Re-Sawing Machinery Options

What's the best equipment for re-sawing flat stock to make mouldings? September 17, 2008

What type of machines or brands would I be able to say take a 5/4 x 6" or 8" x 12' board and rip it in half? I mean as far as in thickness-wise so I get two boards that are thin. Or what are people doing when they are making moulding and need some casing or base mouldings around or under 1/2" thickness? Is it better to buy it thinner and then make the moulding or to get a machine to make it that thickness to make the thinner profiles? I am sure it comes down to cost of doing one vs. the other.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor C:
You can re-saw a couple of ways, with a dedicated re-saw which is a large bandsaw, either vertical or horizontal, in the 30-36" wheel size, or with a traditional bandsaw and re-saw fence. Production re-saws are big and pricey, and small shop bandsaws, say 14-16", don't have the FPM to effectively re-saw production quality material, that is they're slow. I have a 20" Rockwell with a re-saw feeder on it for cutting door skins; it works much better than the Laguna and Delta smaller saw's I used previously, but I wouldn't think about using it for a moulder run worth of material.

Besides the inefficiency of a small re-saw set-up, in my experience, re-sawn material is not a quality material to use in a moulding application. When dried, the material is stable to itself, but the core and shell may be different MC, slight if done properly, but still there. When you saw it in half, the new face is not equalized to the other, and the material may cup. Careful selection when you run to make sure your relief cut is on the new face can help minimize this and keep it flat, but again my experience is that it still wants to move.

For base boards and wainscoting, if I am processing the material, I have the sawmill (landlord) cut it to 3/4. If I have to bring in material, I still use 4/4 and turn the excess into chips, via a couple extra passes through the planer before the moulder, and make the base a little heavier than "traditional".

I try to use this as a selling point to differentiate myself from the big box stores/traditional lumber yard's, by making casings a little heavier, say 13/16-7/8", and base 5/8-11/16", a little meatier than ranch and colonial.

From contributor M:
Contributor C is correct in staying away from the light weight machines that claim to have re-saw abilities. We use both a Baker horizontal and a vertical 36" Fay Egan. I do have to disagree with Contributor C, using re-sawn material for molding work is not only acceptable but a must to be efficient and cost competitive. Molding blanks can not only be material re-sawn in half but also diagonal cut to allow tapered profiles to be ran.

From contributor D:
I used to run a shop with a Wadkin PBR re-saw, 3" wide blades, 20hp drive motor and a feeder. A tilt table enabled us to re-saw 6/4 at an angle and then get two blanks for 11/16" casing out of it, as well as other patterns. The molder had a tilt ability in the feedworks to mate with the re-sawn blanks. The saw would split poplar, and run at 20 fpm to 45 fpm, and would do so all day long.

From contributor C:
These responses make me think I must have had a couple runs of poor material, because I had two jobs with call-back's or rejection that I had re-sawn material for.

My average run is in the 2500' range, 5-7 runs a week. I suspect that you all do that before lunch on Monday. Do you think the additional cost for a real re-saw is warranted at this production level? I think I can "waste" a lot of material before warranting the cost of decent used re-saw, but I would like to hear other opinion's as well.

From contributor M:
After I bought my first moulder it became very apparent a re-saw was a must just to maximize the yield on lumber and I was doing a lot smaller runs. Just think of how many of your profiles you could have perhaps got two out of one. There are times where 5/4 material re-sawn is going to net you a less expensive moulder blank than a 4/4 board ripped for a single blank. Of course a good re-saw is invaluable from doing veneer type stuff, radius work, or even ripping expensive lumber for a small kerf.