Sound Effects and Internal Stresses

Two quick thoughts:

1.)  Today, I was hand ripping some red oak for the tray runners on the medium tool chest.  Without any music playing in the background (the album had ended mid rip), I was really tuned into the sound of the sawing.  Now I am 100% convinced (without any independent research) that when a foley walker or a sound guy in a movie needs a hand-sawing sound, it’s the sound of ripping 8/4 red oak with a 26″ panel saw.  Internet, prove me wrong.

2.)  No matter how dry a board is before you rip it, it’s going to warp (at least a little) due to internal stresses in the wood.  Sometimes, it’s pretty drastic (see below).  For this reason, I always scribe my cut lines for rough stock preparation at least an extra 1/8 inch fat of the finished dimensions (plus the extra 1/16 inch or so I cut on the waste side of the line).  That way, even if there is major flattening to do after the rip, there is enough material left for the finished dimensions.  The larger the board, the fatter I’ll make the first cuts.

At least it's bowed only, and not twisted.

The thinner piece is the waste from the first rip.  In order to make a 7/8 x 7/8 final board, the rough cut piece will be about 1×1 (after a second rip).

I had forgotten the smell of red oak.  It’s pleasant, if a bit coarse.  But for now, I am turning back to some weekend work before the Mets game.



  1. I do this kind of “pre-milling” also, especially when I get lumber from a new source. You never know if the boards were dried properly, and I’ve had problems with internal pressure causing warping as well.


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