Resawing and the damage done

This weekend I took some time to start prepping for the next box(es). I’ve got a fair amount of pine sitting in the workshop, but I was curious as to how some other wood I have would work. What set this forward was finally figuring out the board foot price that I pay for pine here. Low grade stuff is cheap, but it is miserable. After some looking, I found some decent quality pine from the USofA, but it ran me $5 a foot. There is a variety of South American hardwoods available here that cost much less.

I picked up a piece of amburana (also called Brazilian cherry, whyIdon’tknow). It’s a hefty hardwood with lots of interlocking grain, but it’s not incredibly hard, and I was curious if it would have any of the compression that pine does with dovetails.

My boards are all 1″ thick. Actually, closer to 1 1/4″. I hate to waste, and was feeling froggy enough to try some resawing. I cut to rough length and got the board 3 square. Then laid out my saw kerfs. There was a bit of twist. This will be important later.

Saw kerf
gauge line deepened with tenon saw

I winged it on this, trying to replicate what has worked for me before. The amburana wasn’t as difficult as cherry, but didn’t just melt apart like mahogany, either. Pretty much anything is going to be a workout with a handsaw, though.

one third down
a third of the way
the line
a closer view

The sawing took about 10 minutes, mostly with me being careful to track the saw kerfs. I do my best to start and keep going as far as I can along one line. While I’ve read that it’s good to flip the wood from time to time, that always seems to start a new kerf on the inner wood, and leaves some pretty gnarly marks inside. Maybe that’s just my crap technique.

both sides, only one nasty snag line

With the two sides in hand, I was pretty pleased that I’d only gone off about 1/16 from top to bottom. But heartache was in store. Remember that twist? I checked the flat side again, and man, was it twisted. Again. And, being a dumbass, I’d left myself with only about 1/8 of extra board to clean up. With the 1/16 that I’d veered off, this made further clean up an exercise in futility.

Oh well, what the hell. It was good practice. And it answered a question I’d had regarding whether it’s more worthwhile to resaw or just grab the scrub plan. In this case, scrub plane. This wood isn’t so precious that I want to save every sliver. And with the twist, it just doesn’t make sense. The scrub allows me a bit more control, and overall I think it’s less effort. It is certainly less heartbreak.

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