  I had.    

Knowing that the "waist" can be used for other things. 

 
Waist is a matter of opinion as stated before.

Great post. Went from giving good woodworking advice to building up all the old fat guys?

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I like unique pieces of wood too, but you don't have to go slumming to find them.  And generally speaking, I prefer properly milled, properly dried, clear and consistent lumber over nasty bowed, cupped, twisted, defect-riddled, bug-infested, improperly stickered and halfway dried, rotting, checking cellulose.  I'll take the snob wood any day, thank you very much.

That sounds like a mill to avoid for sure. Luckily I haven't seen any of that with the guy I've been going to.

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It's really not any more wasteful than all the woodworkers that drive trucks around all week, and only need to haul stuff once every couple weeks or so.

Btw, I too have waist problems, glad someone is finally talking about this huge problem..."huge." :)

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