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how to plane thin boards

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Forum topic by elginrunner posted 1186 days ago 4782 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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elginrunner

10 posts in 1201 days


1186 days ago

My wife needs some 1/8’ thick boards for a project. We’ve bought some 1/2” aspen at lowes. Can I safely plane down to 1/8” with my Delta 12” planer? (Delta TP305)


16 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12262 posts in 2728 days


#1 posted 1186 days ago

Have a bandsaw?

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

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WayneC

12262 posts in 2728 days


#2 posted 1186 days ago

Not to mention the waste from planing a 1/2” board to 1/8”. I would use a bandsaw to resaw the boards to a little over 1/8th, (if you have a bandsaw). Also, I would prefer to use a handplane for a board that thin. How much stock do you need?

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

7422 posts in 2279 days


#3 posted 1186 days ago

It’s pretty tricky to plane that thin on a lunchbox planer. A William
and Hussey will do it though; slower feed and the rollers are closer
to the cutterhead.

You can try the tape method, or glue the wood to construction paper
and glue in on the other side to a carrier board. What a hassle.

Aspen is pretty easy to work. With limited tools I would plane it
down to 1/4” with the electric machine (or better, resaw the boards –
at 1/8” she can’t be working on too large a scale, can she?) and
then hand plane to thickness. It goes pretty quick on softwoods.

Another slightly bizarre approach is to cut kerfs in the board with
a table saw and split out the waste pieces with a chisel, then
hand plane to smooth.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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WayneC

12262 posts in 2728 days


#4 posted 1186 days ago

If you just need a little bit, you could get some from woodcraft.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Family/2083019/Thin-Stock-Hardwood.aspx

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

View wb8nbs's profile

wb8nbs

139 posts in 1323 days


#5 posted 1185 days ago

The hobby stores like Hobby Lobby have wood in sheets as thin as 1/16 for not too much. I bought some to use as shims, they were more precise than I could make.

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View lew's profile

lew

10002 posts in 2386 days


#6 posted 1185 days ago

I regularly plane maple and walnut to .120” on my Dewalt 735. It has to be straight grained and NO KNOTS. You will get snipe as the boards exits so make them longer than you need.

As others have mentioned, sometime you’ll get a piece exploding inside the planer- caused by wild grain or a grain defect.

Now cherry- that’s another story.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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elginrunner

10 posts in 1201 days


#7 posted 1185 days ago

I don’t have a band saw, i’m saving for that now…. She is building prototypes for a projecs that will given away at xmas. I knew hobby lobby had thin balsa, but not hardwood, I may go there.

Thanks for the advise everyone, it’s much appreciated.

View Towtruck's profile

Towtruck

70 posts in 1240 days


#8 posted 1185 days ago

After I got my Ridged 13” planer, I noticed that the settings went down to 1/8”. I wasn’t aware that you couldn’t or shouldn’t try it so I ran a piece of white pine about 8”x20” down to 1/8 without any problem. I’ve never found any use for it, but I think I could make more like it if I had a need.

-- I cut it off 3 times and it's still too short!

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1577 posts in 1922 days


#9 posted 1185 days ago

Here’s a vacuum sled as an alternative to double-sided tape:

Click for details

-- "Sorry I'm late. Somebody tampered with my brakes." "You should have been early, then."

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1656 posts in 1553 days


#10 posted 1185 days ago

Hobby shops…..you know, model airplanes and trains…..my have some thin spruce in their stock.

-- In God We Trust

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12262 posts in 2728 days


#11 posted 1185 days ago

I was in the local Woodcraft today. They had a ton of thin stock…

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

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1629 days


#12 posted 1185 days ago

Also, look at the veneers. Some are available thicker such as 1/8.

But for prototypes, the thin plywoods are much easier to deal with. $10 or so will get you a 4’x8’ door skin around here.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View cloakie1's profile

cloakie1

204 posts in 1186 days


#13 posted 1185 days ago

try a false bed in the planer….make sure that it has a lug on the infeed side so it is not dragged thru….and then make sure that the bed is well lubed and a slow feed….also don’t take off to much at a time….but as someone else said you would be better to cut it down as close as possible first.

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View DLCW's profile

DLCW

522 posts in 1285 days


#14 posted 1184 days ago

Find out if there are any cabinet shops nearby that have a wide-belt or drum sander. I regularly thickness wood to 1/8” or less on my drum sander. I first resaw, as many have recommended, then sand out the resaw marks. I’ve gone as thin as 1/16” on the drum sander.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View Roger's profile

Roger

14368 posts in 1435 days


#15 posted 1184 days ago

I have used a piece of melamine shelving as a “filler-board” with double stick tape to plane some stuff pretty thin. The melamine slides very nicely through the planer. I only take about a 32nd or even a 64th off when doing that.
If you have a bandsaw, I’d first resaw to something close to your thickness.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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