Before the wonder of powered rotating blades,
how did woodworkers do the equivalent of
milling the face of a board with a jointer and
planing to a uniform thickness with a thickness planer ?
I've thunk and thunk till my thunker was sore,
and I just can't figure how you could do it.
But there must be a way, right ?
'Course, I'd just use the big power tools,
because I love using big power tools. :-)
Dennis M. O'Connor firstname.lastname@example.org
But there's no woodworking function for
Rough to thickness with a scrub plane, smooth with a smoother, use gauges to
set thickness, use winding sticks to take out twist, maybe a cabinet scraper
for the final finish.
What I wonder is how people finish big table top glue-ups without all of the
above? I just finished a yellow pine table top, 36" wide by 76" long by
1.5" thick. I power planed and jointed to do the glue up, then did all of
the finishing using hand planes and scrapers. Since I only have a 6"
jointer and the boards were 12" wide, I couldn't use power tools to get the
faces parallel, and I have a fair bit of hand-planing to do to get everying
smooth, twist free and parallel. The top weighed over 100 pounds - I really
wanted a big sander at a few points!
I learned how to do this from Jim Kingshott's video "Bench Planes"
1. Plane the face side flat, checking with straightedge and winding
2. Plane the face edge perpendicular to the face side, checking with a
3. Use a marking gage to layout the thickness using the face side as
4. Plane the second face to the marking gage line. It is now parallel
to the face side.
5. Use a panel gage (a marking gage with a long fence) to mark the
6. Plane the second edge to the marks. It is now parallel to the face
7. Plane one end to just cleanup in a shooting board using the face
edge as reference.
8. Measure the length and mark across the face using a square against
the face edge.
9. Plane the other end to length in the shooting board. All six
surfaces of the board are now prepped.
Other woodworkers change the order around, but note the similarities
to power woodworking: The jointer makes a flat face then the planer
makes the other face parallel to the first. The jointer makes a
square edge, then the tablesaw makes the other edge parallel to the
first. The chopsaw makes the ends square by referencing off the
: I'm curious:
: Before the wonder of powered rotating blades,
: how did woodworkers do the equivalent of
: milling the face of a board with a jointer and
: planing to a uniform thickness with a thickness planer ?
: I've thunk and thunk till my thunker was sore,
: and I just can't figure how you could do it.
: But there must be a way, right ?
Dennis might like to try my web site - Planing Notes - Fundamentals'
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email address is username@ISP
username is amgron
ISP is clara.co.uk
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