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Planing rough cut pecan boards

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Forum topic by Knothead62 posted 113 days ago 662 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Knothead62

2342 posts in 1558 days


113 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question planer table saw pecan

I have a number of pecan boards that I got a while back. I’m wanting to start on building a dining room table for SWMBO. The boards are various thicknesses, lengths and widths. I plan on making a sled for the planer (Dewalt 734) to cut down on snipe. I don’t have a bandsaw to resaw the thicker boards; have a tablesaw, though, if that would work in some instances. Also, what thickness should I look at for the top?


13 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13222 posts in 935 days


#1 posted 113 days ago

For table tops, I prefer 1-1/2” to 2” thick. It seems to me that the thinner you get the more movement you have to deal with.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Bogeyguy's profile

Bogeyguy

457 posts in 665 days


#2 posted 113 days ago

What Monte says. Good advice.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View Handtooler's profile

Handtooler

1054 posts in 729 days


#3 posted 113 days ago

Hope you realize Pecan is of the Hickory family and VERY hard. Plan on taking shallow cuts/passes through the planer. When routing use SHARP bits; same for lathe turning super sharp tools required. I have over 1000 bf of 17 year old pecan from a 48” based Pecan that came down in our yard. Been in dry storage since the milling,5/4 and 9/4. I use from the stack often. It’ll surely make a beautiful table I’m certain. Please post pics as you progress.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 bassboy40@msn.com

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

449 posts in 1184 days


#4 posted 113 days ago

I made dining table out of pecan 30yrs ago. I gave it away to a family that needed a table and they still use it. Pecan was real inexpensive then. Watch for tear out when planing. What the others have said it is very hard.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1191 posts in 966 days


#5 posted 113 days ago

Are you sure you need a sled for the 734? It would work to have a sled if you planned on jointing with the planer, but otherwise it might not be necessary. I’m working on a bed from rough cut cherry, and just planed down two 80”x7” 5/4 boards no problem, with 0 snipe. I supported it on the way in, and halfway through, went to the outfeed side to support it. If the boards are much longer than that, you’d do better with a second set of hands instead of a sled.

The table saw will work for resawing boards with width up to 2x the depth capacity of the saw, assuming you have a flat face to reference against the fence. Set the blade just under half the stock width, run the board over one time with the flat face against the fence, then flip it end-o (keep the same side against the fence), and run it again. Then just use a hand saw to remove the remaining in the middle. I used to do it this way before I got my bandsaw. Leaving a thin strip in the middle always made me feel a little safer, rather than having the two halve become disconnected from each other while still feeding it through the blade.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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Knothead62

2342 posts in 1558 days


#6 posted 113 days ago

BinghamtonEd, how did you separate the two sawn pieces? Pieces are not more than four feet long.
Guys, this gives me a lot to start with. Have to make a router table to clean up the edges for gluing up the boards. Will probably have more questions later as things progress. Handtooler, the guy who gave me the pecan said it was the first cousin to hickory; we know what hickory is used for- handles for axes, hammer, sledgehammers, etc.
Thanks to all for your repies and help!

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1191 posts in 966 days


#7 posted 113 days ago

If you saw through both edges and just leave about 1/16” between the boards, a Japanese pull saw or a panel will make quick work of separating them. If you have neither, Harbor Freight has a good pull saw for dirt cheap. Then just send them through the planer.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1372 posts in 317 days


#8 posted 113 days ago

What thickness are the rough boards?

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1191 posts in 966 days


#9 posted 112 days ago

This is the saw I used to separate the boards. $6.75 if you have the 25% coupon. If you’re working with boards more than 6-8” wide, you may want to consider the larger version. It’s actually a good saw for the money, it cuts very fast and I use it to trim plugs in pocket holes. You just need a saw that will fit in the TS kerf.

Edit : I should probably mention safety. Since the blade will be hidden in the wood, you have to be extra careful. My setup for this included a featherboard before the blade, to help keep the piece against the fence, as well as a push stick that hooked behind the end of the board, and also provided pressure on top, and was wide enough to not fall into the saw kerf from the first pass. Make sure that you’re not providing any pressure on the side of the board at or after the blade, you don’t want to close up the kerf any and have it kick back.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2342 posts in 1558 days


#10 posted 112 days ago

Ed, thanks; will check at the HF store the next time I’m in Chattanooga.
Yeti, boards are from about one inch to about 1-1/4 inches thick.
Monte, I’m a bit concerned about weight of the pecan on a table that might be about 42X72. If I can conjure up the skill, I might make it expandable with a leaf. I have some walnut logs that need to be cut into boards and square pieces for the legs. Your thoughts on weight?
Again, thanks to all for your help!

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1191 posts in 966 days


#11 posted 112 days ago

At that size, if your top is 1” thick, the top will probably be around 80 lbs. As long as the joinery for your legs is solid, that’s not bad. I wouldn’t resaw those boards. Even if they somehow all come out not needing to be re-jointed, after resawing and planing your 1” boards are going to be less than 1/2” thick.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1372 posts in 317 days


#12 posted 112 days ago

If the boards are only at 1” – 1 1/4” now, I’d plane as little as possible off to keep them as thick as you can. Personally I like to stay over 1” on table tops to remove all potential confusion as to whether or not it was made from pre-milled home center stock. The added strength is a bonus, as is the additional heft. a table 3.5’ x 6’ shouldn’t be too terribly heavy.

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Knothead62

2342 posts in 1558 days


#13 posted 111 days ago

Thanks, guys!

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