Recreating the Look of Rough-Sawn Lumber

Finding or creating rough-sawn lumber for rustic cabinetry. August 31, 2009

I'm looking to recreate a door style that the stiles and rails looked like they were out of a rough mill. Does anyone know how this look is accomplished? Only the face of the door had the marks and they varied in spacing and length. Any help would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor Z:
I suggest you hire a local cabinetmaker.

From the original questioner:
I actually do work in a fairly large cabinet company. I'm a Powermat operator that was asked how to do this by one of our engineers.

From contributor B:
Mills rough out lumber on either a circular saw or a bandsaw. Those two cutting methods yield different patterns. If you want to recreate that look, mill all the lumber at least 1/4" over-thickness. Do all the joinery. Then bandsaw or circular saw the faces off with a very coarse rip blade. Then assemble. To recreate the uneven spacing, feed the material manually. One of the problems you may have is when they rough mill they are flying through that stuff so the spaces between mill marks are very large. This will be difficult to duplicate.

From contributor C:
We once ran a couple thousand feet of rough saw oak flooring. I took a 24" steel crosscut saw blade, bent two teeth over with a hammer. Then I mounted said blade on a spindle sander. After rough planing and ripping, we ran the blanks under this blade. We varied the speed of the feeder and the fence set up allowed us to vary the position in relation the arbor. It was four different widths. Next, the blanks were molded with only .5mm taken off the face to remove some of the roughness. Lastly, the flooring was run through a combination of pump drum and wolf head sander. As I instructed, the owner stained the lain floor as dark as he could get it, then sanded all off the "high" spots. Then he stained a lighter color prior to topcoating. It made a beautiful job.

From contributor R:
You can s1s to get a consistent thickness, then s3s final. Or if your stock is heavy/thick enough gang saw or re-saw then s3s.

From contributor Z:
I always was under the impression that if you want the look of rough milled lumber then you use rough milled lumber. Is this too simple to understand? I've done it and believe it or not it works. Use s1s lumber.

From contributor F:
Ii know this may sound strange but Iíve seen some flooring enhanced by sand blasting. It gives the look of weathered lumber. If you do try this make sure youíre outside - sand will destroy machinery.

From contributor G:
A trick we used while building outdoor rustic furniture. Run your stock backwards against the bandsaw blade at a 15 degree angle. It leaves a rough machined type look that would match the rough stock surfaces on freshly machined areas.