Saturday, July 19, 2014

V5.29 - Straightening Warped & Bowed Stock

We were talking about Industrial Planers (IP’s for short) and snipeing, but there is so much more to them than just snipe. Perhaps we had better start at the beginning. Some of this stuff is going to be good info for ALL planers.

So, we’ve discussed that planers are really ‘thicknessers’ and to let them do the best job they can, they need a flat board to start with. Let’s talk about shop setup. I’ve often been asked ‘when I’m putting a shop together, what are the first machines I should buy?’ It does depend on what your shop’s purpose will be, but just for this week, let’s say that the goal is a decent little Woodshop.

Your shop’s heart is the Table Saw. You really can’t get anywhere without one of those and a 10-inch Table Saw will be fine for all but the largest projects. I believe the next purchase is a good Jointer. The bigger, the better if you will be doing larger projects. Naturally, if you intend to build model airplanes, a 4-inch jointer would be fine. After that, it’s the Planer. Again, you’ll need to choose an appropriate size. Follow this up with a good Drill Press and then perhaps a good Bandsaw. Most projects can be done with this group. Sanders, Shapers, Lathes and Hand Power Tools are also part of a complete Woodshop.

Alright, so you now have a basic woodshop and have this board you need to make flat, so you can run it through your planer. First, use your Jointer and surface one side of it. “Surface” is the technique of flattening one of the wide ‘faces’ until it is smooth and flat. Once you’ve done that, place your surfaced face against the fence and make passes until one edge has been jointed. At this point, you will have two parts of the board flat and smooth, and they will be 90degrees to each other.

Now, take your piece to your Table Saw, place the surfaced face on the table, and the jointed edge against your fence. Rip the board to the width you need. Now you have a board with 3 flat and straight surfaces. Now you are ready to place the surfaced face on the Planer’s bed, set your thickness adjustment and run the stock through the Planer.

You now have a straight board, that is flat and the proper thickness. All that remains is to cut it to the proper length. Remember, measure twice, cut once.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you

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