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Forum topic by richgreer posted 04-02-2010 09:57 PM 1585 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 2497 days

04-02-2010 09:57 PM

I saw a listing on Craig’s List that said “hardwood $2.00 per bf”. I called and then went over. Two adult children were selling their father’s estate including his inventory of hardwood, basically just walnut, oak and cherry. I found some fascinating pieces including several very wide walnut and cherry. One walnut board is 18” wide. I assembled a pile and asked “how much?”. He said “what will you offer?”. I estimate that I had a little over 50 bf so I said ”$80” and he said “sold”.

Then I noticed four very big wooden screw clamps. The biggest was 18”. 2 of the 4 had wooden threads. I offered $30 and they are all mine.

Question – - These wide board have to be run through a planer and mine is only 12.5” wide. Do I dare rip them, plane them and glue them back up? If so, should I rip with the table saw for a straight cut or the band saw for the narrow kerf?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

23 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


4939 posts in 3086 days

#1 posted 04-02-2010 10:04 PM

What a STEAL! Were you armed or wearing a mask? LOL If you don’t need it all, it only takes me about 3 hours to get to Cedar Rapids …

Seriously, I think I would rip the wide board on the table saw to get a straight edge. I’ve seen guys rip along the grain with a band saw to repair or hide a crack or split, but I’m not sure you would be to get a flat and flush surface ripping on the band saw, jointing/planing, then gluing it back.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3138 days

#2 posted 04-02-2010 10:05 PM

band saw or table saw, you will end up jointering the edges to make a seamless transition. you may end up losing more lumber using the band saw since the blade could have drift. I vote for table saw

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 3151 days

#3 posted 04-02-2010 10:07 PM

why not set up a router sled to get them relatively flat. Then you could handplane. It would be a HUGE wast to rip these just to fit them in your planer. If anything, sell them to someone that will handplane them and just buy 2 9” boards. Pocket the difference (I’m sure you could turn a profit off wide stock like that).

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3211 days

#4 posted 04-02-2010 10:08 PM

Are you ready to built something with those wide boards now? If not I wouldn’t do any planing because the wood is likely to just move on your by the time you get to your project. I hate to see a wide board ripped like that. I would flatten it the hand plane way, but barring that you might think about visiting a local cabinet shop and having them plane it for you. A lot of park and recs have woodshops or even community colleges that would help you with it.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3191 days

#5 posted 04-02-2010 10:18 PM

i would flatten one side with a handplane and find someone with a 20 inch planer… a 18 inch piece of walnut is very rare.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#6 posted 04-02-2010 10:22 PM

Thanks for the great replies. Hokie gave me an idea I had never thought of and I think it is a great idea. Since I have 4 boards that are more than 12.5” wide the effort to build a router sled would not be bad on a “per board” basis.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 2504 days

#7 posted 04-02-2010 10:22 PM

I agree with Teenagewoodworker. If you are going to use a 18” wide board, I’d fid someone who can do the planing for you. If you’re going to make smaller pieces for your project, then go ahead and rip it. 18” wide though is fairly rare so I’d try and keep it whole if possible. Very nice score too by the way.

-- Matt -

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 2463 days

#8 posted 04-02-2010 10:29 PM

Nice Score

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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5590 posts in 2655 days

#9 posted 04-02-2010 10:33 PM

Handplane that 18” board down flat! I’m not all that good at this woodworking thing and I can do that with a cheap Groz plane…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

251 posts in 2497 days

#10 posted 04-02-2010 10:47 PM

If I were a hand-tool person, Rich, I’d go for the hand plane routine – but since I’m not, I’ll agree with Teenagewoodworker and Breakingboardom and find someone who can handle your widest board. Back in the 1970s I bought a thousand board feet of Honduras Mahogany, with many of the boards 20” and wider. At the time had no planer at all, and the widest any of the local shops could handle was 12-1/2”, so I had it ripped to that width and planed. I’ve regretted it ever since.

-- Dave O.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51452 posts in 2903 days

#11 posted 04-02-2010 10:50 PM

Great get Rich

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View mvflaim's profile


183 posts in 2514 days

#12 posted 04-02-2010 10:53 PM

Do I dare rip them, plane them and glue them back up?

Never! use a hand plane and size them by hand. Depending on the length of the board it’ll take about twenty minutes with a sharp handplane.


View bigike's profile


4048 posts in 2711 days

#13 posted 04-03-2010 12:26 AM

good steal! ;)

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#14 posted 04-03-2010 12:38 AM

Ya know – I almost feel guilty for buying this lumber at such a low price. OYOH – These people had a mountain of stuff to get rid of they seemed very relieved that I would take this much stuff away. They were happy and I was happy. Everybody’s happy!! I did them a service.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View mvflaim's profile


183 posts in 2514 days

#15 posted 04-03-2010 08:18 AM

no need to feel guilty. they were happy to get rid of it.


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