Reply by Ripthorn

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Posted on How do I know when my wood is flat? - Hand plane.

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1458 posts in 3184 days

#1 posted 02-26-2015 08:58 PM

Flat is dependent on the project. You will never get wood “truly flat” and have it stay that way; it moves and always will. If you are going to build something like a box, getting the faces flat may be somewhat less critical than other projects. Also, checking for light is a good technique, but only if you know how much light should come through. The human eye can see light through an opening of less than a thousandth of an inch, which is way more than wood needs. A set of feeler gauges comes in handy, because then you can quantify how out of flat you are. If you are 2 thousandths out of flat, I would say that is more than good enough. If you are 10 or 15, then your application may require further flattening.

One final note on the light thing, if you are using a hardware stole metal ruler, it may not be perfectly straight.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

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