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Straightening rip edge with thickness planer?

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Forum topic by Dougan posted 11-18-2014 04:35 AM 1631 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dougan

14 posts in 755 days


11-18-2014 04:35 AM

I just got myself a thickness planer, but I still don’t own a jointer.

I have some 8/4 purpleheart stock that has a crook in it. I’d like to be able to rip it, but I need to straighten it first. I’ve seen/read some good info here on how to use the table saw to straighten it out and also suggestions about using hand planers to straighten it out. This all makes sense. Given the fact that it’s 8/4 wood (bulky)I probably won’t try using the table saw to straighten this time, but I bet I could get it pretty straight with some hand tools.

But I was wondering. The wood is about 6 feet long, 6” wide, and 2” tall. The crook is maybe a 1/2” deep at 6 feet. I am going to cut it into 3 24” lengths. So the crook will not be too significant at that point. Could I turn it on its side and run it through my planer to remove the crook? By this I mean use the planer to surface the side that I ultimately would put against the rip fence. It seems like this would work, but maybe I am missing something?

If people think this is a bad idea I’m not attached to it, just thinking it’d save me some effort, and making sure I’m not missing a safety concern or something.


20 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2280 days


#1 posted 11-18-2014 05:35 AM

“In like a banana, out like a banana”
A planer won’t make a crooked board straight. It will just make a thinner crooked board. Use a taper / ripping jig at the tablesaw to straighten one edge.
Once you are S4S, running an edge through the planer is a great way to clean up the cut. I do that all the time.

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

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jmartel

6576 posts in 1616 days


#2 posted 11-18-2014 06:09 AM

So, you’re going to send it through with the 2” surface riding on the base plate and the planer set for 6”? I wouldn’t do it.

That’s what hand planes are for.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#3 posted 11-18-2014 06:24 AM

It’s ok to run it on edge but the bottom edge should
be square and relatively straight. You can screw, nail
or glue guide strips to a crooked bottom edge, or
snap a straight line bandsaw it straight enough.

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iminmyshop

259 posts in 1460 days


#4 posted 11-18-2014 10:21 AM

If it is not too bulky to run thorough the bandsaw I would draw a line and start there. But it just might bust your blade. Next I would use a long straight edge and run a router bit to get it perfectly straight. It being 8/4 that wont get you all the way through. You can then flip the board and use a router with a long bit. Use the just cut top side of the edge as your guide. The advantage of the bandsaw is that it can get off most of the waste first.

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BoardSMITH

121 posts in 1730 days


#5 posted 11-18-2014 11:18 AM

Get a jointer. That is the job it does and does very well. Everything else is either dangerous, 6’ length of heavy 8/4 stock on a bandsaw table, or super involved like some of the other suggestions. Get the right tool for the job and it will serve you well for a long time.

Careful, the AnneTMcGuire post is gibberish and the link is probably either spam or malware.

-- David www.TheBoardSMITH.com

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OSU55

1063 posts in 1456 days


#6 posted 11-18-2014 01:21 PM

Use a jointer sled through the planer. I have a ~6ft long 1” thick piece of melamine shelving the width of my planer with a stop block screwed in at the back end (to counter cutting force) and a stop block attached with double sided tape put at the front end of the board being cut (to counter feed roller force). The more square the down edge is to the face the better. Shim gaps of the bottom edge to the sled so the board won’t flex from the down force from the planer. Take light cuts. The biggest issue is whether your planer has 7” of vertical travel. If not, make one rip cut to 2 narrower boards, and then joint 2 boards. Find the high point of the surface to be planed and set the planer accordingly. A high spot in the middle or back end of the board results in a deep cut if the planer is set to the front edge. I have done this numerous times.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8260 posts in 2895 days


#7 posted 11-18-2014 01:28 PM

Why not cut it to rough length first? Then use the TS to straighten one side of each piece.
If you have 3 lengths, a couple passes through the planer to straighten the edges should be no problem, if needed.
Keep the grain on all three pieces oriented so that the planer cuts with the grain.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3209 days


#8 posted 11-18-2014 03:03 PM

+1 on Gene Howe -
Straightening a 2 foot section on the tablesaw will take all of 30 seconds.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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OSU55

1063 posts in 1456 days


#9 posted 11-18-2014 03:14 PM

I missed the 24” length – definitely cut to length as the 1st step, perhaps most of the crook ends up in one piece.. If they will fit through your planer, all 3 could be jointed at the same time. Ripping a 2’ long piece on a table saw may get it straight enough. Another possibility is a “rip sled” on the TS. Something similar to this Charles Neil taper jig:

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6576 posts in 1616 days


#10 posted 11-18-2014 04:13 PM

All those suggestions will take more time than it would take to just have a few swipes of the hand plane.

Cut it a bit oversized in length to 24”. Straighten one side with a hand plane. Send it through the table saw to rip the opposite edge. Flip it over and square up the hand planed edge. Done. Only takes a few minutes total for all 3 pieces.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View shawnn's profile

shawnn

49 posts in 832 days


#11 posted 11-19-2014 03:52 AM

I have a jointer but for crooked boards I use double-sided tape to adhere a straight edge (I use a long piece of aluminum) to the board, which acts as a guide to run against the tablesaw rip fence.

I flatten the first face on the jointer just enough to thickness plane, then thickness plane both sides, then cut edges on the tablesaw. This works best for me.

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bandit571

14622 posts in 2150 days


#12 posted 11-19-2014 04:03 AM

Enough said

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8260 posts in 2895 days


#13 posted 11-19-2014 02:47 PM

Bandit,
Not everyone has an aircraft carrier in their shop. That is the quickest way to edge a board, though.
But, I have an over abundance of electrons and need to kill off a few.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

617 posts in 1027 days


#14 posted 11-19-2014 03:59 PM



I have a jointer but for crooked boards I use double-sided tape to adhere a straight edge (I use a long piece of aluminum) to the board, which acts as a guide to run against the tablesaw rip fence.

I flatten the first face on the jointer just enough to thickness plane, then thickness plane both sides, then cut edges on the tablesaw. This works best for me.

- shawnn

I do this too. I’ve straightened the edges on boards up to 8’ in length this way.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1836 days


#15 posted 11-19-2014 04:04 PM

+1 to rough length, followed by the TS, or hand planes. If you want to run them through the planer on edge after that, run them all through at the same time, side by side, it’ll be more stable.

In case it isn’t obvious (I haven’t seen it said yet, if so, sorry)...You will waste more wood jointing a 6’ and then rough cutting it than you will rough cutting it and then jointing 3 2-foot sections. Rough cut to within reason (i.e. leave smaller parts together so they can be milled safely), then mill.

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

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