I'm building a torsion box with plywood strips for sides and ribs. A
friend suggested I clamp several strips together and run them through
the planer once on each side to guarantee uniform width (being very
careful that the clamps are well below the top surface).
Then I read in Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking not to run plywood edges
across the jointer since the glue would put nicks in the blade. Would
not the same would be true of the planer? IOW, even though my friend's
idea might be good theoretically, it may toast my planer blades.
Can anyone confirm or deny the wisdom of this idea?
I wouldn't run them through the planer. Planer blades and jointer blades
are the same type of steel. Ask me how I know that plywood will nick a new
set of Freud planer blades (the more plies, the more nicks).
You could keep a set of "old" blades around for the purpose.
When I built torsion box, I first cut full-length (8 foot) strips slightly
oversized on the table saw. After I cut them to length, I ran them through the
tablesaw a second time, to design width.
I did find that I needed to be very careful when cutting the long strips.
Making perfectly straight cuts that long does take some care.
artg AT eclipse remove-this DOT net
I can't see any reason to run the risk of putting clamps through your planer
when there are safer methods that would give equal or better results.
1. Rip rough widths
2. Cut to rough length
3. Plane 1 edge on each strip either on router table or on planer with old
4. Finish width cuts on tablesaw with good 60 tooth blade and fingerboards
to keep pieces snug to fence. Use pointy pushsticks (see below) to keep
strips moving flat on saw.
5. Cut finish lengths.
6. Don't overthink it - it's just a torsion box.
Pointy pushsticks: spin a 6d finish nail into the end of a 1" dowel maybe
10" in length. Sand the business end of the dowel to a point on disc sander
so it looks like a jumbo pencil with a wire nail point. Round the back end
of the dowel a bit so it's easy on the palms. Keep em sharp and pointy and
they won't slip. Soft wire nail will cut if it hits the blade.
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