Resawing wood for thin sheets

A few weeks ago, I stopped at a Mennonite lumber yard for some exotic woods. When they showed me around to find pieces, they were all 3/4 or 1". So if i wanted 1/8", they were going to resaw the thicker boards.

i bring this up now because a while back there were conversations about how difficult it might be to resaw, how much kerf there would be from the blade, and how many pieces of, say, 1/8" board you could get from a 3/4" board.

so, the answer for me when they cut down that 3/4" piece was 3. a mixture of loss/uneveness from the resaw (and they started with boards that were between 4 and 6 feet long) and then planing the resultant pieces down to 1/8".

i wondered, was the guy who did this just young and inexperienced and maybe a more experienced man would have done better? or was this common?

so i did a little searching today and found this.

a quote from that article:

Rule of Thumb: If you want to end up with 1/4″ thick, cut for about 3/8″ just in case. This is why when we resaw a 3/4″ thick board for 1/4″ pieces in our own mill, we”ll just slice it down the middle and surface the resulting two pieces down to 1/4″. It’s sensible and practical that way.

to be filed under “the more you know.”


Very interesting and pertinent because I’ve been considering buying a bandsaw for resawing.

it was interesting watching the guy at the lumber yard wrestle the 12" x 72" board on the huge bandsaw they had. i wish i could have gotten more, and at least one sheet he cut down had a bad end on it that ended up too thin. i still got 11 sheets of 18x12x.125 wenge that only a couple have spots in them i need to avoid because of saw marks. he offered to plane them thinner, but i’d rather have the .125 and avoid spots than have .1 or .11. and those 11 sheets cost me $75. it doesn’t all have the best figuring in it, but at that price/size, i’m ok with it.


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