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Thread: How to plane/flatten large live edge boards bigger than 20"

  1. #1

    How to plane/flatten large live edge boards bigger than 20"

    Hey there,

    I am about to tackle a big project. A customer wants a live edge maple table 96" long by roughly 44" wide. I have a very large slab (4" thick x 24" wide x 100" long) that I plan on taking to the local mill to have it bookmatched, bringing the thickness down to around 2" for each board. My only concern is how will I get it completely flat and level as a finished surface for a dining table. I have a 20" board planer which is not wide enough (I will not be cutting off any edges on the slabs, keeping the live edge profile on both edges of each slab). Any suggestions? I have a 3 1/2" electric hand planer but I'm afraid I'll end up doing more damage than good with it trying to flatten out the surfaces. Possibly build a sleigh for a router?

    Any tips or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

    Sam
    The Naked Edge Table Company


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    4,012
    Best bet would be router. Your bridge is going to have to be pretty rugged at that span but it's doable.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,898
    Is there a local shop with a wide belt sander?
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Posts
    5,021
    I would build a router sleigh...in fact I did: http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...led&highlight=

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Mooney View Post
    Is there a local shop with a wide belt sander?
    I've done exactly this a bunch of times. It's easiest by far, and has saved me much more than the half hour and $20 it usually takes.

  6. #6

    How to plane/flatten large live edge boards bigger than 20"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Haugen View Post
    I've done exactly this a bunch of times. It's easiest by far, and has saved me much more than the half hour and $20 it usually takes.
    I'm looking into that now. Thanks guys


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oliver Springs, TN
    Posts
    1,726
    Here's a sled I built to flatten a slab of walnut

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ild&highlight=

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    A friend recently built himself a large natural edge counter from a slab I sold him. We got advice from Tod and he then sawed off the natural edge and had the counter planed and sanded at a cabinet shop. The edge was later glued back on undamaged.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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