Milling the strips

I stayed at brother Chuck’s house in Maryland after OkumeFest and found a local source of wood. I had decided upon western red cedar for the hull and palownia for the deck along with some dark colored wood for trim lines. I ordered two 2x4x18′ of cedar and was delighted to find it free of knots when it arrived. I picked out some boards of palownia (which grows to maturity in 3-5 years in places like Georgia and Florida. It is so light that you can pick up a long board from one end.) I also selected a board of very dark wood called wenge. I only discovered after buying it that wenge is an over-forested tree from Africa. I would have substituted walnut if I had known. Oh well.

Chuck has a very nice table saw and together we rigged it up for milling the strips which I decided to make 3/4″ by 3/16″. He had some anti-kickback rollers and I made some feather-boards to hold the boards against the fence. We used some long 2×10’s to make in-feed and out-feed extensions. We also added a guide behind the blade the same thickness as the kerf to keep the wood from closing up that gap and marring the finish. A few test runs proved that it was ready for milling.

(photos and video courtesy of my sister-in-law Brooke)

I had my brother mark each strip as it came off the board so that I can later sort them to “book-match” the grain.

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