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benchtop planer OR hand plane a dinning room table?

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Forum topic by DaveSuperDad posted 01-09-2013 09:41 AM 3580 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DaveSuperDad

6 posts in 711 days


01-09-2013 09:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane joining walnut cherry

Should I break down and buy a planer like the Craftsman from Sears for $284 or will my hands/arms be able to survive hand planing a dinning room table that seats 10 from rough sawn lumber. (like this one…. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/77038).

I am a newbie with a small selection of tools (budget/skills) including a tablesaw, router, dust collector and a small (12×20) basement workshop. When planning this project out I want to give my wife an estimate of how much it will cost.


12 replies so far

View crashn's profile

crashn

519 posts in 1212 days


#1 posted 01-09-2013 12:16 PM

a slap wont fit in the planer, you are going to have to flatten it by hand. I would use a router flatting jig, then a hand plane.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Arminius's profile

Arminius

304 posts in 2550 days


#2 posted 01-09-2013 12:35 PM

Even leaving aside the size of the tabletop, there are very few planers that can produce a good enough surface for a dining room table, and certainly not in the low/middle price range – there probably is not a more visually demanding surface you will make. For final smoothing at least, you will want to use a hand plane.

View DaveSuperDad's profile

DaveSuperDad

6 posts in 711 days


#3 posted 01-09-2013 02:07 PM

- Thanks for the tips. I haven’t heard of a router flattening jig….great stuff. I also have a slab of Elm in my garden shed that I asked the tree service people to cut for me when they were cutting down one of my trees. They used a chain saw and it’s very rough.

- I was thinking of the bench top planer as some of the boards aren’t perfect so before I join the boards I was thinking of pushing them through the bench top planer.

- I was reading about hand planes and I am going to look for a big/long “jack” plane from the home center.

View Brandon's profile (online now)

Brandon

4145 posts in 1698 days


#4 posted 01-09-2013 02:26 PM

Let me stop you there. Don’t buy a plane from the home center. You’ll be dissapointed and turned off of planes altogether. For that operation, you want a jointer plane. I’d recommend looking at the planes they sell at Lee Valley (Veritas Planes), or an older vintage stanley #7 or #8 plane.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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Arminius

304 posts in 2550 days


#5 posted 01-09-2013 02:36 PM

What Brandon said – run, do not walk, from the home center. If money is tight, go the vintage route – there are a few people around LJ (DonW comes to mind) that can sell you a nicely tuned Stanley that will last generations for about the same kind of money that you will blow on a plane-shaped object from a manufacturer like Footprint. If money is really tight, find a decent untuned one, rehab it – I guarantee you it will be faster and cheaper than starting from a new one bought at a home center.

Trying to get a perfect finish on a dining room table with one of those pieces of junk would constitute cruel and unusual punishment…

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Brandon

4145 posts in 1698 days


#6 posted 01-09-2013 02:42 PM

Do you know Ron Swanson from the TV show Parks and Recreation? See here:

http://www.finewoodworking.com/workshop/article/router-jig-turns-stumps-into-beautiful-side-tables.aspx

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Goatlocker's profile

Goatlocker

36 posts in 719 days


#7 posted 01-09-2013 11:22 PM

A bench top planer works well and you can join the boards together then take care of it after that. I put together a kitchen island and used a planer on all the boards then once I biscuit jointed them together I ended up go to a local cabinet shop and had them triim the ends, it was 12/4 lumber and ran it thru their time saver for $47. To me it was a great deal. I then brought it home and finished sanding it down.

-- All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent - Thomas Jefferson

View Don W's profile

Don W

15533 posts in 1314 days


#8 posted 01-10-2013 12:01 AM

All hand planes, http://lumberjocks.com/donwilwol/blog/29723

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View DaveSuperDad's profile

DaveSuperDad

6 posts in 711 days


#9 posted 03-07-2013 08:01 PM

lots of great advice thanks. I think I will buy some S4S (surfaced 4 sides) from a small local lumber yard (Willards Lumber in Hamilton NJ) and join the boards together for a table top. They also sell the skirt and legs which leaves the design, assemly and finish up to me…..I was thinking of some walnut and cherry for the top…clear finish. Maybe dovetail the skirt into the legs…bread board ends for a farm house table.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1288 posts in 716 days


#10 posted 03-07-2013 08:04 PM

How about a power planer like a dewalt, ryobi or skill? I know some of the handplane guys will murder me for that, but I use one as a scrub plane to take off a lot of wood first, and then I finish it with my no. 4 or whatever.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View DaveSuperDad's profile

DaveSuperDad

6 posts in 711 days


#11 posted 03-07-2013 08:32 PM

Great idea Kaleb.

View rayb444's profile

rayb444

5 posts in 96 days


#12 posted 09-15-2014 05:01 PM

Lot of great advice here.

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