Episode 17 Dressing Timber

Episode 17 Dressing Timber.

In this episode, we are having a look at dressing timber so that it is flat/straight and square, ready for a project. In this case, we are using some reclaimed Jarrah from an old deck, but the principle is the same if you are preparing timber that is DAR (dressed all round) from a timber yard, or hardware supply shop, or even if you have prepared your own board from raw timber.

DAR stock can still have warps, cupping and twists, so it is definitely beneficial to go through the motions of actually dressing the timber yourself to ensure it really is straight and true (and square!).

The two units used here are the Jet 6″ deluxe longbed planer (jointer in the US), and then the Triton 15″ Thicknesser (planer in the US).

7 Responses

  1. Hi Stu,
    Great video,
    where can you get the nail detector from?

  2. Thanks for the great site. I am new to woodworking and was directed here from the WW forum. You have cleared up the terminology problem I was having with planers/thicknessers & jointer as well as explaining very well the role of each.

    The only question I have is how to dress wider timber than 6″. I am building bookshelves with 290mm depth shelves — can these planks of timber be dressed with the tools you have demonsrtated.

    again thanks for the site _ i will be back a number of times.


    • Hi Stephen,
      There are a couple of options for dressing wide boards (and no, I’m not mentioning the “get a bigger jointer” one – we’d all love to be able to afford the biggest, but have to work with what we have.

      Option 1. Rip the boards in half, run them through the jointer, then rejoin them with one flipped 180 degrees. This will decrease the amount of cupping that can occur downtrack. I’ve never gone down this path myself, as much as it seems a sensible idea, taking a board the right width and cutting it up always seems like strange logic, even if trying to avoid distortion!

      Option 2. Use handplanes to get one side flat, then run through the thicknesser. (If you need a workout!)

      Option 3. Mount a couple of flat rails on either side of the board, so the board is raised off the base, and so the top edge is proud of the rails.

      Using the rails as the new reference plane, run the board through the thicknesser, taking a little off each time until you have established a new flat side.

      Remove the rails, flip the board over, and dress the other side to the required thickness.

      This would be my preference, and means you can dress boards using the full width of your thicknesser. It does mean that there are some screw holes in the sides of the board where the rails were mounted (if you go down the screw route), so plan their placement carefully.

      Option 4. Use rustic, rough sawn boards, and call it a rustic furniture shelf!

  3. Thanks Stuart — option 3 sounds doable. Gives me a good excuse to convince the wife I need a thicknesser!



    • Mate, you need a thicknesser! Especially if you have a jointer (planer). They are a Yin Yang – one must have the other to function properly.


      In saying that, if I had to choose one, I’d start with a thicknesser!

  4. Nice learning I got from your video. Specially about dressing timber. It’s cool and unique.

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