A question about planing

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Forum topic by Kyle Nelson posted 11-11-2014 04:34 PM 1479 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kyle Nelson

52 posts in 1338 days

11-11-2014 04:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer walnut milling

My dad has a large amount (>1500bf) of black walnut that was milled by my grandfather in the 60s. It’s all still rough cut, and he wants to get it all planed for more efficient storage. We have a Dewalt DW735 planer and plenty of space on racks to store it.

My question is: is there any way to plane all of this at once without burning out the planer and dulling the knives?

Our best bet may just be to do it little by little, but it’d be really nice if we could get it all knocked out at once.

31 replies so far

View FancyShoes's profile


550 posts in 1388 days

#1 posted 11-11-2014 04:45 PM

People on this site told me not to plane or joint it until I am ready to use it, basically when you open it up, it can cause it to want to bend and move a little more.

View Kyle Nelson's profile

Kyle Nelson

52 posts in 1338 days

#2 posted 11-11-2014 04:48 PM

We thought about that, but it’s been drying for 40-50 years and figured it was done moving. If it’s still susceptible to movement, then we’ll leave well enough alone.

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3365 days

#3 posted 11-11-2014 05:00 PM

i’ve planed allot of rough lumber in cab shops for doors and face frames

‘knocked out at once’ is not as simple as it sounds

i go thru some boards and measure both ends
to start
some lumber is thicker at one end
and that is the measure i start with
run every board thru at the thickness
even though most wont plane yet
go down a 1/64” for wide boards
or 1/32” for narrower ones

just keep planing and stacking
you will want to turn a board over
as you start to get a flatter surface on that side
so any high or low spots on the un-planed side
don’t let them wobble or twist as they go thru the planer

easy does it
better to go slow
than trash the tool or knives
let the tool cool down from time to time

might take hours
but worth it in the long run
you get good un-chipped wood (hopefully)
and your tool is ready still for another workout

welcome to LJ’s

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2225 days

#4 posted 11-11-2014 05:06 PM

Good advise above, I would myself check for bad splits,cracks,warping and deal with those boards some and seperate it also, width, ect ect…. I bet you have some 5/4 in there or even 6/4 maybe…. That is a lot of Walnut… If you run out of room to store it I have plenty of room…. just sayin…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Kyle Nelson's profile

Kyle Nelson

52 posts in 1338 days

#5 posted 11-11-2014 05:10 PM

Thanks for the replies. Gshepherd, you’re right about the thickness. I’ve planed a few pieces for various projects and there’s some solid 5/4 and 6/4 in there. I’ll put you on the “I’ll take any extras” list…but it’s a pretty long list at this point. :)

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3671 days

#6 posted 11-11-2014 05:11 PM

Buy a used Belsaw.

I’m dead serious.

I planed a bunch of oak last week with a 2hp Invicta
RC33 clone and it stalled repeatedly. I never had
the 5hp Belsaw do that, though in many ways
it was a less refined machine.

I’m keeping my eye out for a 5hp c-face motor
for the RC33 clone.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5910 posts in 3218 days

#7 posted 11-11-2014 07:08 PM

David and others gave you some really good advice, and I have nothing further to add, except maybe one thing that wasn’t mentioned…..With that many board feet, and the length of time it has been laid up, if it were me, I’d get a metal detector and check for any metal like nails, wire, old staples, etc. before I ran one board….Even though it’s still in “the rough”, it will save you a lot of wear and tear on your planer, knowing that it’s metal-free…I’m done….!!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Kyle Nelson's profile

Kyle Nelson

52 posts in 1338 days

#8 posted 11-11-2014 07:16 PM

Rick, this was logged and milled from land my grandfather owned, and was heavily wooded (not residential or even close). Still not a bad idea though.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5910 posts in 3218 days

#9 posted 11-11-2014 07:25 PM

You never know…..there may be a bullet or two in there you wouldn’t know about….Maybe someone hunting on your grandpas place…..????? I’ve got a small piece of walnut that I milled, and there was what looked like a .22 round….

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Kyle Nelson's profile

Kyle Nelson

52 posts in 1338 days

#10 posted 11-11-2014 07:33 PM

Valid point. You never know what happens in deep East Texas.

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2800 days

#11 posted 11-11-2014 08:13 PM

I only plane the boards when I need them and here is why -

If the board is cut true, or the piece you need, you may only plane it to 7/8”. I did a corner cupboard for a customer (in my projects) and the cherry was clean at 7/8” so this became the top. At this point, the project is not a standard piece of furniture – it is unique and special.

When you cut everything down to standard dimensions, you have standard dimensions. Also, walnut, if it gets wet, will discolor where it got wet and would have to be resurfaced.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View pintodeluxe's profile


5702 posts in 2837 days

#12 posted 11-11-2014 08:43 PM

That amount of lumber won’t burn out your planer, but you will need a couple extra sets of knives.
I’m assuming you will joint the lumber to S2S before planing.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3160 days

#13 posted 11-11-2014 08:47 PM

Where in east Texas? Would you be willing to sell some? Maybe some of us LJs from the Houston area would want to do a group buy.

-- Greg D.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2310 days

#14 posted 11-11-2014 08:50 PM

I leave it rough cut until I need it. It’s not taking up that much more space. Here’s why…

If you plane it all… let’s say to 15/16 or thereabouts (pretend we’re only talking about the 4/4 stuff) and you’ve got boards 8, 10, 12 feet long… or longer? All you’ve done is plane them. If they’re twisted or bent or cupped, you have nice smooth, twisted, bent, cupped pieces. A planer won’t joint them for you. At least not very well.

When I’m going to build something, I look at the stock and start laying out where I’m going to get my pieces from. What part of the board? Then I can rough size it, and then start jointing it so I end up with nice square pieces.

That being said….. in my opinion, with that much wood, you could SKIP PLANE it. So you’re really taking a very light pass and not even planing it completely, but it allows you to kinda see what you have below all that “rough”. Just plane it enough to see what you have to make selection easier later, but DON’T completely plane it yet.

That’s my 2 cents…. and maybe that’s all it’s worth :)

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4204 posts in 2333 days

#15 posted 11-11-2014 08:55 PM

Yes to don’t plane it until you use it and then cut your project pieces to ruff length before planing.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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