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Truing rough lumber with hand plane for table top

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Forum topic by lblankenship posted 08-26-2017 09:41 PM 1364 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lblankenship

3 posts in 56 days


08-26-2017 09:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand plane table table top jointer rough lumber tip question

I am wanting to make a larger sized coffee table and the due to the dimensions my benchtop jointer cannot handle the length of the boards. I recently purchased a hand plane and started putting a straight edge on each of my boards. The idea I had was to get a straight edge on each board, rip another straight edge on the table saw, glue up the top and then plane the top and bottom flat with the hand plane. I hoping to get some opinions on this method as I know you normally join the face of the board first but it just seemed to make more sense to get straight edges, glue up to a solid top then flatten them all at once with the plane.

Thanks in advance!


10 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

9431 posts in 3430 days


#1 posted 08-26-2017 10:02 PM

As long as the boards are not excessively
twisted when you glue it up, it’s fine.

View bridgerberdel's profile

bridgerberdel

50 posts in 1025 days


#2 posted 08-26-2017 10:19 PM

It takes a bit of discernment to glue up rough boards and produce a panel that can be planed to flat without twist, but it can be done.

-- occasional musings on my blog: www.bridgerberdel.wordpress.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

18478 posts in 2350 days


#3 posted 08-29-2017 01:59 PM

It depends on a lot of factors. Some rough sawn vary in thickness quit a bit. This makes keeping them consistent quit difficult and to get them flat you wind up thinner than you intended.

I’ve also found being rough will often hide defects you may not want near your joint.

Another reason to get it somewhat smooth is to just see what you have. You typically place the sections so the grain pattern and color are the way you expect. You can’t do that with rough sawn.

I would think flat smooth and consitent would make your life easier, then glue, then final size.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

14730 posts in 2401 days


#4 posted 08-29-2017 02:07 PM

I think I agree with Don on all counts.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

359 posts in 523 days


#5 posted 08-29-2017 05:38 PM

I would add the caveat that ripping rough sawn lumber on the table saw can be a bit harrowing if there is enough of a cup. Namely, as you make the cut, any parts of the board that aren’t in contact with the table are going to fall and/or twist back towards the surface, potentially causing it to bind on the blade and kickback. Ask me how I know :D

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View lblankenship's profile

lblankenship

3 posts in 56 days


#6 posted 08-29-2017 06:02 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies. I read some very helpful points that I wouldn’t have thought about myself. So far I have hand planed one edge on each board while ripping the other on the table saw. I had ran them each through the planer for a couple passes and tried to match the grain as best I could and then glued them up. I’ve gone through and hand planed all of the uneven surfaces on each seam between the boards to be flush and now I’m in the process of leveling out the entire top as a whole. Still not sure how it will end up as I’m thinking by the time it’s all said and done the top might be too thin but I can always use it for another project and take it as a learning experience.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

13719 posts in 3880 days


#7 posted 08-29-2017 06:08 PM

Also, when using bench planes, they are normally used for three basic functions.

Heavy stock removal – Scrub or fore plane (Stanley 40, #5 or #6 with a highly cambered blade)
Straightening the stock – Jointer plane (22” to 24” or longer plane such as a Stanley #7 or #8)
Final finish – Smoothing Plane (#3-#5 1/2 depending on preference. Most common is #4)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1595 posts in 1676 days


#8 posted 08-29-2017 06:56 PM

I would think flat smooth and consitent would make your life easier, then glue, then final size.

- Don W

100% truth.

I do most my milling by hand. Only exceptions are long rips, I have no patience for that. But getting the boards flat and square before anything else is my first priority. Otherwise, your project becomes a total PITA.

View Tim's profile

Tim

3598 posts in 1744 days


#9 posted 08-30-2017 01:36 PM



Thanks everyone for the replies. I read some very helpful points that I wouldn t have thought about myself. So far I have hand planed one edge on each board while ripping the other on the table saw. I had ran them each through the planer for a couple passes and tried to match the grain as best I could and then glued them up. I ve gone through and hand planed all of the uneven surfaces on each seam between the boards to be flush and now I m in the process of leveling out the entire top as a whole. Still not sure how it will end up as I m thinking by the time it s all said and done the top might be too thin but I can always use it for another project and take it as a learning experience.

- lblankenship

Awesome. Hopefully it will work out, but if not and you just get the learning experience that’s good too. You should be able to use it for something.


View LAT's profile

LAT

1 post in 52 days


#10 posted 08-30-2017 03:36 PM

After the fact, but in addition to other good comments, I would be sure I have all the grain on the boards going in the same direction.
LAT

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