The forum is in read only mode.

rough or not rough wood ?

  • stephane
  • Topic Author

stephane created the topic: rough or not rough wood ?

Hello there,

Since it's my first post let start by a small introduction :
Stephane is the name and am based in North Vancouver since 5 weeks (moving from France, so excuse the not so nice English !). I'm pretty new in woodworking, and I have trouble picking wood (a common beginner issue I think).

I bought some short 4x4 red oak "planks" at PJ White hardwoods.
I suppose there are considered rough wood because nothing is square and the surface is pretty rough. But since it was for my workbench it doesn't bother me at all.
I get then for $4.71/foot sq. No idea if this is a good price or not.

Now I have to build a bench (my wife has a long list of things to do...), so I am thinking about using this wood again. But I will need a more finished look.

How do you do that that ?

I believe one need a planner to make in square with plan surface. Right ?
I thought about cutting the "plank" square with my table saw, but I will lose a lot of wood no? And I still need to sand the surface to make it flat.

Any advice really appreciated !


  • PaulD

PaulD replied the topic: Re: rough or not rough wood ?

Hello stephane! Welcome to the site and welcome to BC … Both Colin and I who own/operate the site are from British Columbia.

First, I’m going to have to ask what your wife’s bench is going to-be used for?
Indoor or Outdoor? We need to know a bit more before we can recommend a wood.

Yes, your correct that a wood planer is the best way to square the surface of the a piece of wood, while wasting as little wood as possible. You can use a table saw and many people do if a planer isn’t available. Just make sure you have a good fence and blade on the table saw if you want to get a good square.
  • Posts: 486

colin replied the topic: Re: rough or not rough wood ?

Stephane ... a BIG WELCOME to woodworkweb.:)
Yes the wood you purchased was rough. I think you got pretty good value and PJ Whites has good prices on wood.
Paul is correct about using the planer, but I would recommend, if possible, purchasing yourself a jointer first of all. A jointer is used to straighten and flatten one side of your wood, then the wood is turned 1/4 turn and planed again to one corner square (90 degrees). After this is done, wood can then be run through a planer, OR you could use a table saw to carefully plane the remaining edges, OR you could continue to use the jointer on the remaining edges.

Hope this helps ... lets us know if we can be of more help

  • stephane
  • Topic Author

stephane replied the topic: Re: rough or not rough wood ?

Hi Paul and Colin,

Thank for the welcome.
The Vancouver area looks great, I just have to get used to wear gore-tex all the time :)

Thank for the information, things becoming to get a littler clear.
One question : a planer (full name is a thickness planer right ?) look like a jointer which works on every faces at the same time, no ?
So that look pretty more efficient useful to me. But since your advice is to buy a jointer I must miss something here.

Canadian Tire has a Mastercraft bench jointer on sale this week end, so...

About the bench : It will be used to sit ppl in front of the computer.
It will be pretty long : 1m05 ( about 41'') and will have a shelve close on 3 sides, so I can put all the extra stuff I keep close by (DVD, cables...).
I intend to leave the wood visible with only some kind of varnish on it.
If you have any advice on wood, I will be happy to hear it.
Keep in mind that I am a beginner : better to stay to easy to work / not so expensive wood.

Anyway thank for your help and for woodworkweb ! I know it's a ton of job to maintain such a web site.

  • stephane
  • Topic Author

stephane replied the topic: Re: rough or not rough wood ?

Hi again,

Forget about the jointer / Planner question. I have done my homework and found this :Jointer_vs_Planer

The jointer would have made my life easier for my bench :)
Will think about getting one. A second hand will be great to keep the cost "wife friendly". The trouble will be the place it takes...


  • PaulD

PaulD replied the topic: Re: rough or not rough wood ?

Looks like you have things figured out for the most part:
We also have a article comparing jointers and planers here: www.woodworkweb.com/woodwork-topics/wood...-jointer-knives.html

Canadian Tire tools are hit or miss … I’ve bought my share of them. The good thing is they honour their warranty with no questions asked … so keep your receipt. It’s the only reason I keep buying their stuff.

Here’s a tip … keep a lookout on your local Craigslist, kijiji and other local classifieds … you’ll find some amazing deals on pro tools on there. Fill out your shop in not time :)

Because your bench isn’t going outside, you could use just any type of hardwood you want. Outside, the lower mainland weather can be hard on woodworking projects. If you were happy with the red oak you used before, keep using it. It’s a fairly easy wood to work with and very durable.

Join Us On: