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efficiently planing a bowed board flat

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Forum topic by yrob posted 05-27-2011 11:27 PM 10686 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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yrob

340 posts in 3112 days


05-27-2011 11:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer pine

Hi,

I am relatively new to woodworking and up to now was mainly doing small projects with dimensional lumber. I recently got a planner in order to expand my possibilities. I am constructing bookcases out of eastern pine which is the so called “whitewood” stuff you can get inexpensively at the lowes. Of course, even when i spend some time sorting the best boards out of the pile, i still have boards that are cupped. Now, what is the most efficient way to plane them flat?

Do you put the bowed out face facing up and plane til you flatten that face, do you alternate ? I just did a board and finally got it flat but I went from the 3/4 inches to 10/16 ” before I got it flat. Not sure if I did it the best possible way..

-- Yves


23 replies so far

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rance

4245 posts in 2620 days


#1 posted 05-27-2011 11:33 PM

You begin with a jointer. If you don’t have a jointer, then you make a sled for your board to run through the planer so as to preven it from flexing at all. Once you have that one side flat, then you can run it through and plane the other side (sans the sled).

As to your question, on the jointer, the concave side is usually down on the jointer so as to prevent the board from changing orientation through the course of the cut.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3557 days


#2 posted 05-27-2011 11:34 PM

To prep stock, you need 3 power tools (hand tools explained later if desired), Jointer, Thickness Planer and table saw.

Joint the board until one flace is flat. Square an edge on the jointer. Use the thickness planer to create correct thickness and ensure board is parallel to flat face. Rip to width on the table saw. I’m sure others will expand on this…

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

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yrob

340 posts in 3112 days


#3 posted 05-27-2011 11:38 PM

I joint the edges with my hand planes usually. I can see why you would want to flatten a face before you send them thru a jointer since you are referencing the flat face against the jointer fence. I do not see why you should not first plane the board before you worry about the edges? What am I missing there ?

-- Yves

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3557 days


#4 posted 05-27-2011 11:43 PM

I was just speaking to how you do this with machines (no hand planes in the picture). You establish a reference face then establish one side perfect 90 by running the referece face along the fence. Then you plane the other face to match the flat face and cut to width. Normally your working with a bunch of stock so you go from one machine to the next. E.g. joint 5 boards, then plane them, then cut them to width.

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

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rance

4245 posts in 2620 days


#5 posted 05-27-2011 11:44 PM

In a word “Flex”. If you send a warped board through the planer, it will flex during the operation and you just end up with a ‘prettier’ warped board.

Joint 1st face, creating a starting reference. This also prevents the board from flexing during planing.
Joint 1st edge square to jointed face (rather than come back to the jointer later and do it)
Plane 2nd face (getting to the thickness you desire)
Rip the 2nd edge using your table saw.
Then square both ends with your weapon of choice.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3557 days


#6 posted 05-27-2011 11:46 PM

Also if you do not joint first, the planer will just duplicate the bow or other defect on the other side of the board. It just makes the two sides parallel.

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

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yrob

340 posts in 3112 days


#7 posted 05-27-2011 11:47 PM

Thank you for the clarification. That is what I had in mind. The first part where you flatten the face with the planer is where I was experiencing problems since that board was really cupped. I see now that I need to just run that face, concave side down until its flat. Then I joint the edge with a power jointer or by hand, then I do the other face, finally rip. Again thank for the help guys.

-- Yves

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3557 days


#8 posted 05-27-2011 11:47 PM

I agree with Rance. I think we are typing at the same time….lol

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

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3557 days


#9 posted 05-27-2011 11:51 PM

If your using a power planer and hand planes, you would use your handplanes to plane one face flat and then run through the power planer to get it to correct thickness and ensure both faces are parallel. You can then handplane or cut the edges as you desire.

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

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rance

4245 posts in 2620 days


#10 posted 05-27-2011 11:52 PM

It happens Wayne. LOL.

“I see now that I need to just run that face, concave side down until its flat.”

Using your stationary Jointer, of course. :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3557 days


#11 posted 05-27-2011 11:55 PM

If you use hand planes and do not have a jointer or plainer, I would buy the jointer first. So joint the board, scribe the thickness, plane to the line to get thickness and then clean up with a smoothing plane. I’m positive others may have a different opinion.

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

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yrob

340 posts in 3112 days


#12 posted 05-28-2011 12:01 AM

Ah its clear now. Since I can not afford to buy a jointer that is wide enough to joint faces flat, I will just plane the first face by hand which is what I had been doing for a while anyway. The power jointer will save me time to bring it down to thickness and insure I create another face parallel to the first. Great!

I mainly use hand tools with the exception of preparing stock. I find it relaxing to work with hand tools after a day at work at the office.

-- Yves

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rance

4245 posts in 2620 days


#13 posted 05-28-2011 12:05 AM

Actually, you got it wrong again. Wayne, maybe you can explain it better. However…...

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT!!!!!!!!!!!! Nomenclature check here. :)

yrob, do you use hand tools (specifically, hand planes) for squaring your lumber or are you a power tool guy(like me)? My comments above refer to stationary power tools. Once you start talking about handheld tools(hand planes and handheld power planer), then it goes something like “JOINT the first face using your PLANE.”. How confusing is that? Just one more reason to NOT use hand tools. MWAAAAAHHHH! :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3557 days


#14 posted 05-28-2011 12:07 AM

If your mainly working with hand tools, check out this book.

http://www.amazon.com/New-Traditional-Woodworker-Tool-Skill/dp/1440304289/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306534042&sr=1-1

Also, you might want to think about bandsaw to resaw your lumber in lieu of a power planer and stick to handplanes for the entire process.

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

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3557 days


#15 posted 05-28-2011 12:10 AM

I added a couple of words to clarify the post above. This whole handplane / power planer discussion is tricky….lol

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

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