In rough carpentry, deciding how to cut into a board is pretty straight forward — measure to length and chop. But for fine woodworking, slicing up a prized piece of lumber is a more refined skill. In this video, professional cabinetmaker and teacher Eric Matson shows how to evaluate rough lumber prior to cutting. First, he identifies and marks with chalk unusable defects in the stock including knots, checks, and sapwood. Then he decides how cut to the board into rough component pieces for maximum yield and beauty. Part of Eric’s goal is to assure that sectioned boards “wrap” the project (i.e. a piece of furniture) in the same sequence they come off the board. This artful attention to the flow and continuity of the wood’s grain increases the quality of the final project. Grain flow is the core objective, but a complete evaluation also includes identifying highly figured parts of a board, which can be used for focal points (drawer fronts, table tops, etc). And if surplus material remains on the board, Eric makes sure he cuts extra spare parts and “set-up” pieces when possible. — Keith (4 Minute Woodworking Video).
Eric Matson is the Director of the Fine Woodworking Program at Rio Grand University. Rio Grande offers a one year certificate program, as well as two year associates and four year college degree programs. Graduates have the skills and knowledge to be productive in custom furniture shops and architectural/cabinet shops. Rio Grande (pronounced rye-oh) is in Southern Ohio.
Thanks for all the excellent and informative videos this year Keith. Have a great Xmas!
Keith’s Note: Thanks Mark! Merry Xmas to you and yours too!
Excellent as always! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for next year. Merry xmas and a happy new year to all!
Thanks Mr. Cruickshank. All of your videos have been great for me. I am making more saw dust and wood chips then ever. No projects yet, but practice makes (better joints). Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thanks again. Mike