Cutting wood

Today is the second class of my wood working class. I bought three pieces of birch wood last Sunday to make a small table. I learn how to cut the a rough wood into the required shape in today’s class. The cutting steps are pretty simple.

1. Use a miter saw cut 2-3″ from the edge to get rid of cracks or defects.
2. Cut the wood into rough length (the real length plus 1″)
3. Take the wood to the jointer and trim one edge straight. It is easier to trim the edge curving outward.
4. Take the wood to table saw and cut it into rough width. (real width plus 1/4″)
5. Take the wood back to the jointer and trim one face flat. Now the wood has a right angle edge.
6. Take the wood to planner and plane it to the final width and thickness.

I am kinda slow today, so I didn’t get to step 6 today. Now I have all the pieces of my small table cut in rough size. After cutting 20 over pieces, I am quite good at using the jointer. The key is to apply pressure on the front, not on the back when the wood pass through the blade. I can feel when the blade is trimming a layer off the wood. I made many cuts using the table saw too, but it is still quite scary. It is the only piece of tool in the workshop have an uncovered rotating blade. Keep your fingers away from moving blades and always use a push stick.

We spent the first hour listening to instruction and watching demonstration. That left me two hours to work on my own. The clock seems running much faster when I concentrate in cutting the wood. The class is over sooner before I finish cutting all my pieces. At the end of the class, I have saw dust all over my clothes. I guess I have to wash my clothes after each class. Too bad that I forgot to bring my camera. However, it seems kinda silly taking pictures in the workshop. No one is taking any pictures.

4 thoughts on “Cutting wood”

  1. Horace,

    Pictures will be perfect! Now, you don’t seem the type mind looking silly and you are taking pictures of your own work-in-process so it is not that strange.

    P.S. When we hired a house inspector to check our house, I asked him for his permission to film what he was telling us and explaining to us. You see, those videos might seemed silly to film at the time, but they becomes handy now. Plus they are also a good memory keepsakes.

    1. Maybe I should take some pictures of my wood.

      I still think taking picture in the workshop is kinda silly. People take photo if they plan to do it only once to capture the memory. But if you plan to do it again and again, it becomes so normal that it doesn’t need any picture.

      Moreover, I think it’s a work hazard taking picture in the workshop. The flash may distract someone and get his finger cut off.

  2. To protect yourself from being cut by the saw, wearing gloves and using another piece of wood to do pressure onto the wood you cut. Push slowly and steady is another way to make the job saver and better.


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