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jad 11-30-2012 03:22 PM

rough cut lumber question
Was not sure where to post this question....
Got my hands on some rough cut cedar boards and would like to make a table for outside. I have some 4x4 for legs and 1x6 for the top. Is it possible to get a smooth finish with just sanding?
I know a planer would be the best but I do not have one or know anyone who does.
Would you need a belt sander or would a palm sander work?


ddawg16 11-30-2012 03:29 PM

I think your doing it backwards....if you want ceader that is already smooth....that's assuming you don't have a planner.

Your going to spend more money on sandpaper than what you saved buying the rough cut....besides...rough cut is kind of hard to get and most people either want it rough or already have a planner.

jad 11-30-2012 03:43 PM

I already have the wood, it was a next to nothing find at a garage sale
Really nice pieces of red cedar :thumbsup:
Now I just have to do something with them.
Another tool I do not have is a biscuit joiner but I do have a pretty good table saw. I was wondering once I get nice clean straight cuts on the boards can they be joined together using the kreg tool. I have heard great things about the tool and was thinking of picking one up to have just not sure if it can be used in the case.

funfool 11-30-2012 04:08 PM

For a outdoor table, I would leave spaced apart, for contraction and expansion.
You could sand the pieces. Would take forever and lots of paper.
Might be worth checking with a local cabinet or wood working shop, would only take a few min to run them through a planer.
I would expect you to spend at least $50 on paper alone to do the job, plus so many hours it would be easy to lose interest in the project.

joecaption 11-30-2012 04:17 PM

Getting the pieces tight enough to butt and not have a gap would also require a jointer.

Mark Harvey 11-30-2012 05:10 PM

rough wood
Another option is to rent a planner from a local home improvement store or rental outlet. Same with a jionter, assuming you know how to use one.

user1007 11-30-2012 05:25 PM

1 x 6 cedar is going to warp, cup, etc. like crazy if used as an outdoor table surface. Planed, or sanded, it will be even thinner.

funfool 11-30-2012 05:35 PM

sedester brings up good point.
When I think of rough cut lumber, A 1x6 will be about 1 1/8" thick and a full 6" wide,
If this cedar is rough and 3/4"x5.5" you have cedar fence boards.

woodworkbykirk 11-30-2012 09:06 PM

joes right. if you want flat smooth boards you need to run it through a jointer first. then the table saw then to the thickness planer.. if you plan on laminating the boards on the edge i would get it to a working thickness then join them.. then pass them through the planer again to even oiut hte joint then go to the sanders

ratherbefishing 12-03-2012 11:00 PM

A palm sander would take forever, and a ream of sandpaper. A belt sander or RO would be faster. You may get smooth, but you won't get flat. If you don't want to buy/own a planer, buy a good sized hand plane. That's the way it was done for years, and still works better than you'd think.

mae-ling 12-03-2012 11:20 PM

you can joint with a sanding disk on a table saw, although i have never done it.

woodworkbykirk 12-04-2012 02:43 PM

ive never heard of using sanding discs on a table saw to joint. but making an auxiliary fence and blade will work

mae-ling 12-04-2012 03:35 PM

I've even seen a large grinder with a rough sanding disk mounted in a bench so the disc is up and then running board over that to smooth the surface.

user1007 12-04-2012 04:51 PM

Folk, I still say the OP is in trouble planing an outdoor table top down---by whatever means---less than an inch thick but 6" wide. First bit of moisture that gets to it and those boards are going to cup, warp and split at their fasteners if not just for fun along the grain. Maybe a grade kiln dried might last a few years but something tells me this scrap find is not heartwood.

carpdad 12-08-2012 08:04 AM

You can try ripping the 1x6 into half. Run the rough side on table saw, just getting rid of fiber but not smooth, then finish with orbital sander. Start with 60 then 80. It will not be indoor furniture quality but that is not what you are making. Bevel the top edge a little to even out the surface and hold them together with a cleat and screws from underneath with 1/8 gap between boards. Steel nails will leave dark stains around them.
If you want to protect it, apply uv protecting finish, but you may see some to none of the cedar.

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