Flattening rough stock?

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Hi,
I've been using very good equipment at a polytechnic for a few years and I'm experimenting with ways of acheiving similar results at home without the full outlay for a jointer and thcknesser.
I've been trying to flatten stock by hand using my Stanley No5 (I've done work on the plane and use scary sharpening method). I'm finding it difficult to get a good flat face on a board 1m x 150. It was a bit twisted which wouldn't help but I'm amazed at claims of people doing this in 5-10 mins!!
I've started to think about the following process.
1. Use a hand held electric planer to get it roughly flat. 2. Run through a cheap thicknesser like the 13" Ryobi. 3. Flip and plane the original face with the thicknesser. 4. Edge joint by hand.
This is a much cheaper route ie hand planer versus 8" jointer. So my question is will it work? I've never used a hand electric planer, would they be effective in this process?
Thanks Pete
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PeteD wrote:
> I've been using very good equipment at a polytechnic for a few years > and I'm experimenting with ways of acheiving similar results at home > without the full outlay for a jointer and thcknesser. > > I've been trying to flatten stock by hand using my Stanley No5 (I've > done work on the plane and use scary sharpening method). I'm finding it > difficult to get a good flat face on a board 1m x 150. It was a bit > twisted which wouldn't help but I'm amazed at claims of people doing > this in 5-10 mins!!
<snip>
If you truly want to do this job by manual methods, then adapt the tools of the boat builder, namely a fairing board and a fairing batten.
Get as close as you can with the plane, then it's time for the fairing board.
For this job, build a F/B using a piece of 3/4" plywood about 4" (100mm) wide and 48" (480mm) long with a handle at each end. Using rubber cement, glue on a strip of 24 grit sand paper (same stuff used in floor sanding machines).
Stroke the fairing board back and forth across the surface.
Use a 3/4"x3/4"x1/16"x96" aluminum angle as a fairing batten.
Use the apex as a knife edge on the surface and sight under looking for high spots. (a 1/32" gap will jump out at you)
When your arms feel like the want to drop off, another 100 strokes and your board is flat enough<grin>.
Use 100 grit paper to clean up 24 grit marks.
This is how they have been finishing boat hulls since time immortal.
It is extremely labor intensive, but there is no substitute.
Have fun.
Lew
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Reads:
> For this job, build a F/B using a piece of 3/4" plywood about 4" (100mm) > wide and 48" (480mm) long with a handle at each end.
Should read:
> For this job, build a F/B using a piece of 3/4" plywood about 4" (100mm) > wide and 48" (1.220mm) long with a handle at each end.
Lew
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Thanks for that, I've never heard of that technique before.
Pete
Lew Hodgett wrote:

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Pete, It's called a 'Long Board' and the technique is often called 'longboarding'.
How do you think 'Popeye's arms got like that ??
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

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wrote:

Before using the thickness planer use a pair of winding sticks and a belt sander (or plane). This step will take some patience and frequent checking with the sticks.
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PeteD wrote:

People that can flatten a board in 5 - 10 minutes are probably using a scrub plane (ex. Stanley 40 1/2) with a slight radius on the blade rather that a #5.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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I tried a power planer once and while my board ended up smooth, it certainly wasn't flat. Good for making cauls, though. Maybe with practice you can get better, but I'm certainly not rushing out to buy one.
- Owen -
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Ok, that's useful info, maybe this is a bad idea then.
Cheers Pete
Owen Lawrence wrote:

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Owen Lawrence wrote:

If you've got a planer (thicknesser) you can get a board flat. You'll need to make a torsion box though. Basically you put the curved board on the flat torsion box and shim it so it sits still. Then you run it through the planer until it's flat on top. Then flip it and make the other side parallel to the top. If you want more details I can probably google up a link for you.
JP
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Hi
1m x 150 - you mean 1m x 1.5m?
A No. 5 is a a bit short for this, but not too bad. If you can only have one plane then a jack is the best to have.
It's not rocket science. Keep planing down the high spots - you find these by sighting along the length of the board. If there's a hump in the middle, plane the hump. If the middle is low, bring the ends down to match (There are good reasons for starting with the side that has the hump in the middle.) Plane the first face until it looks flat - flip it over onto your benchtop or check it with a staight-edge. You should back off your cutter as you approach a flat surface. Take a shaving the full length of the board and you're there. Wider boards are trickier, but then your first strokes were diagonal to the long axis, right?
Once you've got a flat face you mark the thickness with a marking gauge and then start working on the highest spots on the opposite face.
The sequence can vary... joint one edge, then one face or joint one face and one edge. 2 flat faces and one edge at 90 is the goal. Keep your try square handy.
5-10 minutes is a long time if you keep your plane moving. I've never used a stopwatch, but 1.5m (approx 5 ft) is quite doable in 5 mins in most woods.
Cheers
PeteD wrote:

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Apologies for the ambiguity.
1metre long x 150mm wide. 6 inches when I grew up (England), you guys in the US still use inches. We actually use both at times which is a terrible habit but some things just come into my head in inches. I digress.
I'm just experimenting with making wider boards and then furniture with hand tools only.
thanks Pete.
drifwood wrote:

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Get a small thickness planer and run the board through on a carrier, then flip it and run normally. The hand planer is a great tool but it's hard to make passes that match. I always get ridges, but it's a start. Life is short and small planers are really cheap now. Think second hand, if necessary. Wilson
Apologies for the ambiguity.
1metre long x 150mm wide. 6 inches when I grew up (England), you guys in the US still use inches. We actually use both at times which is a terrible habit but some things just come into my head in inches. I digress.
I'm just experimenting with making wider boards and then furniture with hand tools only.
thanks Pete.
drifwood wrote:

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I've flattened a fair number of boards by hand before I got my 8" jointer. I also took a week long course with Rob Cosman summer 2005 and made several 6 sided boards completely by hand.
As a general rule people who say 5-10 minutes to flat from rough stock on a board that large are liars. It's taken me 30 minutes on a few occassions to get ALL the rock out. I would say in 10 minutes you could get most boards without twist flat enough on ONE side to put through a planer.
Rob's criteria was NO rocking at all. THAT can take a while.
Flipping the board and burnishing the high spots on the bench helps identify them.
Alan wearing asbestos!
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Hi
No need for the asbestos panties just yet. I'm still not clear on the size of the board, or the species of wood involved. Also, there's a question of how flat is flat. Jointing boards that will be glued up to form a tabletop which will then need to be levelled is different from planing a shelf that will go directly to finishing. Also, in my mind 5-10 minutes would be for *one face* of fairly mild grain.
I'm curious myself about how long it takes to joint a board of a certain size. I have some rough American white oak boards that I need to dress for a project I'm about to start. The stock is 8/4 (50mm) and approx 5" (250mm) wide. The longest piece will be about 3' 6" ( 1.07m). I'm building a stand for a 2' (60cm) grinding wheel FWIW.
My planing sequence is as follows: scrubbing with iron jackplane set fairly coarse; jointing with a 24" wooden jointer; final dressing with the same jackplane set fine.
I'll go and dress all 4 sides of the 2 long pieces I need. I will note my times on each of the four faces and I will report back truthfully what my times were. If anyone else wants to repeat the experiment, I'd be curious to hear their results.
Later ppls
arw01 wrote:

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[snip] >... American white oak boards that I need

HI
If I ever challenge myself to a planing time trial again it will be in winter and it won't be oak - whew!
I did not dress 4 sides. I bailed out and hit the shower after planing the first face and one edge of each board. I'll go back at it after it cools down a bit.
I brought a clock with a second hand down to my basement shop. I made a timesheet and recorded start and finish times. I took breaks which are not included in the times. I *did* include the time it took to re-adjust the wooden jointer on the first board. I tested with a 60" straight-edge. I quit when the straight-edge didn't rock when placed lengthwise or diagonally.
I planed the first face of the first board in 8 minutes. The stock was quite straight - just average cupping. . Planing the edge was about 90 seconds.
The second board was more challenging. It's from the same plank, but the grain runs from both ends to the middle, creating quite a bend. I had to remove a lot more material and had some tear-out along the way. Took 20 minutes. Same 90 seconds for the edge.
Planing the second faces will take a bit longer because it I'll need to check for parallel as well as flatness.
So, 5-10 minutes a face was quite optimistic. White oak is pretty high on the hardness scale, though, and cutters have to be set quite fine.
I'd still like to know what others' experiences are.
Cheers
drifwood
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PeteD wrote:

A good tool (the best?) for the rough part is a scrub plane: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pQ871&cat=1,41182,48944 http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/readarticle.pl?dir=handtools&file=articles_559.shtml
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Try a look at my web site - Planing Notes - Fundamentals.

I think this is only feasible if you can form cambers on the cutters. There was an article in Fine Woodworking maybe a year or so ago that described its use on wide surfaces.

You will need to form a true face before thicknessing, otherwise any twist will be reproduced.

Reportedly not. Said usually to only be useful for planing door edges and suchlike.
Jeff G
--
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
email : Username is amgron
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Jeff Gorman wrote:

The problem with a hand planer IMO is that it's a stock removal tool, not a flattening tool--it will follow a warped surface the same way that a thickness planer will.

It's something of a "rig" but you can make a sled that supports the piece in the twisted condition. May have to make multiple passes though--if the twist is severe it may get part way through and reach a point that the drive rollers don't have enough contact to keep moving it. Remember to turn the planer _off_ before messing with it when that happens. The result won't be perfect unless you're _very_ careful in the sled construction but it may be "good enough"
For pieces 1m x 150 (mm on the last I presume) the little Delta bench jointer will work fine (it will actually work for surprisingly large pieces if you're careful about support) and it's not horribly expensive.

--
--John
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Dave
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