Let me first start out and say thanks to all those that have commented on this blog so far. I’m writing it to get help and to also possibly provide future help to someone else. You’ve been extremely helpful.
I’ve sent out an email to Philadelphia Woodworks to see if they had a sander that is big enough for my slab or if they knew any of the local cabinet makers that may be able to help. They do have a 15” open-ended wide belt sander which doesn’t help me, but they are seeing if there’s something else in the area I might be able to use.
This past Thursday, I finally had a chance to borrow a truck and pick up the slab. Time to bring her home. Now I might have misspoke by calling the issue a tear-out (or I was told incorrectly or just ignorance). It is more mill marks then tear-out. Either way, it’s a low spot and has to go!
The MiL’s BF came over and the first thing we did was take a straight edge and shine a light behind it.
After seeing this, he suggests we just try scrapping it! There are low spots on either side of the mill marks so it doesn’t look like we’d end up creating a deep dish. We’d actually end up leveling the area.
We also tried a large planer but ended up with some tear-out. With the wave in the grain, he wasn’t getting the right ‘read’ and I wasn’t about to try. Maybe he had to go with an even shallower cut. He was able to reduce size of the mill marks and then went back to the scrapper. The results are looking good!
Still going to continue the search for a drum sander. There are small hills and valleys throughout the slab. The MiL BF is even talking about taking a piece of carbon paper and rubbing it softly so it will make all the ‘high’ spots visible and then plane or scrape them out.
We also cut it down to size and removed the bark. We used my circular saw and a saw guide. Had to eye ball it a bit since neither end or sides were square. Once we cut the one side, snapped a caulk line so that we could use it as a reference to cut the other side. I probably could have use a new blade, gone a little slower and inserted a splitter a little earlier. In the end, both sides are practically square, only off by 1/16”.
The project and research continues!