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How to plane 12 ft Boards

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  • How to plane 12 ft Boards

    Greetings! This is my second wood project and I am trying to build a 12ft table for outside and have finished the base.


    Unfortunately I have 5: 2x10x12s of Cedar that have cupped and warped. I tried to go back to Central Fairbank (where I bought them) to have them plane it, but they said they can't. I've called other places, but they only want to plane lumber they have sold. I have tried to find makerspaces to see if I can go in, but they require me to take a course in August/September on how to use all the machinery which means it won't be done till after summer is over.

    Does anyone know where in the GTA, I could get this done reasonably priced? I am tempted to buy a hand planer and try, but I have a feeling I will just make a mess of the boards. Can it be done this way?

    Thank you for any of your thoughts!
    Last edited by Allan G; 07-17-2019, 05:59 AM. Reason: I didn't mention that it was made of cedar
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  • #2

    Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

    Welcome to the forum. If nobody with a 12'' jointer offers to help you will have to get a hand held planer and work away at the high spots. Remember that as you remove material the wood will react to the new tension within and move some more. With a jointer you work so fast that the wood will not react until after you have finished.
    Rob

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    • #3

      Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

      Alan let the guys know what kind of wood you have.
      "Do it Right!"

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      • #4

        Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

        Need to know the wood species for sure, I wouldn’t run SPF over my 20” machine. Knotty cedar doesn’t do the knives any favors either.
        mikeddd likes this.
        sigpicToday's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut, that held its ground.

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        • #5

          Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

          Wow thank you all for the quick replies. It is Cedar

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          • #6

            Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

            Suggest placing the boards on the table in the desired orientation and then clamping them down solid. Then use an electric hand plane with very very low cut to do the initial smoothing. Start crossways at the middle and work in each direction, then at an angle and finally with the grain. Shallow cuts are essential so lots of patience is required. When the surface is basically flat but still has little ridges switch over to a belt sander.
            Wood Grower likes this.
            Egon
            from
            The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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            • #7

              Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

              It's great outdoor wood but at 10 inches wide you have an issue for sure. I would rip it in half for use. If you need it that wide glue it back together. I'm only saying that because If a 2x10 is cupped 1/4 inch you will probably have to remove 3/8ths of an inch from each side to flatten it OVERALL with a planer. That's half your board making sawdust. You may as well have bought 1 x ? material and saved the money. Rip it in half, flip it and glue it, then planing it is a better option.
              "Do it Right!"

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              • #8

                Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

                I agree with rusty, you are never going to keep a 12” wide board flat outside, particularly if you have much of the center pith of the tree. Even trying to keep moisture out using multiple coats of marine finish, in 6 years you are just going to have to sand it down and redo it, ask any boat owner.
                Wood outside moves, and keeps on moving as humidity changes. Egon’s idea of just taking off the high spots and working with what you have maybe the best is you don’t want to cut it.
                sigpicToday's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut, that held its ground.

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                • #9

                  Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

                  If you want Togo for a drive to Woodstock I will do it for you and it will cost you a coffee. I am 1 hr and 10 minutes from the airport.

                  Brian
                  djnelson, [Scott] and Beaverfever1988 like this.
                  If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                  • #10

                    Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

                    Brian, you're amazing and a great asset to this forum.

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                    • #11

                      Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

                      Nice looking base, especially for just your second project. Just a couple of comments.

                      First, with 10" wide boards, when you attach them to the base, make sure you allow for wood movement that happens with humidity changes. The width of the top boards will vary more than the cross members of the base. You will have to allow them to move or they may split when they shrink.

                      Second, with the top only held down at the ends, there is nothing to prevent the boards from cupping again in the centre of the table. You may want to put 2 or 3 cross members between the ends to hold the boards level with each other and flat.
                      the other Ken
                      ------
                      "Each flitch, each board, each plant can have only one ideal use. The woodworker, applying a thousand skills, must find that ideal use and then shape the wood to realize its true potential" - George Nakashima

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                      • #12

                        Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

                        Originally posted by Brian @ Muir View Post
                        If you want Togo for a drive to Woodstock I will do it for you and it will cost you a coffee. I am 1 hr and 10 minutes from the airport.

                        Brian
                        Hey Brian great offer. If Alan chooses to have you help him will you please do us all a favour and report how thick these boards are when you finish? We could all learn from that answer.

                        As to the offer I sadly have to say I won't do it anymore unless I know the person really well. A few years ago I planed a 12 quarter 6 foot long rough cut maple board for a brand new member in basically the same boat as Alan. He showed up in his truck, I grabbed the board out of the back of his truck and walked into the shop. He came in about a minute later and asked what machine I use and I said; "this planer here." He said; "oh alright" and left the shop. Got in his truck and started talking on his phone. I figured something really important was taking him away so I proceeded to plane the board on 2 sides. When I finished which really did not take long, I carried the board back to his truck. He got out while still talking on the phone. Said; "that looks real good." got back in his truck and drove away. Nope,,, never brought the coffee, no chit chat, never touched the wood once or said thank you either. He's never been heard from on this Forum since!
                        "Do it Right!"

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                        • #13

                          Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

                          I am pretty sure that even if you do pass it though a planer it will cup once it's in the sun outside. I rarely use anything wider than a 2x6 and even then I tend to rip it to end up closer to 4 or 5 inches. See the wider the board the more likely you are going to have the heart of the tree inside of your board and just normal wood movement will cause some issues. Even large splits going right though the centre of your work piece.

                          I would personally rip those board right down the middle and see how that looks.

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                          • #14

                            Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

                            Kinda depends on how the boards were originally sawn and how they get placed on the table.
                            Egon
                            from
                            The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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                            • #15

                              Re: How to plane 12 ft Boards

                              First let me say this is an amazing community and I look forward to the day where I can offer advice to another newcomer! I am really wanting to learn how to do this woodworking thinking and will hopefully slowly accumulate the right tools.

                              The main concern I kept reading is that it may cup again over time... If I split them in half and then glue them all back together to make one solid piece will that prevent the problem. I had read somewhere that if I biscuit join them together with the grains being opposite when I sit them side by side that would prevent warping. Finally, yes I will take the-other-ken's advice and put cross members

                              A big thank you Brian for the generous offer! An hour is a short short drive so I might just have to take you up on that offer. Do you have any projects that you could use an extra set of hands for? I'd be more than happy to help

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