What's the easiest method to face plane a 11 inch board if my jointer is
8 inches? Taking the guard off and doing half a side at a time just
seems too dangerous. I do have a 15 inch planner but I assume that I
can't use it first as I don't have a referenced side.
You'll have to take the guard off if you want to attempt it with the board
in one piece.
1) First of all if the board has much of a warp you'll have trouble getting
2) Don't try for perfection, your goal is to get one face flat enought
(maybe marginally) to allow it to be down-side when you run it through the
surface planer. You might actually have some unplaned surface when you
reach the point where you can go to the surface planer.
Trick is set your fence so there will be a small amout of overlap - about
1/4" is enough. Set your table for very minimal cut - 1/64" to 1/32". All
of your planing will be done on one side and if one edge of the board is
more out of shape, start with that one against the fence. After first pass,
alternate with the other side against the fence and vice-versa for a few
passes. AGAIN - you cannot achieve perfection and you are likely to have
some unplaned areas when you reach a point where the board is flat enough to
place your planed surface down on the surface planer. Get the opposite side
planed then flip it over and finish the side you started on the jointer.
If you find yourself eating away too much of the board on the jointer,
chances are it was to warped to start with.
As far as operation with the guard off, a lot of paranoia will get you
through this. Actually with the wider board the entire table is covered.
Just use your push blocks and be aware of where the knives and your pinkies
are. Also, with the minimal cutting depth, there is less tendency for a
winding sticks are for judging the twist in a board. just a couple of
straight sticks a foot or two long. balance one on each end of a board
and sight 'em. then use the jointer or a scrub plane or whatever to
take the high points.
BTW - if your board is in reasonably good shape (ie. not much warp) you
might try surfacing one side in your planer instead of the jointer. Again,
you want to take very small bites. If you have a trusted flat surface
(floor, benchtop, etc) check against it by laying the planed surface face
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