Hand Plane Square Beam Stock

Hi,
I'm hand planing Maple post/beams from hardwood pallets I get from work. The beams are rough sawn approximately four by four inches. With the rough surface removed the wood is as good as I could get from Woodcraft at fifty bucks a whack.
I have a LN Scrub plane and a Stanley Bailey smoother. I also have a General 650 TS and a Ridgid BS. I don't have a power jointer or a planer.
I'm looking for a method to flatten and square the stock. I have been experimenting using a machinist square (former life) and a straight edge. I expect to figure it out over time but naturally I'd like to hear how someone else would do it with those tool. I also plan to add a LV jointer plane with removable fence to my arsenal.
Does anyone have link to method to dimension this type of stock?
Ta, Mike T.
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Mike,
Are you near Kansas City? I'll run them through the thickness planer for you.
Don Dando

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I'm in New England Don. Thanks anyway!
Mike

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Flatten one face, snap parallel lines on the opposite and bandsaw for square. Neaten and if you have room, bandsaw the final face after scribing for thickness.
Glad I live where hard maple runs a couple bucks a BF tops. Preparing stock by hand is time-consuming.
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I've done this a few times. Watch out for those nails! Sometimes on stapled pallets a small piece of the tip of a fastener will remain embedded in the wood. DAMHIKT.
Anyway, getting a flat face is the first thing. (BTW I believe Garret Hacks plane book IIRC has a section on the traditional method of doing this with planes) With the usual condition of pallet wood, you may not even need to use the scrub, but you should get a jointer plane or at least a jack plane. Knock off obvious high spots with the scrub or smaller plane, it is often advantageous to initially work at about 45 degrees to the grain. It leaves a rough surface but removes wood faster. Use the straight edge to check and repeat until the surface is "more or less" flat.
Switch to the jointer plane, working in normal fasion going with the grain. When you get a full length shaving, the board probably is flat or close to it, it may still be somewhat convex. If so, plane a few strokes in the middle only, then switch to full-length again, checking with the straight edge until the face is acceptably flat.
At this point, you have had a pretty good workout, and if you're like me and the board is not too thick, you will finish squaring it up on the table saw. I use a carrier-board setup to cut the first straight edge perpendicular to the flat face, then run that edge against the fence to square the opposite edge.
This leaves one unflattened face. If the board is narrow enough, about 3" for a 10" table saw, you can just put the flat face against the TS fence and rip it flat. I won't go into the safety aspects here, but if it is more than the 3"+/- cut depth of your saw, you can flip it end for end and cut the rest off, or leave a small strip down the middle that can be easily cut with a hand saw or band saw. It will be relatively easy to hand plane the center ridge that is left.
If you DON'T finish that last face using the TS or some other machine, then you have IMHO the most difficult aspect of completing the job, i.e. planing the remaining face flat AND parallel to the opposite face. This is the part where I wish I had a planer. However, lacking that, use your combo square, or preferably a marking gauge, to scribe guide lines completely around the board, parallel to the already flat face, and start hand planing again. Check very frequently as it is all to easy to end up with a tapered board or have the final face not parallel to the first flat face.
FWIW, I bought a Stanley #7 from ebay for about $50, though it's been probably 7 or 8 years ago. Good luck!
--
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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Mike Tessier wrote:

http://www.amgron.clara.net/planingpoints/planeindex.htm Joe
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Hey guys,
Thanks for the responses.
I've considered using both the BS and the TS to do gross squaring. The Ridgid doesn't have a fence and clamping a board to the table hasn't worked well in the past. The good news is I'm planning on upgrading to a Laguna 16 after tax returns and thats should be a whole nother story. I also considered raising the table saw blade to full height and making a light pass on the fourth side. I'd then use the cut as a datum and finish plane the side then repeat and refine all the sides.
What I think I need is a standard, like Rob Crossman using the workbench in his video to burnish the high spots when flattening a board. I'm thinking of making an inverted knee with the apex on the inside out of MDF - say about eighteen inches long. I could register against a flattened side and slide it back and forth to highlight the out of square high points on the adjacent side. I'll think some more about that.
I'm looking at this planed piece of maple thinking, man I could really make a nice woodworkers bench out of this. I have a sizeable stack in the garage. Most of it is split, nasty, and full of nails, staples, et saw blade wrecking cetera. It will keep its appointment with my woodstove as originally intended. But, I know I'll find eight or nine pieces as nice as the one I've been hacking on in the basement. It should be interesting.
Regards, Mike
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