Bandsaw Resawing

Drying Wood
Remember one thing: When it comes to drying, slower is better.

  • Before cutting the log, paint the end grain. This seals it and slows down the drying process so you don’t get lots of cracking. I use whatever extra paint I have around the house, though for green wood, latex is best.
  • If the bark stays on the planks you cut, leave it on. Like painting the ends, the bark slows down drying.
  • Stack the planks where air can flow over them, but not in direct sun. Place a couple stickers (1x2s) between each plank so the air can move freely around the wood.
  • Be patient. Air drying can take as long as one year per inch of thickness. Follow initial drying with a year of storage indoors so the boards equilibrate to indoor moisture levels.
  • With small planks, use the weighing technique to monitor drying. Weigh the planks after you cut them and use chalk or a marker to record the weight on the wood. Weigh them again every few months. When the weight stops changing, moisture is gone from the wood. Moisture meters are, of course, the most accurate way to gauge the moisture content (see Sources, at right).
SAWN AND STICKERED ASH from the firewood pile.

POSITION THE FENCE so the veneer is being cut from the side of the board away from the fence. Although this means moving your fence for each cut, it gives the best results. Use a push block and keep an eye open for the blade blowing out through the face of the veneer. After your first cut, smooth the face of the board with a planer or jointer, and re-position the fence. Repeat until the piece is down to 1/2-in. thickness. This is about as far as you can safely go.

RESAWN VENEER from a precious board of burl.

Resawing lets you cut your own veneer. This home-sawn veneer has many advantages. It lets you stretch your material by getting lots of sq. ft. out of a single board. Veneering a panel with shop-sawn veneer gives the stability and design options of commercial veneer, but with the appearance of solid wood. And because this veneer is thicker than commercial veneer, you can gently round over the edges without cutting into the substrate. You can make veneer from any unusual wood you find, including crotch, spalted and burled woods - stuff you may not be able to buy from the best veneer supplier. When cutting veneer, always be sure the wood is completely dry before you begin.

A good thickness for your shop-made veneer is 3/32 in. It’s thick enough to work with, but thin enough to be stable. When sawing, use a fence that’s as tall as your material is wide so you have good support, and make sure your fence and blade are perfectly set up. Bandsawn veneer can be edge glued with light clamp pressure.

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Bandsaw Resawing Tool Up: Blade Selection & More
When Good Cuts Go Bad The ABCs of Resawing
The ABCs of Resawing (continued) Drying Wood & Veneering a Panel Bandsaw Upgrades

Feature Article • Bandsaw Resawing • August 2000
© 2000 American Woodworker Magazine ®