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Thread: HD framing lumber gumming up jointer/planer/table saw

  1. #1
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    HD framing lumber gumming up jointer/planer/table saw

    A good friend told me that another guy dimensioned some HD framing lumber in his shop and "the sap in the wood gummed up the cutters and caused the wood to have burn marks, had to remove gum with Simple Green, took a while". I've never heard of this or experienced it; I've dimensioned Doug Fir and SYP at my friends shop no problem. My friend has high-end equipment with carbide cutters. I suspect the other guy doesn't know how to buy lumber and got some with lots of sap. Assuming you sort through the pile and buy good lumber with no visible sap or pitch pockets, is it going to gum up the cutters? I'm in Colorado, most of our framing lumber is Doug Fir.
    Last edited by tim rapp; 03-10-2020 at 10:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    I think the bigger question would be who in their right mind would be trying to "joint" framing lumber in the first place? Its a fools errand. Your talking material that is not stable, not kiln dried, may or may not be heat treated? If your making _crap_ out of framing lumber, and heaven forbid your having to make so little of it that you are having to buy it at home depot as opposed to being setup with a distributor delivering to your shop, then all bets are off. gummy, staples in the edges of your material, crap, twist, wet, sap, it is what it is.. your buying your material at the home center? What do you expect?
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  3. #3
    I would not put HD softwood lumber through any of my woodworking machines.

  4. #4
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    The information is from a friend of a friend, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Yes, framing lumber has sap and can buildup on blades inter workings of machines. Doesnít mean you canít use it for shop projects or something. But if you use it exclusively it will cause some issues.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    The information is from a friend of a friend, so take it with a grain of salt.
    slight correction, info not from friend of a friend. Friend A owns the shop, found gum on blades. Friend B brought sappy lumber to Friend A's shop.

  6. #6
    I've jointed and planed quite a bit of KD framing lumber (which is usually spruce here in New England) from Home Depot and "real" lumberyards alike--usually for things like making sub-bases for kitchen cabinets, built-ins and whatnot. It's so much easier to make square and accurate assemblies using stock that is actually straight and square. And framing lumber is the cheapest and easiest way to get suitable softwood in small quantities.

    Anyway, it's mostly no big deal, at least in hobbyist-level quantities, especially if the material has been hanging around in the shop for a while. Yes, there is a greater chance of the kerf closing up due to stress when ripping and, no, it doesn't stay as flat after machining as higher grade material. And, like pine, it can mean cleaning the blade more often, and, once or twice, I've hit a pitch pocket, which was a little messy. But I've never had to spend hours cleaning up and certainly wouldn't hesitate to machine it (except for being extra careful for the possibility of stress in the wood)...

  7. #7
    Yellow pine will do this. We do a lot of work with reclaimed SYP that was felled decades ago and the sap still gums up everything. We wont even sand it past 40 grit in the widebelt because its pointless to try. Frequent lubing helps keep cutters clean.

  8. #8
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    one of the posts above has several inflammatory/misleading points. Some people hate framing lumber, got it, didn't mean to start a holy war. To clarify, most of the wood is KD, either way I normally dry it before use (since the middle of KD boards is usually still wet). And as stated I pick the best boards out of the pile, so no staples/wet/twist/visible sap. Also, it's mostly for shop projects, not my living room. Framing lumber is about $0.70 - $1.25/bd ft, 8/4 S3S hardwood is $8-$14/bd ft. Let's keep the thread focused on the basic question of "will cherry-picked Doug Fir boards from HD gum up cutters?"
    Last edited by tim rapp; 03-09-2020 at 5:53 PM.

  9. #9
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    Most of my KD framing lumber is wet. It's also almost all Douglas Fir in this location. Sometimes it's so resin-filled it's ridiculous. Sometimes, it's not.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  10. #10
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    I ran some borg 4x4's through my drum sander once. It totally gummed up and destroyed the paper on the first pass.
    Never again.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim rapp View Post
    one of the posts above has several inflammatory/misleading points
    Theme of the replies striking a chord? There is no.home center lumber that is 1$ a ft for #2 common 19% framing lumber and the equivalent KD spruce/pine/fir at 7% is 8-14$ a foot. Your comparing hardwood with framing material or some high dollar vertical grain Doug fir compared to fir framing lumber.

    The point is it's not that much more expensive to buy a grade of KD material commensurate with framing lumber and not have to even think about "gumming up".

    Heck, you can rip down birch ply for nearly what framing lumber costs at 24 a sheet.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  12. #12
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    I keep about 5-10 two by fours at my shop to use for finishing placed on saw horses. They also end up getting hacked up and used for machine set-up on my shaper, TS or whatever. Occasionally have been used for shop stuff. Our framing lumber is mostly Spruce and after it sits in my shop for a couple of months pretty dry so I have not really noticed issues with pitch. That being said I do not machine it on a regular basis or try to make furniture with it.

  13. #13
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    I will tell you that my recent milling up of "quality" 5/4 rough clear pine (expensive stuff) still resulted in resin residue that requires cleaning. It stands to reason that construction lumber that has a lot more knots and so forth will be at least as dirty and require at least as much work to clean up afterward. It's the nature of the product.

    That said, the biggest challenge with milling construction lumber up to look nice is...stability. It tends to have higher moisture content and a lot of internal stress given that it's mostly all coming from young, very fast growing trees that are farmed for lumber and other wood products.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
    I've had D grade white pine (the expensive stuff) gum up a planer before. Sometimes you just get pieces that are resinous, even when kiln dried to furniture grade dryness. Simple green wouldn't be my choice to clean it though; the pitch is oil based, so mineral spirits cleans it up pretty quickly.

    I recently ran construction 2x4s through the planer. I wasn't making fine furniture, but jersey racks for the local hockey association. It needed to be done on the cheap, so I got 12' 2x4s. They were a bit rough and I was worried that the jerseys would catch on them, so I ran them off through the planer and took off about 1/16" from each side. They cleaned up quite nicely. Fortunately they were mostly pitch free and didn't gum anything up.
    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_7d5f.jpg

  15. #15
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    What I recall re framing lumber is that it is normally dried to 19% moisture which is dry enough to not support mold growth. If softwood is heated to 160* F that will 'set the pitch' so it doesn't run. Will it gum up cutters? Don't know. I have jointed/planed 2X lumber to make shop/utility cabinets and didn't notice any deposits on cutters.

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