Flatting a board

Keye

Keye
Corporate Member
Years ago when I paused making sawdust the only heavy metal I sold was my jointer. I hated it. It was a Delta 6" 3 blade. All of my other heavy metal is American made Delta. I would not give up any of them.

I use to make furniture. This is not going to happen now. Maybe a small table at the most.

I have 20 10" x 10/12 feet cherry boards. They all are cupped. I know a few tricks to flatten a board using my planer. I am now down to these boards and I do not want to take as much off as I would using a planner. I ripped the other boards but would like to keep some of these as wide as they are now.

I think this might be a good time to learn how to use a hand planner. Where do I start and what do I need to buy. I do not want to buy the gold standard for hand planners but I am sure cheap is not the way to go. The planner is probably not my biggest issue. I can not put an edge on any thing smaller than an ax. I have even thought about buying extra blades and sending them to Charlotte Saw and Knife when they become dull.

It would be a much better time if we did not have this virus thing going on. I would drive to Raleigh, or wherever, to attend a course/seminar and stay in a motel.

In the past I have looked at videos on youtube on knife sharping and not found anything good. If anyone knows of a good 1-2 hour video which would get me started please let me know.
 

thebroofmoses

New User
Aaron
Rob Cosman has some great video series on how to sharpen, hone and plane a board flat. Look in the playlist section of his channel to find the videos that pertain to the subject that you want to learn more about.

Another is Matt Estlea. Same deal about the playlist and has multiple other videos about getting a sharp edge multiple different ways.

Paul Sellers is also another great resource for the hand tool woodworker. I prefer his videos and sharpening technique above all.

I use diamond stones to get my plane blades sharpened with a cheapish honing guide. After the initial sharping, I will use a leather strop for final polishing. Plenty of ways to sharpen the blade, just find the right way that works best for you and what you have available.

Rob Cosman's channel - RobCosman.com

Matt Estlea's channel - Matt Estlea

Paul Selller's channel - Paul Sellers
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I think hand planing vs machine planing will not make much difference in the final thickness when the warp or cup is gone.

I planed some badly cupped boards a few weeks back and glued thin strips to the bottom the get them level across the top before going to my planer.

After i got one side flat I popped off the strips and planed the other side.

If I were doing it with hand planes I would approach it the same way, flatten one side then the other.

Material would end up the same thickness either way.

I hear a lot of people say "I need a hand plane".
No, you don't. You need at least three!

First a medium length 'Fore plane' to do the rough thickness planing.
This plane has a very highly arched blade edge, a wide open mouth, and I like some heft to it. But some like a light weight tool for this first attack.

Second a long flattening plane or 'jointer'. I like a #8 Stanley but some like a 7, 6 or even try to get by with a #5.

Lastly you need a smoothing plane like a #4 or #3 Stanley metal body plane.

Now, some will tell you the wood body planes are much better. I have a hard time keeping them tuned up and I watched an expert tapping and fidgeting and stopping to adjust for much more time than he was actually planing. So, I just can't in good conscience recommend them.

I know it is a long drive but I am happy to teach all about hand planes at my home in Walnut Cove. We even have a guest room if that helps.

Watching videos may help refresh or get you started but there is nothing like actual one on one training.
 

jlwest

Jeff
Corporate Member
Some times when you take a long cupped board and make short boards, or thinner boards, out of the long board the cup gets manageable.
 

FredP

Fred
Corporate Member
You should take Mike up on his offer. He is a good teacher and the accommodations are quite acceptable. Oh and he can cook too ;)
 

Eric G

Eric
Senior User
A lot of good advice in this thread. Mike gave a great overview. There's a lot of information out there for the use and tuning of hand planes. Rob Cosman, Paul Sellers, James Wright, and Matt Estlea (Among many others) all have great content on Youtube and would be worth looking up.

Here's a write up from Wood and Shop on hand plane purchasing advice, but Mike already gave the core of it.
Hand Plane Buyer's Guide for Traditional Woodworking | Wood and Shop

As for purchasing -- I guess that boils down to your budget and how patient you are. For used, you should be on the lookout for older Stanley planes (Pre WWII). This will be the cheapest but could take time to find those sales. Next would be Ebay or Craigslist for the used market. You might not be able to identify on the fly, but here's a good guide to follow to help: How to Identify Stanley Hand Plane Age and Type (Type Study Tool) | Wood and Shop
When you buy used, you'll likely need to spend some time and effort tuning up the tool to a working condition.

As for new, Lie-Nielsen is more or less the gold standard. It will be expensive, but you'll have an outstanding tool that will outlive you. Veritas (Through Lee Valley) also makes great products and they produce some joinery planes that Lie-Nielsen doesn't. The third option for buying new would probably be Wood River (through Woodcraft).


One thing I will add -- Don't feel like you need to mill up those entire board lengths unless you're actually planning on using it. There's no sense in spending an hour flattening a 12 foot board if you only need a 3' section. More often than not, after cutting the board down to rough size, the severity of any defects is drastically reduced.
 

jlwest

Jeff
Corporate Member
A lot of good advice in this thread. Mike gave a great overview. There's a lot of information out there for the use and tuning of hand planes. Rob Cosman, Paul Sellers, James Wright, and Matt Estlea (Among many others) all have great content on Youtube and would be worth looking up.

Here's a write up from Wood and Shop on hand plane purchasing advice, but Mike already gave the core of it.
Hand Plane Buyer's Guide for Traditional Woodworking | Wood and Shop

As for purchasing -- I guess that boils down to your budget and how patient you are. For used, you should be on the lookout for older Stanley planes (Pre WWII). This will be the cheapest but could take time to find those sales. Next would be Ebay or Craigslist for the used market. You might not be able to identify on the fly, but here's a good guide to follow to help: How to Identify Stanley Hand Plane Age and Type (Type Study Tool) | Wood and Shop
When you buy used, you'll likely need to spend some time and effort tuning up the tool to a working condition.

As for new, Lie-Nielsen is more or less the gold standard. It will be expensive, but you'll have an outstanding tool that will outlive you. Veritas (Through Lee Valley) also makes great products and they produce some joinery planes that Lie-Nielsen doesn't. The third option for buying new would probably be Wood River (through Woodcraft).


One thing I will add -- Don't feel like you need to mill up those entire board lengths unless you're actually planning on using it. There's no sense in spending an hour flattening a 12 foot board if you only need a 3' section. More often than not, after cutting the board down to rough size, the severity of any defects is drastically reduced.
I agree. I milled a fallen gum tree which has pretty wood but twists and cups during drying. I still used most of it by using smaller pieces, laminating a lot, and made a whole set of tables out of it and they are still good after 10 years.
 

Keye

Keye
Corporate Member
Thanks! What a mountain of information. I am a little, no a lot, overwhelmed. Mike may have talked me into staying with my planner.
 

Keye

Keye
Corporate Member
I think hand planing vs machine planing will not make much difference in the final thickness when the warp or cup is gone.

I planed some badly cupped boards a few weeks back and glued thin strips to the bottom the get them level across the top before going to my planer.

After i got one side flat I popped off the strips and planed the other side.

If I were doing it with hand planes I would approach it the same way, flatten one side then the other.

Material would end up the same thickness either way.

I hear a lot of people say "I need a hand plane".
No, you don't. You need at least three!

First a medium length 'Fore plane' to do the rough thickness planing.
This plane has a very highly arched blade edge, a wide open mouth, and I like some heft to it. But some like a light weight tool for this first attack.

Second a long flattening plane or 'jointer'. I like a #8 Stanley but some like a 7, 6 or even try to get by with a #5.

Lastly you need a smoothing plane like a #4 or #3 Stanley metal body plane.

Now, some will tell you the wood body planes are much better. I have a hard time keeping them tuned up and I watched an expert tapping and fidgeting and stopping to adjust for much more time than he was actually planing. So, I just can't in good conscience recommend them.

I know it is a long drive but I am happy to teach all about hand planes at my home in Walnut Cove. We even have a guest room if that helps.

Watching videos may help refresh or get you started but there is nothing like actual one on one training.
WOW, what a generous offer. If it were not for this virus thing I would surely be tempted. I am one of those high risk folks. My family is really clamping down on me. I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and had quadruple bypass surgery 12 months ago. My recovery has been remarkable. I will be out clearing and repairing pasture fence in the morning. My heart function has actually returned to normal. I am forgetful about a lot of things but this I am going to remember. Hopefully one day I will come your way.
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
I think many of us have been faced with needing to joint one face of a board so it can be run through a thickness planer.

I will add that there are other styles of high quality hand planes such as those by ECE Primus. For whatever reason they didn't rate a mention in the previous videos (or comments :) )

I have a small set of Bailey bench planes but for a smoother I went for a Primus 704 type. The handle on a Stanley #4 type is too small for my comfort.

-Mark
 

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