question about smoothing a glued up game board

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Forum topic by jred posted 11-08-2010 10:23 PM 890 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jred's profile


47 posts in 2585 days

11-08-2010 10:23 PM

I have come across a game from South America involving some wood pieces and a 16 squared board. I had some cherry scraps sitting around and decided to make my own copy. Well, two actually. I sliced the cherry strips in half and glued up two 8×8 x 1/2” thick game boards with maple strips in between the squares (make sense? Think a checkerboard with only 4 squares on each side). Glue ups went fine and everything lined up really well. I attempted to smooth the boards down by running them through the planer which is where the trouble began. I attempted to take off about 1/64th on the planer and the first board went through ok. The second got stuck inside and was completely destroyed. I ran the first board through again to take off another 64th and it too was pretty badly mangled. Not a huge deal. Like i said, it was just made of scraps, but i’d like to make a nice one of these to give as a Christmas present this year and wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions for smoothing the top of one of these boards after the glue up? Am I just using the planer wrong or do you really have to have a minimum length of piece in order to use one safely?


7 replies so far

View Szczuldo's profile


42 posts in 2193 days

#1 posted 11-08-2010 10:51 PM

if i remember correctly from my readings most planers have a minimum length of board which can be feed through, I assume so it does not get stuck between the rollers. I do not yet have one of my own, only been drooling over what i want so far, so I could be missing something.

-- -Alexei

View chrisstef's profile


15459 posts in 2426 days

#2 posted 11-08-2010 11:03 PM

Id assume that its too small to send through the planer, sounds like it got hung up on the rollers or the snipe got ya. I know a lot of people make a planer sled to accomodate short pieces or even cupped pieces. You could try using card scrapers to take it down some. They’re fairly cheap $15 or so.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View DrDirt's profile


4135 posts in 3162 days

#3 posted 11-08-2010 11:19 PM

I think the piece is a bit on the small side. I have run 8 inch pieces through my planer (Dewalt 735) and I think most ‘Lunchbox’ style planers would be ok. I think it is the combination of being both short and rather thin that is causing the problems.

If it were a thicker piece, there would be less tendency to bounce or flex when only held by one roller because the cutter wants to ‘lift’ the front edge of the board and chew it up.

When I do thin strips I put them down with doublestick tape on a carrier board. I have a piece of the white melamine coated particle board from one of those 12 dollar ‘closet shoe organizers’ from the Borg.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2494 days

#4 posted 11-09-2010 01:49 AM

This sounds like the job for a sander. First choice – drum sander. However, a belt sander or ROS would also do the job.

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

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3301 days

#5 posted 11-09-2010 01:57 AM

I would go with Rich. Abrasive thicknessing. Blades sometimes hate multi wood glue-ups.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3638 days

#6 posted 11-09-2010 02:05 AM

Multi grains and different grain directions can play heck with a planer. But when the only problem is a piece being too short, you can work around it by sending a similar-thickness longer scrap board through the planer directly behind and butting up to the shorter board.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View shipwright's profile


7084 posts in 2217 days

#7 posted 11-09-2010 03:51 AM

I like Rich and Steve’s plan – sanding. However if you don’t have too far to go my first choice would be a scraper and no (or very little) sanding. It might stay flatter…unless you have a drum sander.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

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