Wood planing questions

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  #1  
Old 01-05-04, 03:10 PM
HandymanScott
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Wood planing questions

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I've got some leftover cedar boards from my fence project that I want to plane down and possibly install as a lining in a closet. To do this, I'd want to plane them to make sure that they are uniform width and thickness.

How easy is it to use a wood planer? Do they rent these items? Anything I should look for? Any tips or techniques to keep in mind?

TIA-

HMS
 
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Old 01-05-04, 03:38 PM
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I bought a Delta 12-1/2" surface planer a few years ago to salvage my old redwood deck boards for use on a new deck. I saved more than the purchase price and have used it for many projects since.

I don't know if they are available as a rental, but it's worth a look.

Here are a few tips if you use one.

1. CHECK YOUR BOARDS FOR ANY NAILS OR METAL

2. Make sure it's firmly seated on a stable surface. I've used sawhorses and short pipe clamps to hold it in place.

3. If your boards are longer than 5'-6', get some roller supports to use as infeed and outfeed support.

4. CHECK YOUR BOARDS FOR ANY NAILS OR METAL

5. Either work outside or have a good way to collect the shavings. I got 2-3 cubic yards of shavings from my deckboards and used it for the landscaping work.

6. Start with the thickest boards and take several light passes on both sides. If the board quits feeding thru, you're trying to take too much. Also consider some hearing protection. These things can get really noisy. My neighbors were thrilled when I finally finished my two day planing job on the deck boards.

7. CHECK YOUR BOARDS FOR ANY NAILS OR METAL

8. Try to feed your boards as straight as possible and "help" them stay reasonably straight as they go thru. You shouldn't have to push or pull them.

9. Don't feed your boards thru in the same place every pass. You're going to dull the cutters some, so use as much of them as you can.

10. CHECK YOUR BOARDS FOR ANY NAILS OR METAL. (Is there an echo in here? )
 
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Old 01-05-04, 04:35 PM
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Dave, i think your forgot to mention check for screws.
 
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Old 01-05-04, 10:16 PM
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Fence boards are not usually of the quality that would prompt for other uses.
 
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Old 01-05-04, 10:29 PM
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Thanks, Hellrazor. Must have had a senior moment there.

You're right chfite, he will probably plane a lot of boards to get enough for a closet lining, but he was asking how to do it. Personally, I buy the packages of cedar closet lining at my local HD.
 
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Old 01-05-04, 11:18 PM
Gbrad
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Nuther thing to check for is little bits of embedded dirt and/or sand particles on the old boards. They don't do a thing for keeping the blades sharp.
 
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Old 01-06-04, 07:45 AM
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Another good point, Gbrad. When I did my deckboards, I went over each board with a wire brush and still had to touch up the cutter blades 3-4 times. When I was finished, I tossed the old cutters and put in new ones.
 
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Old 01-06-04, 02:43 PM
HandymanScott
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Thanks for the info!

The fence boards were 1x6 #1 cedar, somewhat furry. What grade of lumber would be ideally suited for this type of application?

HMS
 
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Old 01-06-04, 04:06 PM
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Fence grade boards often warp and twist. These are not substantial problems with fences. The furry-ness is the rough sawn nature of the wood. Planing it will make it smoother and remove some irregularities.

If the boards have obvious twists and warping, they may be generally unsuitable for planing. For planing projects, firsts and seconds are more commonly chosen. Chosing the boards makes the project more successful.

After you have planed a one-inch thick 1x6, it will be on the order of 3/4" or 13/16". You will lose about 3/8" - 1/2" in planing. Depending upon the wood, you might choose to plane one side generally smooth, with the other side nicer. Only one side will show. This may save some time and materials.

As David_D1945 said, there will wood chips.
 
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Old 01-07-04, 01:44 PM
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Since they're #1 cedar, I wouldn't bother with them. That's the junk wood that isn't good enough for anything else - probably the slabs of sapwood they cut off to get to the heartwood.
 
 

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