Planing short boards

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Forum topic by jayscott posted 05-08-2012 12:59 PM 6975 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 2768 days

05-08-2012 12:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer short boards

I recently was given some flooring samples, all 9 or 10” long with tongue and groove edging. Nice wood – oak, teak, and Santa Maria but the back has the 1/8” deep grooves typical of flooring. I want to run them through a planer to remove the grooves but the boards are too short to be safe.

I was thinking of putting two boards side by side, with the ends staggered, and add more boards to build up a longer board that should go through the planer with no problem. I’d also put glue in the tongue and groove to hold the assembly together.

Is this a good idea or am I going in the wrong, and possibly unsafe direction?

Thanks for your help,

25 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3878 days

#1 posted 05-08-2012 01:05 PM

I would tack a couple of longer pieces to the sides of the boards and then run them through the planer. Something like a 1×1 about 12-14” long should be enough to stabilize it and will also keep the snipe, if any, on the sticks and not the work piece

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their [email protected]

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 3897 days

#2 posted 05-08-2012 01:18 PM

You could build a sled to hold the pieces.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View jayscott's profile


19 posts in 2768 days

#3 posted 05-08-2012 01:39 PM

MedicKen, I have thought about gluing longer boards to the sides of the short boards but I have around 75 flooring boards so that would be a lot of gluing. Your suggestion of gluing a long board to each side of the “assembly” would make sense.

Wayne, I’ve searched for ideas for a sled and get differing opinions on how the boards are attached to the sled. Some don’t seem to attach the shorts to the sled but double sided tape is most often mentioned. This link is commonly referred to but few have stated that it is a good idea or that it is safe.

If I glue up the individual boards and tape (thin tape) them to a sheet of plywood, I hope it will work.

Appreciate the advice,

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2903 days

#4 posted 05-08-2012 02:43 PM

My method, for better or worse, has been to fit a number of pieces of T&G together and either use double sided tape to stick them to a piece of luaun or pin nail them to the luaun from the backside in a couple of strategic places on the ends where you can later cut the pieces with nail off and not lose much.

Again, this is only my method. Your Mileage may vary. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. Professional driver on closed course. Objects under T-shirt are larger than they appear!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View dhazelton's profile


2838 posts in 2713 days

#5 posted 05-08-2012 03:08 PM

I would think that once you are into the feed rollers you would probably be okay with a sled and the pieces staggered and keyed to each other. Your end pieces can be screwed to the sled if you countersink and set the screws below your final depth.

But do you need them all planed at once to a specific thickness for a project? You could always resaw them on an as-needed basis if you have a band saw, then smooth out on a belt sander. Just another idea….

View DW_PGH's profile


6 posts in 3406 days

#6 posted 05-08-2012 03:25 PM

Hand plane? Running off the tongue and down to the groove would be cake work with a hand plane. It’s as if you’ve already got a built-in mark for to stop – as soon as the tongue and groove are gone, you stop planing.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 3897 days

#7 posted 05-08-2012 03:48 PM

Just take a couple of 2X2s 24 inches long and glue them to a piece of hardboard or MDF about 24 inches long. Glue them apart the width of your flooring boards. Run this sled through the planer until it gets to the thinckness that you want your flooring boards. Glue a stop block at the back between the 2X2s the same thickness as the planed 2X2s (which will be the final thickness of the boards you are are going to plane.) Put the flooring boards between the 2X2s and run it through the planer. If you want you could use a piece of double back tape between the boards to hold the flooring, but I dont think it will be necessary.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View MrRon's profile


5561 posts in 3660 days

#8 posted 05-08-2012 03:52 PM

I would just rip them on the saw.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5949 posts in 3229 days

#9 posted 05-08-2012 04:00 PM

I think the tablesaw would be easier. You could cut off the tongue in one pass. However carpet taping them together and staggering them to make a longer unit to run through the planer would also be a safe alternative.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View jayscott's profile


19 posts in 2768 days

#10 posted 05-08-2012 04:22 PM

dhazelton, I’m going to use the pieces for various scroll saw projects so all I need is to get the grooves off the back of the pieces.

Wayne, I would guess taping short boards onto the sled would be necessary. As I understand it, the front end of short could lift and jam in the planer with resulting loud noises and possibly expensive repairs. Have you run shorts through your planer on the sled you describe without somehow attaching them to the sled?

I’m going to pick up a planer this weekend and will try gluing the shorts boards together with staggered joints and will either tape them to a sled or glue runners along each side for extra strength.

Thanks to everyone who commented.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 3897 days

#11 posted 05-08-2012 04:37 PM


Yes, I have done this all the time. My planer is a Dewalt 735 and I have never had an problems. The pressure roller should hold the piece down. Like I had said earlier you could use the tape if you want to be on the safe side, but I have never had any problems.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2882 days

#12 posted 05-08-2012 07:44 PM

make some 3/4×3/4×48” runners, glue 3 or 4 boards between them (leave about 2 or 3 inches of runner free on the start and end for snipe) and then run through planer. I do this with small boards and it works great.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3368 days

#13 posted 05-08-2012 08:29 PM

I second the vote for hand planes. Normally I have no qualms running wood through a thickness planer, but these shorter pieces just seem like a lot work to prep them, when you can just plane them down with a jack plane in a few seconds.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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2626 posts in 3413 days

#14 posted 05-09-2012 12:03 AM

“Jointer” or table saw.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3106 days

#15 posted 05-09-2012 02:15 AM

I have done this a lot and just butt them end to end and send them through. I’ve never had any problems doing this and don’t see a problem. Am I overlooking something dangerous? Don’t know that it’s important but I use the 3 blade Ridgid planer.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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