With a forecast of fowl weather this weekend, I didn’t plan to begin any new projects this weekend. I decided to get back to work on turning my air dried lumber into usable lumber, so I changed out the drum sander on my WoodMaster and put the planer head back on. This meant that I needed to remove my bandsaw on the SuperShop and replace it with my 6” jointer. Well, I spent many hours jointing and planing lumber into usable pieces. Of course, with rivened wood the wood is split along the grain of the log, so if the log grew with a twist or bow, then the job is to staighten the piece or cut out the bow. In comes my tablesaw with a make shift sled to allow me to straighten the pieces that are bowed. This worked fairly well, but proved that I need to take the time to make a dedicated sled for this purpose and to consider one for my planer. With a wedged shape piece of wood attached to one piece I was able to get one side flat so I could flip it over and plane the other to match. This will not work for all of the many problems one encounters when converting logs to lumber everytime.
With a jointer turning at 5200 rpms and a 5hp planer chewing wood there is a lot of noise and dust, even with these connected to a dust collector and separator. You’d think that I would be able to finish my task with such equipment, wouldn’t you.
Well, now for the explanation of the title of this blog. Sunday, I had some time so I went into my shop to try and joint out the twist in a piece of white oak that I had begun working on the day before. After marking it with a swiggly pencil line down the length of the board, so I could see the progress of my jointer, I made several passes taking 1/16th of an inch at a time. As I checked my progress I could see that only half of the board was making contact with the jointer knives. I made to mistake of running the board from the opposite end through the jointer. This caused the jointer knives to shave the board in a different plane, thus not improving on the reduction of the twist. Well, I decided that this was taking too long and not accomplishing my objective. I decided to do the unheard of. I reached for my jointer plane. I clamped the board to the top of my tablesaw table ( I haven’t built my workbench, yet) and made the same swiggly line on the length of the board. Armed with my hand plane and a square I began shaving the twist out of the board. In less than fifteen minutes I accomplished with my hand plane that with which I could not do with my jointer. I had one side of the board perfectly flat. I could now run it through my planer to finish the process.
Was is the fact that I’m not skilled enough in the technique of using a jointer, maybe? I’ve jointed other boards before without any problems. Maybe it was the twist that lended itself easier to be corrected with a finely tuned had plane than by making multiple passes on a jointer? In any event, the first thought that came to mind was…that sure was easy and it took less time…I’d been working on this since the day before. My next thought was how enjoyable it was to hear only the sound of the wisp of thin curls of wood being removed, instead of the high pitched wine of steel spinning at high rpms. My neighbors were probably rejoicing at the quiet, too.
So, next time you’re faced with a simular challenge don’t pass on that hand plane that you may have stored or tucked away, because you’ve purchased that top of the line jointer. You may find as I did that there are times when you should say, ”NO” to your jointer and return to those days of old, when a hand plane was that new tech tool that entered the shop. And enjoy the peace and quiet that it can bring to your woodworking experience, as I did.
-- Jesus is Lord!