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Opinion Wanted on Planing with Router vs Hand Power Planer

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Forum topic by SusanS posted 07-15-2017 07:03 PM 1582 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SusanS

15 posts in 525 days


07-15-2017 07:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane planing routing sled walnu slab slabs

Hi,
I was extremely fortunate enough to be the first responder on a Craigslist ad for Black Walnut tree bottom half (top part of tree was English Walnut) that was taken from an orchard 5 yrs ago and has been drying in 2-3 inch thick slices since then. I normally would not be able to afford so much Black Walnut. Anyways, the slabs range from 1 ft to 2.5 ft wide. I saw online people using a sled and router to plane slabs. Then, I wondered why I didn’t see anyone use a sled with a handheld electric planer. Is it because it is better to use a router? Then, I saw on different forums people suggesting different bits to use for planing. Shouldn’t a handheld planer on a sled work better than a router since it was designed to just plane? Thank you in advance for for friendly feedback :-)

-- Susan in San Francisco


10 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

9610 posts in 3482 days


#1 posted 07-15-2017 07:24 PM

Probably because a router both cuts in any
direction and has a built-in depth mechanism.

A handheld planer only cuts in one direction
and then needs to be lifted and carried back
for another stroke. Building an appropriate
z-axis into a jig for flattening slabs would be
kind of complicated.

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

1976 posts in 424 days


#2 posted 07-15-2017 08:41 PM

Just what Loren said. First, it’s hard to envision a sled for a handheld planer, second, a router can be set up once and then used to make multiple shallow cuts by adjusting the cut depth. You can get a 1-3/4” diameter bit so you don’t have to do so many passes.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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SusanS

15 posts in 525 days


#3 posted 07-15-2017 09:03 PM

Thanks to both Loren and Rich. After you guys pointed out the issues with using handheld planers, it now seems so obvious why routers are only used with sleds. I am a newbie hoping to become a Jedi someday :-)

-- Susan in San Francisco

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1262 posts in 1508 days


#4 posted 07-15-2017 09:29 PM

To each their own. I think of a power plane as a macho scrub plane and like to work directly with my eye and winding sticks. This was the method used by a prominent SoCal maker of early California and Mexican furniture I worked with in the late 1970s. We dressed slabs around the 900mm – 1m – 1.2m x 2.4m -3m range in coastal live oak. It’s surprisingly fast to have a slab ready for hand planes. Of course the power plane can be set very fine as well, it’s not just a roughie that can get you in trouble.

The sled would be useful for extremely cranky grain but it has to be stored somewhere when not in use. I would definitely want someone else to operate the contraption … outside and far away.

The style of table we made

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/97237

Planer set fine

http://lumberjocks.com/Texcaster/blog/53473

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View robscastle's profile (online now)

robscastle

4501 posts in 2039 days


#5 posted 07-15-2017 09:45 PM

Lots of good advice already reported above.

You could use a hand held planer if you wanted to remove any high spots.
Simply with the aid of a straight edge and some chalk mark the high spots and plane them off, then repreat the process if required until there was a reasonably flat surface on one side.

Not much different to reducing warping cupping and bowing in timber.

That is about the extent of the hand planer application in flattening timber.

Its fairly easy to set up a router and sled to produce a flat surface
You can also get bits specifically for planing.

A Note: Pay particular attention to just how little material is being removed (near the top center of the frame corner)

You may need an extender collet and the planer bit.

Now a WARNING There is a lot of additional forces at work here and at high velocity as well so take it easy with the amount of material removed 1 to 2 mm only at the most and slow and steady is the process.

If want to do this and its the first time I would strongly recommend the use of some similar sizes sacfifical material to develop confidence with the process

Otherwise find a fellow LJ or timber merchant that can mill yor nice timber when its ready.
That way you can get both surfaces flat and parallel

Noting :I would definitely want someone else to operate the contraption … outside and far away. is good.

-- Regards Robert

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Texcaster

1262 posts in 1508 days


#6 posted 07-15-2017 10:50 PM

Rob, I see you have a bit of Camphor Laurel there. It’s abundant, large slabs, easy to work, it can have very nice figure and stains well. I’ve made a fair few Hispanic style tables using camphor slabs for an antique dealer in the Gabba.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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SusanS

15 posts in 525 days


#7 posted 07-15-2017 11:54 PM

@ Texcaster, thanks for sharing info on these great tables. The bench actually is awesome. I wish I could use hand planes, but I have advance rheumatoid arthritis. I have almost no cartilage in my wrists and some of the wrist bones have begun to fuse together. Hence, I turn to macho power tools. I hear Tim Taylor making his cave man grunt now :-)
Susan

-- Susan in San Francisco

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SusanS

15 posts in 525 days


#8 posted 07-15-2017 11:55 PM

Thanks Robert for the safety advise. I only have 1 body to destroy.

-- Susan in San Francisco

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4492 posts in 3078 days


#9 posted 07-16-2017 04:09 PM

No post

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MrRon

4492 posts in 3078 days


#10 posted 07-16-2017 04:10 PM

Planes don’t work well on end grain.

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