For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Friday, November 25, 2011


Ripping is one thing, resawing is a whole other animal! You can't build everything from inch thick lumber, and buying stuff that's already brought down to a thinner section is expensive. What's a budding neanderthal to do? Steve Branam shows his technique for resawing here. I figured that would be a good place to start. I got some inch cherry and went to town.

The intended victim. It's a pretty piece of cherry, and I hope to keep it pretty!

I wanted something more substantial than a pencil line or scribe line to follow. I took a couple light passes with my plow plane around the outside of the board. I think I may order an extra 1/8" blade for my plow and grind a spear point on it for this purpose. I could then make a deeper and more precise line...hmmm.
Weapon of choice is my no-name 25" rip saw. I've sharpened it, but had to do some in-process tuning during this task. It cut at a comfortable rate of speed for me, and only required a little bit of correction. Being my first time doing this, I wasn't perfect (as you'll see) but it was more sawyer than saw. Here, I'm cutting from the corners, enabling me to follow two lines at once. I did this from all four points.
After the first cut, I found that taking out a little vee with a chisel helped the saw start easier.
Another mid process discovery was that if I ran a pencil down the lines, I could see what I was doing much better.
Almost there, you can clearly see that I didn't stay on track all the way. This will obviously make for some extra plane work once the two pieces are separated.
The final part of the cut to separate the boards. First, I need better work holding for this kind of stuff. Secondly, I put a wedge in the part of the kerf that's held in the vise.
Fresh off the saw. You can see where I was off the mark.
I've planed off most of the roughness, and now I'm going to let these boards sit for a while. The original intent was to make the outside of a small gun case with these two pieces. However, they look awfully pretty as a book match, and they may become the inside of the case.
In all, it took 50 minutes from marking out to finishing the rough plane work. Not bad for a first timer. My goal is to make my Dad's Christmas present, a display case for his 1848 Navy revolver.


  1. Nicely done. I've had bad luck resawing. I think I'll try your plow plane trick.

  2. Thanks, Brian. Let me know if it works for you. It was an experiment to see if it would help. What I want to try next is a 1/8" plow iron ground to a spear point. When I get a chance to try that out, I'll post it.

  3. I think you will find that the 1/8" blade will work extremely well. It did for me. I am in awe of these guys who can just saw the corners to the line and then cut the board in half perfectly. I'm not there yet.

  4. Andy, I meant to reply earlier. Have you tried with a spear point on the 1/8 blade? Or did you run it like I did? I'm thinking about the spear point so that I can keep the width of the line down a bit.