Process, start to finish. #1. of a series.

Rough board on Jointer/Planer

Almost all of the lumber I use is "rough", as it comes from the saw mill. It is kiln dried, though it may have initially dried outside in the air. ( For those interested in a more detailed course in wood working, and all of it's sub-trades, I recommend "Encyclopedia of Furniture Making", by Ernest Joyce. Very comprehensive, even though it was first published in 1970, revised, 1987)

In the above photo, the marks from the saw mill's circular blade are quite visible. Below, a board showing marks from a band saw blade.

I prefer rough, lumber as I can control flatness and dimension. The tool that the board is on is a combination Jointer/Planer. First, the board is examined to find the best face to start. If there is a bow, I want to joint the ends first. With a slight twist, usually one side is a little flatter, and will be jointed first. If a board is very bad, bad board, I will cut it into smaller pieces, so I can flatten one side.  Once one side is flat, the board will be run through the Thickness Planer, using the flat face as reference, so that both sides are parallel. With rough lumber, say 6/4 stock as in the above photos, final dimension should be around 1 1/4 inches thick, from a rough thickness of 1 1/2 inches, roughly. When done with the jointing and planing to thickness, I then choose the best edge, and joint it flat, prior to ripping the board into sticks on the table saw.

I was going to add some information about the machine I'm using, but, again, it isn't about the tools; it's about what you do with the tools you have. Good tools can make one more efficient, and even good tools can be modified to be more efficient. In the above photos, bottom center, a wooden "box" is visible, part of a much improved dust collection system. What came with the machine was unduly involved, including needing to remove one of the tables. Even good machines can have some design flaws. I routinely modify tools for efficiency, or to make them more compatible with how I work.