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Planing multiple boards for width?

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Forum topic by HTX_woodworker posted 05-09-2018 05:22 PM 383 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HTX_woodworker

5 posts in 11 days


05-09-2018 05:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak shaping arts and crafts question planer router plane

Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice on how I might go about addressing equalizing the width on some boards (16 to be exact) before running them through my router table to create quadrilinear legs.

I don’t have a table saw to rip the boards to equal width, so the stock I’m using is off by ~1/8”, so my thinking was to plane multiple boards, clamped together to equalize the width.

This is the first time I’ve attempted making this type of leg before, so any advice on creating a quadrilinear leg would be most welcome. Cheers!

-Josh


15 replies so far

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tomsteve

783 posts in 1212 days


#1 posted 05-09-2018 05:40 PM

thats about the fanciest word ive seen to use to describe a square leg.

ive used my planer multiple times to plane sets of boards to width. gang them tightly together and feed them through, although i just squeezed them as they feed in and then go around back and keep them tight as they come out.

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JohnMcClure

177 posts in 634 days


#2 posted 05-09-2018 05:44 PM

Esteemed LJ Ron Aylor has glued boards together with brown paper (bag material) in between them, performed an operation on the pair, then split the boards apart at the glue joint. The brown paper is weaker than the wood, so it was a clean split.

That method would take away the uncertainty of squeezing the boards together while they’re in the planer. Just use a little bit of glue…

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

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bbasiaga

1231 posts in 1988 days


#3 posted 05-09-2018 05:46 PM

Clamps going through your planer could lead to a really great story, if you survive to tell it. Seriously though there’s a lot of vibration there so I would not send a clamp through.

I would leave the boards long and screw or glue a cleat across the endgrain on both ends to hold them together. Even just superglue might do the truck.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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Rich

2796 posts in 583 days


#4 posted 05-09-2018 05:51 PM

Just stand them on edge 4 at a time and run them through. No need to do anything fancy.

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

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TheFridge

9438 posts in 1479 days


#5 posted 05-09-2018 05:52 PM

Hope your planer doesn’t snipe.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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bandit571

19949 posts in 2677 days


#6 posted 05-09-2018 06:12 PM

Depends on the planer used, doesn’t it…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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HTX_woodworker

5 posts in 11 days


#7 posted 05-09-2018 06:13 PM

I don’t have a planer, actually… on my wishlist of things to get, though!! I was wondering if I could just gang them together, say 4 at a time, then plane them by hand once I’ve got them down to manageable dimensions, to save from having to plane all day. Is it feasible for me to clamp all 16 using pipe clamps and hand plane, using the same process? Or is there another way that you can think of that would be easier?

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HTX_woodworker

5 posts in 11 days


#8 posted 05-09-2018 06:15 PM



Depends on the planer used, doesn t it…..

- bandit571

It’s true! Which is also a question I had: what would be the best planer(s) to handle a job like this? I’m pretty new to hand planing, so I’d definitely appreciate any insight y’all can give as to the process/technique/etc!

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HTX_woodworker

5 posts in 11 days


#9 posted 05-09-2018 06:17 PM



thats about the fanciest word ive seen to use to describe a square leg.

ive used my planer multiple times to plane sets of boards to width. gang them tightly together and feed them through, although i just squeezed them as they feed in and then go around back and keep them tight as they come out.

- tomsteve

Haha you’re absolutely right! That’s how I heard them described in some of the literature I’ve been researching. But saying a square leg would make things a lot simpler. :)

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LittleShaver

318 posts in 613 days


#10 posted 05-09-2018 06:21 PM

Unlike the previous answers, I’ll assume that if you don’t have a table saw, you probably don’t have a planer either.
Yes, clamping your boards together and truing them up with a hand plane works fine. Carefully allowing for grain direction, clamp as many together as you can comfortably manager and sharpen your hand plane. You’ll need to watch square closely and sneak up on your final dimension. I’d make a stick as long as the final dimension and use it to gauge my progress.
Groups of four that make up a single leg might be best. If the groups don’t match exactly, it will be tough to tell in the final project as the legs will be separated. I think trying to do all 16 at once would be tough to get right. Checking square across a wide expanse might be more trouble than it’s worth.
As to the “best” plane to use, the longer the better. For something in the range of a table leg, I’d use my #5. Any longer and I’d get out the old 26” woody.

-- Sawdust Maker

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bandit571

19949 posts in 2677 days


#11 posted 05-09-2018 06:24 PM

Depends on how long the boards are. I’ve used about every length of plane. As long as the plane is a bit shorter than the boards. A layout or scribe line along the edge, to show where to stop is a nice help.

Usually such planes are termed “Jointers” and can be 14” ( #5 jack) up to a 24” long #8…

IF you look at my avatar, you will see a Stanley #31 in use. Planes uses a 2-3/8” wide iron, and is 24” long.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Loren

10373 posts in 3641 days


#12 posted 05-09-2018 06:48 PM

You’ll need a reliable straight edge. You can test
a straight edge by drawing a line on a piece
of material or paper with in and flipping it over
to the other side of the line. If that checks out,
use it to gauge the straightness of one edge of
all your parts. Straighten the edges with a hand
plane where necessary.

Mark a parallel line using a knife or a pencil. If
you have a marking gauge that will work too.

Then plane to the line. If your reference edge
is straight the parallel drawn line will be as well.
Make sure to plane square. Ganging up two
parts may make it easier to balance the plane.
As you get close to the marked line check with
your straight edge and square to make sure
you aren’t being too optimistic. Planing can be
fun and with practice you’ll get a feel for planing
straight and square but at first it can be tricky.

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OSU55

1664 posts in 1983 days


#13 posted 05-09-2018 08:10 PM

I have done both (power plane and hand plane) boards clamped together to get equal width on many occasions. Through the power planer, an f style “bottomed out” wont pivot up and catch a blade. Vibration did not loosen them – # of boards limited by the clamp length that can pass through the planer “sideways”.

As for handplaning I prefer to gang as many together as possible and treat it similar to a panel glue up. Definetly clamp them together if you can. You would want to do in groups of 4 so the boards in each leg match perfectly. All the other notes about marking etc are good to follow. #7 or equivalent would be best but a #4 will work.

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HTX_woodworker

5 posts in 11 days


#14 posted 05-10-2018 05:56 AM

Ok, thanks for the answers all! This has been extremely helpful. I did have some follow-up questions…First, what would be the best way to go about hand planing four clamped boards? I would imagine it would be best to completely plane one side, then lay that side on a flat surface and then plane the other until both edges are parallel and at their final dimension? Second, I’ve seen a good number of #4s available but am wondering what brand and/or model you all would recommend and if I should be looking for a #5 or #7 instead, as it appears that longer is better for this application? I am looking for one that is well-made, durable, but one that won’t break the bank, if I can help it…also, where would be the best place, in your experience to find one of these? Third, I’ve been using a combination square for my straight edge, but am wondering if I need to upgrade to something more accurate—I got this one used from my dad and, while it’s served it’s purpose pretty well, I’m thinking it may be less accurate than I need for this situation. If so, I’d welcome any suggestions for a good square. Fourth, I was wondering what allowing for grain direction entails—from my understanding, arranging the grain of the boards in the same direction is best, correct? With that being said, what is a good way to tell the orientation of the boards on an edge? I really appreciate all the feedback; you guys have been most helpful!!

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bandit571

19949 posts in 2677 days


#15 posted 05-10-2018 04:07 PM

Joint one edge, then flip over and joint the other edgs.

Several on here sell rehabbed, ready to use planes ( Timetestedtools..for one)

When you look at the grain on the board, when it is sitting on an edge, you can see what looks like a “wave”. You want the grain to be rising up, but away from you. Like rubbing the fur on a cat’s back….go the wrong way, and the cat will scratch you. If the grain looks to be diving down….the plane will try to follow it.

IF there is a few high spots along the edge, a shorter plane can remove those first, and get things close to the lines. Then a longer planes only has a few swipes along the entire length to do.

IF you are only doing one edge. Do not grab the front knob with the entire hand. Hook your thumb over the side of the plane, and use the knuckles of that hands fingers as a fence. The knuckles will quickly inform you if the plane is leaning. Goal is to keep the plane flying level.
Long straight edge? I have been using either a framing square….or a long Level…..I also have an old Tinner’s Ruler…3’ long steel yard stick.

A basic set of planes: Block plane, #3 or #4 smoother, #5 Jack plane, #6,or a #7 Jointer plane.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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