varnished wood and planing

I've been lurking around here for a while, and am now ready for my first question, please be gentle.
I got given a lot of oak and maple boards from an old library (shelving) - good decent stuff - but it has of course been varnished, lacquered or shellaced or whatever. To get to the real wood can I just plane/thickness it down - or is this coating bad for my knives .. any recommendations are much welcome - check for nails first I know to do
cheers elgine
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
larry wrote:

That is what I've done with a bunch of oak from desks. No signs of planer blade damage, not that I was expecting any.
Consider the alternatives. stripper, sanding, or scraping it. A gallon of good stripper is in the ballpark price of a set of the typical 12" planer disposable blades. Sanding will save some wood but is a lot of work unless you have a drum sander. Scraping first with a cabinet scraper could make followup preperation easier, but one pass in a planer will give you a flat, clean surface for next to zero effort.
-Bruce
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You can strip, scrape, sand, or plane. Planing is the fastest and easiest.
Is it good for your planer cutters? Planing wood isn't good for planer cutters, short of just admiring them once and awhile nothing is good for the cutters. Even then they'll eventually rust. That is why they make them replicable.
The only question you have to ask is whether you'd rather bust your ass stripping varnish or by new cutters a little sooner.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.