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Planing Boards With Large Voids

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Forum topic by FamilyMentors posted 12-16-2020 01:50 AM 563 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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FamilyMentors

11 posts in 967 days


12-16-2020 01:50 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planing voids safety technique

I have several sections of walnut with large voids I’d like to use as frames for nature photos. Asking if it is safe to run these through the planer, and f so, what methods should I use.

Two of tge voids are closed (just big hole in middle of the boards). Two are open on one edge — gap on open edge is between one and four inches depending on the board.

Thanks!


17 replies so far

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Bstrom

306 posts in 179 days


#1 posted 12-16-2020 05:24 AM

Got a photo to show us? I’ve planed Cedar with rather long skinny voids and splitting areas without issue. If it doesn’t look like it will splinter apart I’d imagine it’s safe. Lot of variables…

-- Bstrom

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AlaskaGuy

6395 posts in 3315 days


#2 posted 12-16-2020 05:50 AM

+1 for a photo.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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FamilyMentors

11 posts in 967 days


#3 posted 12-16-2020 07:39 PM


Got a photo to show us?

Here’s a picture of the boards.

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Sycamoray

55 posts in 247 days


#4 posted 12-16-2020 07:47 PM

Please don’t run those through powered machinery. Try handplanes which don’t create missiles.

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Davevand

244 posts in 1842 days


#5 posted 12-16-2020 08:01 PM

Definitely would not run those thru my planer, but I would run thru a drum sander.

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corelz125

2353 posts in 1982 days


#6 posted 12-16-2020 10:57 PM

If they are just picture frames you want them the same thickness or just smooth?

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FamilyMentors

11 posts in 967 days


#7 posted 12-16-2020 11:49 PM



If they are just picture frames you want them the same thickness or just smooth?

- corelz125

They’re 4/4 and I need to take them down to about 3/4. May have to go with a plan B. I have a Stanley #4 smoother. Maybe I could do it by hand. Drum sander is not an option.

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BurlyBob

8472 posts in 3272 days


#8 posted 12-17-2020 12:11 AM

I agree, don’t use a planer. I kind of get where your headed and those pieces need to be processed carefully to achieve what your trying to do. I also agree that a drum sander might be the best way to go. Time consuming,but using light passes, you’ll get there.

When you get done you have got to post the results. I bet they will be amazing.

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Foghorn

1028 posts in 393 days


#9 posted 12-17-2020 12:52 AM

Very cool looking wood but those are way beyond voids. You’ve already been given the best info IMO.

-- Darrel

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Loren

11008 posts in 4654 days


#10 posted 12-17-2020 01:02 AM

I would consider “celebrating” the saw marks rather than messing around with trying to make polished looking surfaces. Test some varnish on the lightly sanded wood and you may find you like the way it looks.

Try to plane one if you want. Stand clear and let us know what happens. I don’t really expect an explosion of splinters or a busted planer but I just don’t know. I have planed parts with another part glued on taht wasn’t the same length so it’s possible the planer might handle it without a fuss.

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corelz125

2353 posts in 1982 days


#11 posted 12-17-2020 01:12 AM

The #4 would work pretty good in this case. The boards aren’t very wide or long

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pottz

14714 posts in 1990 days


#12 posted 12-17-2020 01:57 AM

yeah a drum sander would be ideal,if you have one.some of the “voids” are bigger than the whole board.id just hand sand them smooth id thats what you want.please post pid’s of the finished project.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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oldnovice

7700 posts in 4374 days


#13 posted 12-17-2020 02:00 AM

Those are not voids, those are avoids with a planer!

Why not cut out/off what you want and then plane it?

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

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Mike_D_S

679 posts in 3221 days


#14 posted 12-22-2020 07:15 PM

While in general, I think that trying to plane these whole is really likely to be a problem, but with a little ingenuity you could probably plane them in pieces. If I HAD to plane them, I’d cut them into smaller pieces in a way that they could be glued back together with minimal impact on the overall look.

Take the piece on the left with the large open void. Planing that as a single piece is basically asking for it to self destruct in the planer. However, use a thin kerf blade and cut from the end to the points of the void on the top and bottom and you get one long irregular piece from the one side and two small semi-triangular pieces from the void side.

I’d have a lot less stress planing the smaller pieces and when I had them to the desired thickness I’d just glue the back together. the joint would not be that noticeable lined up with the void tips and you’d preserve the main part of the character of the piece.

Take your time and make light passes wide end to narrow end and I’m not sure I would have too much heartburn trying to plane them as smaller pieces.

Wit that being said, its not obvious from the pictures how splintered the sharp ends of the voids are, so you need to take into account any potential for big chunks or major splits to be caught and ejected. Also, this is a case where a helical head planer probably would be preferrable if you had the choice.

Doing this with a hand plane is definitely an option, but the width of some of those pieces are going to make for careful plane work to keep the surface flat.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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Mike_D_S

679 posts in 3221 days


#15 posted 12-22-2020 07:19 PM

One more comment, I might also use a 1/2 MDF sled for the smaller pieces and put screws into the side that will be the back to make sure they stay nice and steady going through the planer.

Since it really doesn’t matter if the back has some small screw holes and you can just lightly sand the back to smooth it out, mechanical fixation during planing could help keep any potential rolling action out of the picture.

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

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