Reply by Andybb

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Posted on Benchtop Planer for limited use

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2941 posts in 1520 days

#1 posted 04-16-2019 03:43 AM

I m new to this – isn t the planer going to flatten the boards?

- htims05

Just my 2 cents but thinking out loud …but (as is always the case) this is going to be harder than you think.

You need a jointer or a sled (check forums or youtube for sled designs) for the planer to get them flat as one side has to be first jointed flat before you run it through the planer. The planer rollers will flatten those boards and the cup will still be there when they come out. You have a better shot if they are 6” wide.

Don’t know where you live but is there a woodworking club close by with people to advise you and machines you can use or a mill that will do it for you?

Assuming you diligently check for nails and have a way to insure there are none…... God only knows haw many random nails, spikes, staples or bullets have made themselves at home in those boards over 100 years.
1. Unless you want to spend a few hundred more most bench top planers are 12” so you’re going to need to rip them down which is probably fine as you’re going to want fresh edges on them. Look for a used one and buy an extra set of knives.
2. You’re going to need a wide jointer or a sled for the planer to get both sides flat. Otherwise you need a good long (smoothing/jointing?) hand plane and that’s a whole lotta work. You might need to do like Kirk and rip them to 6” if you find a jointer as anything over 6” gets spendy. Plus you’re gonna have to build some type of jig to joint an 8’ long board.
3. If they are 1” now they will be closer to 3/4” by the time you’re done, especially if there is any cupping at all.
4. Plan on some kind of support structure for part of the base as 8’ is a long run for a 3/4” thick table.
5. Also think about some type of thicker edging to make it appear to be 2” thick.

The table is just going to be multipurpose so not trying to be a perfectionist here.
- htims05

Granted but you still want it to be flat I’d imagine. If it really doesn’t have to be pretty the “hack solution” would be to attach a 4×8 sheet of plywood to the underside using glue and screws. :-)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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