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How do you Flatten your Boards

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  • #615114
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    How do you Flatten your boards is the question. Well when I started woodworking I didn’t know I had to flatten boards. I thought the planer took care of this. I put a board with cup in through the planer. I would watch it flatten out while going through the planer and come out the other end with cup back.

    With the help of YouTube and Woodworking magazines I learnt we need to flatten our boards. Now I that I have a 6 inch jointer I flatten one side and run it through the planer. It works good for stock up to 6 inches.

    I know you can use a planer sled where you use wedges to get the board from rocking on the sled then secure the board to the sled. I have yet to try this method as I don’t have a sled and seems like it takes alot of time to use this method.

    I just saw a method I am going try for flatting boards over 6 inches. Where you would use a sled or Bed extension on bed of the planer. My planer is 12 1/2 wide so I would use 8 inch x 3/4 melamine roughly 3 feet long. This sled/bed extension would need a stop so gr through the planer. The remaining stock on the board after jointing will run along the sled/bed extension. Once I get the top flat. I will flip the board and flatten the other side. If watch the video I posted at the 8:40 minute mark you will see what I am talking about.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #615116
    JimDaddyO
    Pro
    Wawa, ON

    I use a hand plane on wider boards to get one face flat enough to go through the planer. It does not have to be perfect, just take out any wind, twist, or cupping enough to let the planer do its job. Then put it through the planer to get the other side flat, then flip it and do the face I did by hand.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #615118
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    I just saw a method I am going try for flatting boards over 6 inches. Where you would use a sled or Bed extension on bed of the planer. My planer is 12 1/2 wide so I would use 8 inch x 3/4 melamine roughly 3 feet long. This sled/bed extension would need a stop so gr through the planer. The remaining stock on the board after jointing will run along the sled/bed extension. Once I get the top flat. I will flip the board and flatten the other side. If watch the video I posted at the 8:40 minute mark you will see what I am talking about.

    That method works very well, Greg, I have used it a couple of times to handle boards wider than 6″.

    I like Jim’s approach, too. It requires a bit more time and patience but is very satisfying.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #615131
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    Yah I do the same, I use a jointer jig in the ridgid planer as well. However @58chev uses a router jig to achieve the same thing.

    #615158
    Kamster
    Pro

    The other way is to use a router and supported on rails above the board. The wood whisperer and a few other people on youtube have variations on this method

    #615186
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    I just saw a method I am going try for flatting boards over 6 inches. Where you would use a sled or Bed extension on bed of the planer. My planer is 12 1/2 wide so I would use 8 inch x 3/4 melamine roughly 3 feet long. This sled/bed extension would need a stop so gr through the planer. The remaining stock on the board after jointing will run along the sled/bed extension. Once I get the top flat. I will flip the board and flatten the other side. If watch the video I posted at the 8:40 minute mark you will see what I am talking about.

    That method works very well, Greg, I have used it a couple of times to handle boards wider than 6″.

    I like Jim’s approach, too. It requires a bit more time and patience but is very satisfying.

    Yes I have tried Jim’s method. With not much luck. As I need spend some time learning sharpen planes better. I am sure can be very satisfying. Planing up stock for projects is quite time consuming and my shop time is limited.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #615195
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    Matt’s method shown in the video you posted would work fine, but I have used the method described in the link below with great success. My little wide board planer sled has a special place in the shop.

    http://lumberjocks.com/tenontim/blog/26637

    The article linked above is not mine. I just found it useful enough to bookmark a while ago. Either way would work fine, but I think you’ll maybe find less friction using the above method as compared to Cremona’s. I suppose with a waxing his would work fine though, too. Good luck! Let us know how you end up dealing with it.

    #615198

    I use a hand plane on wider boards to get one face flat enough to go through the planer. It does not have to be perfect, just take out any wind, twist, or cupping enough to let the planer do its job. Then put it through the planer to get the other side flat, then flip it and do the face I did by hand.

    Same here. My little 6-inch jointer doesnt get much use since Ive gotten better with a jack plane

    #615210

    I will use double-sided tape and a long piece of MDF to run boards and glue-ups through my DeWalt 750 planer. Once one side is flat, I remove it from the tape and MDF and flip if over to flatten the other side. On a really tough board it is sometimes necessary to shim to keep it from rocking.

    #615216
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I’ve used the planer jig method a time or two with pretty good results, but I prefer hand flattening when possible. After I get things close, it goes in planer and I take very light passes until the blades seem to be taking off a consistent amount of wood across the entire board.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #615219
    Clev08
    Pro

    I usually use my hand plane and a straight edge because I don’t have a power planer or jointer.

    #615240

    I use my jointer mostly, but planes and a router sled also work. You only need 70 percent or so of one face flat. Enough so that the planer will not follow any bows or twist. Then you flip it once the other face is flat. If you have a 6 inch machine one trick I used to use to joint wide stock is to shim the table just past the guard with some melamine or formica pieces. You have to remove the pork chop gaurd, so be careful, but it worked to give a reference edge wider than 6 inchs.

    Orange County, CA

    #615283

    I built a router sled for my last project and it works nicely. Before that I used to hand plane one side as a reference then put it through the planer, but if you have a few boards to do and can get a large diameter router bit, the sled is faster.

    If you have boards that are badly cupped, another trick is to rip down the middle with the bandsaw so you have two narrower boards, joint and flatten those, then glue back together. The seam should be almost invisible since it was one board and you can end up with thicker finished than just flattening out the cupping with the original width board.

    #615313
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    I built a router sled for my last project and it works nicely. Before that I used to hand plane one side as a reference then put it through the planer, but if you have a few boards to do and can get a large diameter router bit, the sled is faster.

    If you have boards that are badly cupped, another trick is to rip down the middle with the bandsaw so you have two narrower boards, joint and flatten those, then glue back together. The seam should be almost invisible since it was one board and you can end up with thicker finished than just flattening out the cupping with the original width board.

    That’s a really good approach if you need the extra thickness. Works too if you can cut to shorter lengths if the board is twisted badly.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #615325

    I mostly use my jointer/planer, but I have a really wide slabs used hand planes, which was time consuming but satisfying. I have also used a sled/jig for my router on weird / wide pieces or anything with end-grain.

    Will

    #615406
    redwood
    Pro

    I plane a lot of 2×12’s with my planer and the boards come out almost perfectly flat. I take very little off at a time and just keep flipping the board over, rotating with each pass, until both sides are flat and parallel to each other. On a really cupped board, that might mean ending up with a board only 1 1/8″ thick. Luckily, I’m using this method on mostly short boards, 2′ or less and it doesn’t take me much time at all.

    What a joiner will do, is that it can straighten a piece out. The planer will only take out the cupping.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #615450
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    I mostly use my jointer/planer, but I have a really wide slabs used hand planes, which was time consuming but satisfying. I have also used a sled/jig for my router on weird / wide pieces or anything with end-grain.

    A router jig for flattening is on my to-do list and has been for a while. Guess it will wait until next time I have a wide board to surface.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #615459

    I mostly use my jointer/planer, but I have a really wide slabs used hand planes, which was time consuming but satisfying. I have also used a sled/jig for my router on weird / wide pieces or anything with end-grain.

    A router jig for flattening is on my to-do list and has been for a while. Guess it will wait until next time I have a wide board to surface.

    I know @58chev built one of those. Ive been meaning to the next time I have a serious slab to do, or the next time I build a big end-grain cutting board. Seems like a good way to handle a difficult piece.

    My favourite version of the router sled assembly is the Offerman workshop one

    #615473
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    I mostly use my jointer/planer, but I have a really wide slabs used hand planes, which was time consuming but satisfying. I have also used a sled/jig for my router on weird / wide pieces or anything with end-grain.

    A router jig for flattening is on my to-do list and has been for a while. Guess it will wait until next time I have a wide board to surface.

    I know @58chev built one of those. Ive been meaning to the next time I have a serious slab to do, or the next time I build a big end-grain cutting board. Seems like a good way to handle a difficult piece.

    My favourite version of the router sled assembly is the Offerman workshop one

    yah im gonna have to build one, once i get in to my new shop. I definitely like the offerman one, and will have to build one of that size if @utopia78 keeps bringing me giant logs.

    #615494
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    its not too often that i have to flatten boards anymore where im not doing a ton of actual woodwork, i use to have acces to a 8″ jointer and 24″ thickness planer but

    nowadays i use the portable dewalt that we have at the shop or i can go to a buddies wood shop where he makes guitars, amplier cabinets and the like . he has a panel sander

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

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