Rip Slice Surface Shape Shave

The facing bevels produce a V-shaped groove that hides most imperfections.

I’m sneaking this post in on a Monday for those of you who enjoy reading about woodworking. This short study on how to go from boards to product is somewhat inspired by my blog-buddy Dan over on the other coast. Dan wrote about people who have lost thumbs and fingers. It’s a really good post. Feel free to take a few minutes and read that. Seriously, I can wait.

The reason I say that that post somewhat inspired this one, is because “production” woodworking, the kind where you are repeating the same operation many times, is a good way for an amateur woodworker to get seriously hurt. In industrial settings, dangerous operations are automated. That’s not usually possible in a small shop.

My goal was to turn several eight inch wide and roughly 7/8 of an inch thick Cedar boards into about nine feet of wainscoting for my brother’s bathroom. To give you an idea of the production nature, follow the math below:

Cut – The first step was easy, safe and fast. I had to cut 10 four foot long blanks out of the long boards. Since three of the boards were 12 feet long, I only needed to make seven cuts.

chop saw
The chop saw makes quick work of producing the 4-foot blanks.

RIP – This was the first production step. Each blank yielded three 2 ¼ ” (that’s the symbol for inches for you metric folks) wide strips, but each sequence of three cuts brought me closer to the blade. 30 cuts were required. Several years ago, this kind of operation ended with my left index finger following a board through the saw, slicing the end of my finger in half. Thanks to a talented seamstress (actually a Physician’s Assistant), I can still count to ten. The edges were surfaced at this point, reducing the strips to 2 1/16” wide.

Tab;e Saw
Guards in place and push-sticks in use.

SliceResaw the 30 strips into 60 strips that are ~ 7/16” thick. Since one side of the cedar was rough, the slice was a little off-center at the bandsaw, so I could put one piece through the planer on each side.

Push-sticks in use here too and no need to push anywhere near that blade.

Surface – This is the only tool I have with power feed, so it’s the only video. The thicker slice was surfaced on the rough side and then every strip went through to remove the bandsaw marks so they are smooth and roughly 11/32” thick. This is the same tool I used to remove the saw marks on the edges after ripping the strips to rough width. The edges required 60 passes, the flat sides required 180

Shape – The shaper is the most effective tool I own for cutting the “rabbet” notch on opposite sides of each strip. This is a very dangerous operation so I added “hold-down” guides to keep the strips engaged with the cutter and prevent my fingers from going along for the ride. In 120 passes, my fingers bumped into the guides three times.

Shave – The strips were simply too narrow and thin for me to risk running them through a power tool. A production shop would have a special cutter head that could mill the rabbet and bevel in one pass. I did it by hand because it’s safer and these are two of my favorite tools to use. I had the knife set so that only three passes were required, but that’s a total of 360 strokes.

The result is a series of strips whose beveled edges will form a V-groove as they cover the distance on the wall. I’ll also be using some of these to form the backs of a couple of little shelving units.

33 thoughts on “Rip Slice Surface Shape Shave

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    1. The garage does smell wonderful. It’s funny you mention the deep breath. Production work is a combination of finding ways to go faster and ways to slow down. When I cut my finger, I had several operations that had to be performed with the table saw guard removed. That’s when I really needed to slow down.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That was especially true of the hand planing operation. I started out making 5 passes with each plane. Then I moved the knife to get it done in four, then three. I tried two, but then the cedar started tearing, so back to three it was.


  1. The pictures really helped me appreciate and understand your descriptions. Awesome, and very inspiring! You are a very well rounded person.


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well of course I buy the factory trim, but imagine, once this was commonly done as you’re doing it now, and before that, without power…and you know, there are still some people who don’t use electricity…
        Nice skillz.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun afternoon break for me, Dan. And look at you making all the cool videos! That first one sure makes a mess… But it’s interesting the different shapes and textures of the “leavings” from the different tools (okay, that’s the erstwhile artist and textile student in me). I’m glad there was no foamy pink stuff this time! Mega hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should send you a bag :) The garage did have a really nice smell to it after running the strips through the planer. The garbage can will smell nice for one week I guess. Thanks for stopping by the shop.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Many trades like woodworking are becoming a lost art. I have the utmost respect for people who keep craftsmanship alive. Watch those fingers, Dan, but please keep doing what you’re doing and writing about it. I applaud you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wendy. Commercially made wainscoting probably goes from board to finished product without bring touched by human hands. I like knowing how to go these things and I like the fact that my daughter and others are interested in knowing how these things were (and still can be) done.

      Liked by 1 person

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