preparing stock without jointer

Hello. I am a newbie woodworker and have been lurking around this group for awhile. I am currently building my first workbench out of SYP and I want to prepare the stock properly. I have read that I must first flatten one face on a jointer, run it through the planer, joint one edge back on the jointer, and then rip the stock on the TS. Problem is I don't own a jointer and I don't know how to flatten a face of a board without one. I have neither the tools nor the time to hand plane each board, but I do have a Ryobi Ap1300 planer. I have heard about sleds and other methods that can be used to flatten a board with a planer. Does anyone know some simple and repeatable methods to flatten a board only using a planer? I would also appreciate any comments from those of you who own this Ryboi planer, as I have not made up my mind to keep it yet.
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I havn't tried to face joint a rough board with a sled and a planer, but I know it can be done.
One suggestion would be to have the mill where you buy your stock to flatten one face and joint one edge. You could then do the rest. Or, if you don't buy from a mill, maybe you can find someone who lives near you to help.
Also, some high schools with woodworking shops will rent out time on their equipment. Maybe you could rent a couple hours with their jointer.
Frank
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If you have a router table you can joint with that. Set the outfeed side of your fence level with the straight bit, and the infeed side about a 1/16 of an inch inside the cutter. depending how off the wood is, one pass usually does it.
Dave

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On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 17:15:31 GMT, David Babcock wrote:

This will only do an edge, not a face.
Shawn
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As was mentioned, you can do it by attaching it to a sled and running it through the planer. The sled is just a flat board that serves as a surface for the planer to register against. You would attach the SYP to the top of the sled and pass it through. I'm not sure the standard method of attaching the board to the sled. Once you had one flat surface, you would ditch the sled and run the other side through. My guess is that doing this several times will make you pine (pun intended) for a jointer. You next problem is getting a straight edge. You can use a similar technique on a table saw by first attaching the board to another board with a straight edge and using that against the fence to rip a straight edge.
hth,
todd
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Patrick wrote...

Make a sled from 3/4" sheet stock (melamine is good), as long as your longest board, plus two inches or so, and as wide as your planer's capacity. At one end, fasten a thin stop. Use countersunk flat head screws and attach the stop to the face of the sled, not into the edge. Make the stop an inch wide or so, and as long as the width of the sled. It should be slightly thinner than the thinnest finished dimension of the stock you will be flattening -- you don't want the planer knives to ever hit a screw.
Place the warped board on the sled, butted against the fence. Use shims every 4-8" to fill all gaps between the board and the sled. Use masking or packing tape to hold the shims to the sled. Make sure the shims do not extend past the edges of the sled. Feed the sled with the board on it into the planer, fence first. Take light (1/64"-1/32") cuts.
When one side of the board is flat, take it off the sled and plane the other side.
You can't really joint a board effectively on the planer. While it is theoretically possible for boards narrower than the the vertical capacity of the planer, there are other ways to get fairly good results.
Again, you need a sled made of sheet stock. This one is a ripping sled for the table saw. There are plenty of workable designs, but the elements are the same: (1) a flat bed that has a straight edge which rides on the table saw's fence, and (2) a means of clamping a crooked board to the bed so that the board's crooked edge overhangs the bed toward the blade. Toggle clamps work very well, and can be had for a few dollars apiece from Harbor Freight. The sled is more versatile if a means to adjust the lateral position of the clamps is included.
Cheers!
Jim
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wrote:

First of all, this is a workbench top. You may wish to rip the material down into narrow strips, joint it back together, and then flatten the top afterwards. This will give you a more stable top against warpage than using wide boards.
My own bench is 2" thick oak, made from a couple of 12" wide boards. However I ripped them into 3" and 4" strips and re-assembled.
How to prepare stock with a thickness planer alone is a common issue. Like many people, I have both, but my jointer is only narrow. It's very easy to simply prepare stock with the thicknesser alone - the difficulty is that it won't work on some boards. If your stock is untwisted, then just thickness it, then turn it over. A thicknesser will happily deal with cupped or wedged boards. For minor twist (or large cupping) then some hand plane work (electric planes are good here) will reduce the thicknesser time.
Bowed boards are tricky. You can thickness them and end up with a flat board, but you need long tables, good technique (don't let the boards droop) and don't try to take a huge cut in one go. As for bad cupping, any excess cut will tend to "iron" the board flat with sheer pressure - but it springs back straight afterwards.
A good test is to put a steel rule across your machined surfaces and check them for flatness after you cut them.
NB - do this on the _outfeed_ side of the machine ! Thicknessers don't appreciate an infeed board with the ruler (or pencils) left on top.
If you have a jointer to joint the edges, then fine. If you don't, then just rip on the TS (you might need to hand-prepare the opposing edge enough to act as a guide), reverse the board and use the ripped edge as the guide to rip the other. A well adjusted TS should give you an edge adequate for glue-up, with just a little handplane cleanup for smoothing. The edge should already be square, which is often the hardest part.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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Thanks for the advice gents. These are all good ideas. I am a Marine and do have access to a woodworking shop at a nearby base, however the hours are screwy and they are only open certain days, so it has been a PITA to find time to go over there and use their equipment. I also don't want to have to travel back and forth every time I need to plane or joint lumber. I ripped down the stock for the top and legs from 2x8 lumber into 3 1/2 x 62" pieces and it has been sitting there for a couple weeks because I haven't been able to get over to the base shop. The sled idea sounds good, but shimming each board sounds tedious. What about devising a method to clamp the boards to the sled without letting the clamps interfere with the cutter head? Perhaps some shallow clamps on the edges of the boards? Hopefully I will be able to afford a jointer soon.
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Patrick wrote...

No problem.

Thank you.

It can be, if he boards are really warped and you have a lot of them. OTOH, it goes pretty fast once you get started.

Maybe, but I think probably not. The pressure on the board from the planer's rollers is substantial. That's why the planer won't flatten a board; the rollers squish the board flat and it springs back when it comes out. You need some sure way to prevent the board from deforming while it is being surfaced.

That's the ticket.
Cheers!
Jim
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Patrick wrote:

Check out Ken Vaughn's site. His taper jig or a modification of it would easily give you a glueline cut with a good blade in your TS.
http://home.earthlink.net/~kvaughn65/taper_sled.jpg
Check the rest of his site too, it's great!
HTH, Scott
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As a fellow new woodworker, I'm in a similar delima, but I am resisting the need to purchase either a planer or a jointer at the moment.
I use a handplane resonably tuned to flatten out the rough cut edge. Then I handplane the face of the board till it feels pretty smooth. Maybe a bit off still, but doesn't rock any more on the table saw top. Then I check my squareness, if I'm way off I will plane it a couple more trips. Then I run the board with the planed side on the table and the planed edge against my fence of the tablesaw. I have a woodworker II and the cuts are as nice as the plane in the purple heart I am working on this week.
That pretty much takes care of one face and one edge. Then I run that edge against the fence and cut the rough side of the edge. At this point I can usually get a pretty tough to see glue line.
I'm no speed demon, but getting quicker at it.
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Pat, you need a straight 4x4 as long or longer than your stock.You can plane the 4x4 straight if you need to, it won't bend from the feed roller pressure. Counter bore a hole at least 3/4" deep at either end and screw the stock to the 4x4. The stock is placed with the cup up, if the stock does not flatten to the 4x4 then discard it, it is too cupped to begin with. Run the 4x4 carrier with the stock thru the planer taking light cuts. You will wind up with one side flat. After planing all the boards on the carrier, you can turn them over and plane the rest without the carrier. You can plane the edge also by running the 2x material edge wise. If there is a bow on the edge, saw the bow out on a table saw using a straight edge,then run thru planer. mike
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