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Thread: Hand Planer for thick boards

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Toronto, Ontario Canada
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    Hand Planer for thick boards

    Hi Guys,

    I have had a lot of sugar maple milled and i am waiting until its dry enough to work with. My planks are fairly thick, 20 or so inches. I don;t think i can afford a plainer that will do that thickness but know very little about hand planeing. I took a look at lee valley and they have so many different ones. I am looking for a planer that can plane large boards, can someone recommend one? I have also seen old planers in antique stores for fairly cheap. Do you guys think those would work after the blade is sharpened?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    mike, generally if they are cheap in the antique stores they arent much good, just starting out in the hand planeing world your bitting of a big chunk at one time to plane a 20" wide hard maple..

    it can be done but i would suggest you find someone closer to you and have them run it threw there motorized planer. look up rob keeble he is near you in richmond hill area.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Bellingham
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    I have always liked this video. See...simple no problem at all!

    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
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    I have a lot of wood. I don't mind messing some up to learn. I just need to know what kind of planer to buy.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    I have always liked this video. See...simple no problem at all!

    exactly what i needed. THANKS!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Its doable but I hope you're in shape before you start, cause you sure will be afterwards. I flattened my benchtop which is around 8'x2' with hand planes and it about did me in.

    Lee Valley has a good article that covers the basics (although there is a lot of details that you find along the way as well): http://www.leevalley.com/newsletters...5/article1.htm

    I have found a few gems in antique stores, but at least around here you have to look for a while to find them.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2006
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    Mike, please don't take what I have to the say the wrong way, but buying a hand plane does not a hand planer make. You need to learn to sharpen a blade. I don't know your skills so maybe that is not a problem, but the key to hand planing is actually learning how to sharpen. I am not trying to discourage you, but I just want you to understand it is not like buying a machine with its short learning curve. Hand tools take a commitment because you need to train your hand and eye. There is more technique that needs to be learned compared to using machines.

    That being said as you can see in the video, you need basically three types of planes. A scrub plane which can be a #5 bench plane whose blade is set up with a large camber. Next would be a longer plane, like a #7 or #8. I would suggest a #7 just for ease of pushing it around. And last would be a smoother. In the video he used a scrub and #5, but you can just go from scrubbing to a #7. There is much more to all of this and it can not be answered in one post.

    I hope this helps and I also hope you decide to try the hand tool approach. We are a minority around here and it is getting kind of lonely.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    If your slabs are 20 inches thick, plan on at least 20 years for them to dry. Most people mill to no more than 1 to 3 inches thick for drying. As a rule of thumb air drying is 1 year per inch of thickness, with many exceptions and special cases.

    If you like playing with tools, don't hesitate to look for an antique plane. But recognize that you will probably spend days, or more likely many weeks, refurbishing an old plane. I did that with one I got from my father, only to discover that the sides were not square to the sole - no problem in some uses, but a big issue in others. I now save up to buy a premium plane that does not need to be refurbished - only sharpen the blade. Plan on refining the sharpness of the blade every hour or so of use. Merely razor sharp is a sign that the blades need to be sharpened again.

    If you are going to start with just one good plane, I suggest the Veritas (Lee Valley) Low Angle Jack plane, with multiple blades (3 different angles are available standard)
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Re: Hand Planer for thick boards

    Well said Charlie. I think we not reading what Mike said 20 inch thick. If that is correct you got a long time to learn to plane Mike.

    Mike what are your desires or intentions with regards to this wood. Is this wood you have scored as a result of downed trees from our recent ice storm?

    If u would like to get together pm me and we can make a plan. I am NOT in the skill league of the guys who have replied but i can show u a plane or two and mine are all old ones.
    I have machines but if by chance your view of "thickness" happens to be width and even if not nothing i have can do 20" either way.
    I do know of a lumber mill in Stouffville where they have the machinery and will do "contract" planing at machine rates per hour which would be proportinate and in my view appropriate for your wood. They will want to see it to decide if they will allow it to go through their machines.
    More info or even a picture of your lumber would help get better answers.
    As some have said there is more to it than appears. I can show u first hand how to sharpen and setup an old user plane so there is no lack of willing assistance to help but recognise most of us as reasonably committed either hobbyists or pros would not start out woodworking with the intention of hand milling a slab of your dimensions. Btw what length is this slab or slabs.



    sent from s4
    cheers

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