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Dressing some burnt oak with my new planer/thicknesser

I was given a bundle of strip oak by a friend. He dismantled an old whiskey cask and was going to give it to someone else for burning in their stove! When he told me this my face must have changed colour rapidly or something because he asked quickly if I wanted it instead! Well, not ever wanting to see any hardwood used for burning, I jumped at the chance. There is a range of sizes, all around 450mm (18" or so) long by about 100mm (4") wide and an average of 25mm thick, with around 40 boards in total. The challenge was that I had to think of a way to dress them.



They are all charred to some degree, not sure how, and all curved to form the cask shape. I have in mind one project, which is to make a small workbench for my daughter. She has discovered, at age 2 1/2, that she likes working with Daddy! So for this I needed some flat boards.

I have just taken delivery of my new planer thicknesser, so thought i would put it to the test! I realise that, to some of you, this new toy, I mean tool, will look like an actual toy, with it's size and capacity, but it's still mine all mine! It is a SIP 8"x4" planer/thicknesser, 1500w (about 2hp I think), and the first brand new shop tool I have bought, so I was exited to try it out.



I used the jointer to dress the face that bent upwards (the bottom in the first picture) down to a fine finish, then from here used it to dress the edges. The most challenging part was to put the board through the thicknesser to dress the second face. Because it is so uneven I couldn't put it through as it is, so I decided to hot glue some sacrificial waste timbers to each edge, made from some old softwood stock. This was true square profile so it allowed the rollers to hold the piece flat against the thicknesser table. I hope this makes sense, as I never took any photos to show what I mean. The result was a perfectly flat, square piece of oak, as you can see from the top photo. This is a very long drawn out process, and I'm sure there are other, easier ways. But it makes me happy to know that my new tool works well.
 
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