Today I decided it was time to make some sawdust and shavings. Mostly for the board comparison discussion, but got carried away.
For today's project I am splitting western red cedar blocks 3 feet long to make marten boards. Here is the process, first the block, then the split shake, then plane the shake to thickness. Next the board is squared up and cut to 4" wide x 36" long. Lastly a finished marten board.
Notice that the cedar had a big center rot/hole on it, typical of western red cedar.
The first step is to mark the board from a template or pattern. The end of the board is marked in the center. The pattern is then drawn on one side of the board facing away from you with the nose to the right. Then the board is flipped and the same tracing producing a line on the flip side. The reason for this is that it is easier to cut out on the band saw using your right hand to guide the board while cutting. If board is all marked on one side then cutting the right hand side of the board is very awkward.
The board is then cut out on the band saw.
I then put the board in the wood vice and plane each edge to the pencil mark. Then plane the edges round and sand them. For major production you can set up a router to round the corners.
Here are a few marten boards, large and small, couple of male mink boards and some belly wedges.