I’m fairly new to woodworking, but have built several projects using S4S (sanded on all 4 sides) lumber bought at a building supply house. Now I want to start with rough-cut wood. What are the “best” tools for preparing rough-cut wood and what are the “essential” tools?
Michael Dresdner: You can do it all with a jointer, a planer, and a tablesaw. First, cut one wide face flat with the jointer. Then, cut the adjacent side flat and at right angles by running the cut face against the jointer fence. Of course, the fence must be at 90 degrees to the cutterhead and outfeed table. Now, cut the opposite wide face parallel and flat to the jointed one using the planer. Finally, cut the fourth side flat, parallel, and to whatever width you want the board, on the tablesaw. Make sure your fence is parallel to the blade, and the blade is exactly 90 degrees to the table.
Rick White: A jointer and a planer are the essentials. You need a jointer to square up the wood. Once it’s square, you can use a planer to get the thickness down. On real long material a table saw comes in very handy.