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Forum topic by htims05 posted 04-15-2019 01:12 AM 561 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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htims05

6 posts in 8 days


04-15-2019 01:12 AM

Hi,
I’m going to build a large table – 8ft by 42” – I have a bunch of old oak barn wood that I pulled off an old barn from my property (it is half fallen down). They are rough cut, 1” thick by 12.5” wide probably 50 – 100 years old. The table is just going to be multipurpose so not trying to be a perfectionist here.

What would you recommend for something to plane these down to the same thickness – they are pretty flat and very little cupping or twisting.

I was looking at the Dewalt 734 or the Rigid R4331. I’m not sure if these are more than I need or if I need something better.

Any advice is welcomed – I’m not a woodworker but am capable of building and finishing simple items and overall generally handy.


22 replies so far

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BlasterStumps

1271 posts in 770 days


#1 posted 04-15-2019 01:43 AM

The barn wood may not be the cleanest. I personally would not put wood like that thru my planer. I’m not fond of resharpening the knives and having to reset them.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

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Kirk650

618 posts in 1079 days


#2 posted 04-15-2019 01:53 AM

If you have to put those boards through a planer, my first step has always been to run a belt sander over the surface. Then hold it up to the light and the heads of any nails will have been shined up so you can see them and remove them. I used to plane a bunch of reclaimed cypress from demolished houses. They were full of nails, pins, tacks, and I never once ruined a planer blade. Metal detector wands didn’t work too well on that wood.

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Woodknack

12729 posts in 2711 days


#3 posted 04-15-2019 04:23 AM

To answer the question, any planer will work that is working and set up properly. I would be inclined to look for a used planer in good condition. Expect to lose a couple inches off each end. Guys above make good points.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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SMP

610 posts in 236 days


#4 posted 04-15-2019 05:05 AM

How far off are they?

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htims05

6 posts in 8 days


#5 posted 04-15-2019 11:35 PM



How far off are they?

- SMP

They aren’t bad in terms of cupping, they aren’t noticeably twisted. Mostly what I’m looking to do is thickness them and remove some of the raised ridges on the faces due to the unevenness of the shrinking around the grain.

View cjfarmer's profile

cjfarmer

78 posts in 44 days


#6 posted 04-16-2019 12:20 AM

All i can say is an echo. Look look look for anything that aint wood. My oldest brother bought a jointer that the previous owner used to cut a hunk of steel imbedded in a board. Not only tore up the knives but knocked a hunk out of the cast iron table.nothing good happens cutting screws nails or staples. Be kind to whichever planer u choose.

-- Who is we and where is here? - bullwinkle

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OSU55

2207 posts in 2320 days


#7 posted 04-16-2019 12:31 AM

All good points on metal in the wood. I’d certainly look around for a used planer.

Something to think about – getting them flat wont take the same amount of weathered wood from the surface, so you will end up with texture/color differences in a surface. If you wanted a “clean” surface, by the time you surface them, glue them into a panel, and flatten the panel, you may be less than 3/4”. Remove as little as possible before glue up, then flattening/cleaning up may leave enough thickness.

How do you plan to flatten the glued up table top?

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htims05

6 posts in 8 days


#8 posted 04-16-2019 01:29 AM


How do you plan to flatten the glued up table top?

- OSU55

I’m new to this – isn’t the planer going to flatten the boards?

View MikeDilday's profile

MikeDilday

189 posts in 790 days


#9 posted 04-16-2019 02:07 AM

I have a handheld metal detector that I use on reclaimed lumber before planing. As previously mentioned I would be very careful putting any kind of reclaimed lumber thru a planer or jointer. A Dewalt planer would probably do a good job and they can be had for around $200 used.

-- Michael Dilday, Suffolk, Va.

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Kirk650

618 posts in 1079 days


#10 posted 04-16-2019 02:42 AM

That reclaimed cypress I mentioned earlier had to be tablesaw cut to 6 inch widths, cleaned of metal, then jointed and planed before I could use it. Then I cut it to 1 1/2 inch widths and face glued them for the table top. The wood probably dated to 1900 or before, but underneath the weathered exterior was good looking cypress. It was a lot of work. With weathered Oak, I’d probably rip it to jointer width, clean it up, joint it, plane it, and build with it. I’d lose the weathered look, but that’s my preference.

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Andybb

1856 posts in 934 days


#11 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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Andybb

1856 posts in 934 days


#12 posted 04-16-2019 05:16 AM


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. :-)
- Andybb

And then put a 2” trim around the outside.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2207 posts in 2320 days


#13 posted 04-16-2019 12:08 PM


How do you plan to flatten the glued up table top?

- OSU55

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

- htims05


Yes, but the glued up panel will not be. I agree it’s a bigger project than you are thinking it is. A “hack” solution will be much easier. Just leave the wood as is and screw to plywood from underneath (dont glue so the wood can move) or similar to a picnic table without gaps.

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htims05

6 posts in 8 days


#14 posted 04-16-2019 02:24 PM


How do you plan to flatten the glued up table top?

- OSU55

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

- htims05

Yes, but the glued up panel will not be. I agree it’s a bigger project than you are thinking it is. A “hack” solution will be much easier. Just leave the wood as is and screw to plywood from underneath (dont glue so the wood can move) or similar to a picnic table without gaps.

- OSU55

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. :-)
- Andybb

And then put a 2” trim around the outside.

- Andybb

This hack solution might be good enough and keep me from buying a planer when I’ll likely only use it once – for this…and I don’t have a jointer and likewise wouldn’t go through the expense to buy one for this. I’m looking for a local shop or community college or mill that might do this surfacing for me but I’m not finding much.

That said if I hacked this, and used a sheet of ply as the tabletop could I get “close enough” in that the boards don’t have 1/2” gaps between them on the edges and then use a belt sander to get it moderately flat.

Thinking I could rip them down to 6, 8, 10 inches to clean the edges so they butt up nice, screw to a plywood underlayment, and then belt sand to take any of the cupping out?

As I type this it sure sounds like a hack and may end up like crap as a non-woodworker.

The table’s use will have a computer on it so the mouse would need to be able to run smoothly – I’m planning on finishing it to help with that – the kitchen table I finished came out well (granted I just re-finished it).

View Jidis's profile

Jidis

16 posts in 395 days


#15 posted 04-16-2019 02:38 PM

- and try to alternate the growth rings from board to board, so if they do move some later they’ll sort of cancel each other out and it won’t all be in the same direction

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