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Planing big pieces - 10 x 2 x 14'

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Forum topic by 404 - Not Found posted 08-09-2012 11:36 AM 603 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1621 days


08-09-2012 11:36 AM

Just wondered if anyone has a tip for thicknessing big planks. I’ve never had to plane anything this long, wide or heavy before. The first thing I’ll do is surface plane a face and an edge using roller stands for support. Then comes the fun part, taking it down to the right thickness. How would you do it other than to hold the piece and walk it through the planer to half way, dart round the front of the planer and catch the front and support that on the way out?
Or do you use roller stands and adjust the height for each pass?
This is for stair strings in oak, I have a 10” planer/thicknesser.


14 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1783 posts in 1145 days


#1 posted 08-09-2012 11:50 AM

Pieces that size will need support on each end, and I’m guessing you have a lunchbox planer making that even more important. That would mean either 2 people (one at each end) or infeed/outfeed stands. You will only be removing a small amount on each pass, so it probably would mean adjusting the stands every 2-3 passes or so until you get to the last 2 passes. Just my take on the situation….I have planed pieces that size, but only 12’ long.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View jmos's profile

jmos

681 posts in 1021 days


#2 posted 08-09-2012 12:01 PM

When I did my work bench I did 7’ boards using a roller stand at each end and it worked well. For a 14” board, I would think more support would be a good idea; heck, you’ll need more room than I have in my shop (28’) to run them through! I would prefer stands and a helper for this operation.

I am a tad confused on one thing, why would you need to adjust the roller supports as you plane? The material comes off the top and the stands are adjusted to be even with the bottom of the planer, right? Am I missing something?

-- John

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

399 posts in 1846 days


#3 posted 08-09-2012 12:02 PM

Why do you need to adjust the stands? The bottom surface doesn’t move. Only the top gradually lowers.

You will need several stands to support such a long load and take off only a very small amount each pass because the planar will run a long time each pass. Two people are definitely an advantage.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1621 days


#4 posted 08-09-2012 12:36 PM

I should have added the bed raises on my planer/thicknesser (you call that a jointer/planer right?), 1 turn of the handle raises the bed by 3mm. This is why I foresee it being a pain in the ass and the reason the roller stands would have to be adjusted progressively as the bed raises.
By the time I’ve got the face surfaced I anticipate the thickness of the plank being 48mm (15/8”), that’s then going to go down to 32mm (5/4) – I won’t get it out of 6/4 rough sawn stock – which is why I’ll be starting with 8/4 (nearer 17/8).

And this will have to be done with the garage door open to get the full 28’ length (and I’ll have to wait til it’s not raining and for my neighbour to go out because of the noise). Aah! The joys of woodworking.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1621 days


#5 posted 08-09-2012 12:48 PM

Thinking about it, I could surface plane it both sides to within 1/8 and take the final few passes thru the thicknesser?

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jmos

681 posts in 1021 days


#6 posted 08-09-2012 12:51 PM

Ah, I see, that will be a PITA. Any chance you’ve got a friend with a lunchbox type planer?

Do you have the material yet; if not I’d consider paying the supplier to mill it for me. Hate to do it, but sometimes it makes sense.

-- John

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1621 days


#7 posted 08-09-2012 12:58 PM

I wouldn’t trust my supplier to do it properly. I’d be waiting weeks for it and there’s a good chance that there’d be saw marks, tears, chatter marks and dents in it. They’d be looking for €80-100 for doing it as well (two pieces).

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1783 posts in 1145 days


#8 posted 08-09-2012 01:16 PM

If your careful, you could get the majority of it while surface planing….then move to the thicknesser. Interesting machine….didn’t anticipate that being the unit. (€80-100 for 2 pieces! Sounds like a good business to be in.)

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, we sent 'em to Washington.

View Brett's profile

Brett

621 posts in 1335 days


#9 posted 08-09-2012 01:20 PM

<snip>

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View jmos's profile

jmos

681 posts in 1021 days


#10 posted 08-09-2012 02:57 PM

Wow, that would be expensive. Are you picking it up? Could you take it to another shop that has professional equipment? They might run it for a more reasonable cost? Just trying to think of options for you.

If you do it yourself, you could try to get some shims (wood, cardboard) that are the thickness of each pass and put them under the roller stands as you make each pass. Might make the adjustments easier than having to loosen and raise the stands each pass.

-- John

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1621 days


#11 posted 08-09-2012 03:31 PM

It’s messy this one. The timber merchant nearest to me is the one that has the workshop, and could mill it down for me. However, their prices are just too high – 2” white oak is €68.50 + VAT @23% per cubic foot – and never any discount for volume, if I drive another 45minutes, I can pick up the timber for €57 inc VAT per cubic foot, so by the time I’ve got the timber for the strings, treads, landing, handrail and newel posts, I can save around €220-€250 – enough to justify the extra 1 1/2hrs drive. But if I buy at the cheaper supplier, I can’t take it to the nearer supplier for the milling, or I could, but I guarantee he’ll hike the machining cost for being disloyal.
Everyone else I know who has the machinery to do this type of work runs joinery businesses, making staircases. If I go there, I will probably be treated with disdain for treading on their toes.

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jmos

681 posts in 1021 days


#12 posted 08-09-2012 04:23 PM

Let me ask you this, can you work with slightly thicker stringers? Do they have to thinned down to 32mm? could you flatten one side than just thickness off a minimum to get the other side parallel and dressed? Maybe you end up at 45mm instead of 32; deal breaker? Again, just thinking out loud.

-- John

View GregD's profile

GregD

615 posts in 1788 days


#13 posted 08-09-2012 04:36 PM

After jointing the face and one edge, how about removing most of the excess thickness by resawing on the bandsaw?

-- Greg D.

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GregD

615 posts in 1788 days


#14 posted 08-09-2012 04:38 PM

Too bad you don’t run a hand tool class. You could get students to pay you for the opportunity to thickness your stock with hand planes!

-- Greg D.

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