Any great (safe) tips for out there for preparing thin stock?

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Forum topic by johnhutchinson posted 08-01-2014 08:40 PM 1647 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1243 posts in 1624 days

08-01-2014 08:40 PM

I’m making a few of my New&Improved dragon pull toys, and I need 3/4”, 1/2”, 7/16” and 1/8” stock. Trying to come up with 1/8” stock has always been iffy for me. I’m thinking about attaching 1!4” stock to a board with spray adhesive, and then running that through my planer.

I’m sure there are some sure-fire methods out there that won’t lead to mangled wood chip.

Thanks !!!

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

20 replies so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2287 days

#1 posted 08-01-2014 08:48 PM

I use a piece of 3/4” Baltic Birch that fits across both the intake and output tables on my planer—it remains stationary. The piece to be planed slides over this axillary table. Sorry I don’t remember the technical name for this as I’ve use it for almost 20-years now. I can plane down to 3/32” thickness without any problems—but, maybe I’ve just been luck. My planer is an old PM15 but was upgraded to a Byrd Shelix head last year. Hope this helps and best wishes for success.

P.S. Since I installed the Byrd head, I haven’t used my 18” thickness sander, but I’m keeping it just in case.

P.P.S. This is the technique I used to plane all wood to correct thickness for my dragon and to plane wood for the dividers on my hollow mortise chisel organizer.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View bobasaurus's profile


3443 posts in 3179 days

#2 posted 08-01-2014 08:53 PM

I resaw 1/8” strips on the bandsaw frequently, but cleaning up the teeth marks has always been tricky. Sometimes I can scrape them out… 1/8” isn’t really substantial enough to clamp and plane. Your plywood trick might be the best option.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View 489tad's profile


3362 posts in 3006 days

#3 posted 08-01-2014 08:56 PM
John I had great luck using a vacuum box and planer.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Redoak49's profile


3239 posts in 1983 days

#4 posted 08-01-2014 08:58 PM

Using spray adhesive may work but I would think that you would have trouble getting a 1/8” board off of the backing board without cracking it.

I know that there are others who would plane down to this thickness. However, I am not one of them. It may go right 9 out of 10 times or 99 out of a 100 but sooner or later, it will come out in pieces all over the place. If you do it, do not stand anywhere close as it could throw out some mean looking splinters and chunks.

I think the best and safest way of doing this is with a thickness sander.

I think that Kencraft Company sells thin lumber and that is one way to go with this.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1675 days

#5 posted 08-01-2014 09:00 PM

I just did this to thicken a top I was building by a 1/4”. I resawed some 3/4” pieces in half on my bandsaw and took a few passes with a jack plane (a block plane would work to) to remove the bandsaw marks and straighten them out. Use a marking gauge off the clean face to make a target to plane to.

there are lots of fancy sleds and expensive tools to do this with power tools but the hand plane method is fast, accurate and very safe.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#6 posted 08-01-2014 09:05 PM

Amen to the hand planing method providing you are handy with a hand plane.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 1624 days

#7 posted 08-01-2014 09:27 PM

What’s a hand plane ??? :)

Thanks guys, and now I have a plan. A buddy of mine with a cabinet/countertop shop has stacks of countertop scraps with plastic laminate pre-applied. I’ll make an 11” wide table that I’ll attach to my planer table with double-face tape, and then I’ll put some riser blocks at the ends.

I really have the itch to make some of my own !@#$%&* dragons. :)

It looks pretty good on my monitor.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2917 days

#8 posted 08-01-2014 09:31 PM

I re-saw cedar and Maple often and sometimes down to 1/8” or less. If I and use the wood that thin, I just sand the saw marks out with a random orbital sander. I never try to plane anything much under 3/8”.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Texcaster's profile


1281 posts in 1669 days

#9 posted 08-01-2014 09:37 PM

I do it all the time for instrument parts. No adhesive, just send both pieces through together. ( This allows the bottom rollers to function) The wider the piece, more risk. The key is very, very light cuts. Success varies with the timber and grain run out.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Loren's profile


10377 posts in 3643 days

#10 posted 08-01-2014 09:52 PM

This sort of thing would work within the depth limitations
of your table saw, assuming the stock was short enough to
be fed accurately.

Usually when I need a thin part it’s not a large one and
I saw it out over-thick and use hand planes.

In making guitars I don’t send thin stock through the
planer. Instrument grade wood is too costly for
me to be interested in taking that risk. I use
hand planes or a drum sander. I like the hand
planes better as the drum sander method is,
while probably a bit quicker, dustier and very
boring to do.

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 1624 days

#11 posted 08-01-2014 10:27 PM

Thanks, Loren. Great tip !!!

I don’t need wide stock (5” max) so I’m going to try double-cutting on my table saw with a thin-kerf, 7-1/4” blade.
That’s …
Cut 2-1/4” inches into an edge.
Flip the stock and cut 2-1/4” into the opposite edge.
Cut through the remaining 1/2” on my band saw.
Clean up the cut faces.

I think this will be a more reliable approach than using my 12” planer.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Rayne's profile


859 posts in 1534 days

#12 posted 08-01-2014 10:34 PM

How about getting the Grripper? It’ll let you safely cut 1/8” stock on the table saw if you get the 1/8” adapter.

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 1624 days

#13 posted 08-01-2014 10:49 PM

That’s it !!! Case closed. Thanks Rayne.

I’ve been wanting to get a Gripper, and this is the perfect excuse … not that I need one. :)

I’m going to get it through Richard Hummel at Woodpeckers. He’s a great guy and a wonderful friend.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View ScottKaye's profile


643 posts in 1948 days

#14 posted 08-01-2014 11:01 PM

Since you have a friend with a cabinet shop, Im sure he has a drum sander. Take your wood down as far as you can in your planer, than load some 40/60 grit paper on the drum sander and take it down the rest of the way.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View GnarlyErik's profile


307 posts in 2129 days

#15 posted 08-02-2014 02:32 AM

John, I have faced the same problem and solved it with an “auxillery” planer platen. I think this may be similar to what Hillbilly Shooter is mentioning above. This is merely a plank with a slick surface – Formica works fine. By fastening a cleat to the bottom which hooks over the infeed edge of the planer bed, this plank is prevented from feeding through the planer, but allows the stock to feed through on top of the slick surface. This eliminates the danger of the cutter head hitting metal. Depending on the type of stock being planed, you can usually get it down to 1/10th inch or less.

Here is a down and dirty sketch to describe this graphically.


PS: Incidentally, you can use this same trick to bevel stock, I.e., like reproducing a clapboard, etc. Simply make an ‘auxiliary platen’ at the required bevel and run your stock through on that. Planing a bevel or slope on the stock will also require an edging on the platen to keep your stock from sliding off. Just give it a little thought. Works great!

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

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