I'm needing some more advice on thickness planing. I'm in my early
projects stage after inheriting tools from my father.
My plans call for 1 1/4" boards. When I went to the wood store I found
some poplar (2 1/8" actual size) for $2.70 / board foot. The only
other wood available in poplar was I think 3/4", too thin for what I
need. So I bought 2 boards 8' boards thinking of running them thru the
After a bit of thought on my way home, I realized I'm going to attempt
to plane off 3/4" each board... seems like a lot of planing. So I
located another wood source that quoted me $1.86/board foot and had 6/4
in stock. Grrrrrr.... I regret not further investigating an
My questions are:
1) Am I going to be putting a lot of unneccesary excessive wear on my
Delta 22-540 thickness planer taking that much wood off?
2) Can I realistically get 1 1/4" out of 6/4 lumber should I purchase
If I had something in mind to use the 2+ " lumber I have then I'd hang
on to it for another project. I'm not sure what to do!
Your best bet is to resaw it on a bandsaw. If you don't have a bandsaw,
why not try posting where you are located and see if someone in your
area would be willing to saw the boards for you.
I know that if a fellow woodworker in my area (Pittsburgh, PA) wanted
to stop by with, oh, I don't know, maybe a cold six pack... I'd be more
than happy to cut a few boards.
Thanks guys for the replies. I'll check and see if I can locate a band
saw. I'm in small town Stillwater, OK so if there are any pokes in the
area that would work (get it.. would work!!?) I'd like to hear!
So with that option pending, if I can't find a band saw then would it
be best to use the thickness planer for the whole job or take off a
1/2" or so with the jointer first? Or does it matter?
Thank you!! --Brian
Really depends on whether you'd rather sharpen/replace your jointer blades
or your planer blades.
If it's narrow enough to go on your jointer then flatten one side with the
jointer then plane the other to get the thickness. Take small bites and
slow down as you approach the finished dimension--you'll get a cleaner
surface in my experience several 1/64" passes than with one 1/16.
If you are unable to find a band saw you can try this.
Use your table saw make several passes to cut to the maximum depth of your
saw on both edges. Then set you saw to cut away the waste. This will leave
you with a ridge down the center which can be planed off I have had to do
this several time it is not the best but does work, I would give myself
1/8-1/4" forgiveness room.
No, you can literally do thousands of passes on a decent planer with no
Maybe, depending on how straight, flat and square the boards are and
how much the actual thickness is. Bring a rule and a sharp eye to the
Generally speaking you should try to buy your lumber as close to the
finish dimensions as possible, with just enough extra material to dress
out the invariable cup, twist, crook, etc. It really helps to go to a
hardwood dealer who understands how to properly store wood. ( Big box
home centers are terrible for this )
I would definitely not want to plane down 2 1/8 to 1 1/4 and not just
because of the waste and work. When you remove that much stock from a
piece of wood you run the risk of relieving internal stresses that
might induce twists, cups and crooks into your previously straight,
flat and square wood. When you get down to the dimension you want you
might find the piece unusable. Poplar is pretty stable and might
tolerate this but avoid the whole problem if you can.
The Woodworking Gods will not be pleased if you turn 3/4" of wood into
shavings just to get to some arbitrary thickness. You should buy
something closer to your final thickness, or glue up two thinner
boards, or re-saw to salvage what you can.
"Anything that's worth cuttin' down a tree for
Is worth doin' right; don't the Lord love a two-by-four?" - Guy Clark
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