Video: How to Flatten Wide Boards

comments (0) March 8th, 2011 in blogs, videos

GEide GEide, Contributor
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Video Length: 6:30
Produced by: David Moore

St. Louis furniture maker David Moore wowed us a couple years ago with his filmmaking and woodworking prowess when we discovered one of his videos... one that was playfully called David Moore makes a table in 1 minute.

So, in looking for something different to put in this week's eLetter, I reached into the YouTube archives again and pulled out another great David Moore video to highlight.

This one gives you an overview of how to flatten wide boards with handplanes. Yikes, what a workout!

The best part of his videos is the way he captures the beauty of the craft. They're not simply nitty-gritty "how-to" videos, but they inspire you to get out into the shop and put your planes to use.

More on this topic

Build a Table in 60 Seconds
Phil Lowe: Smooth Wide Boards with a Handplane
Andy Rae: How to Flatten a Wide Board Membership Required
Flatten Wide Boards Without a Jointer Membership Required
Flatten Wide Boards with a Narrow Jointer Membership Required
How to Mill Lumber

For handplane novices like myself, they're also a good refresher on the differences between different types planes (scrub, jack, jointer, smoother...).

How to flatten wide boards
For power-tool only folks, flattening wide boards might require the use of large industrial machinery or special jigs, but Moore argues that you can do the same work, in a small space, with just a few hand tools for potentially less money.

He starts out by using a scrub plane (an agressive tool) to remove twist. Then he moves to the jack plane (number five) to reduce tearout and remove the deep gouges left by the scrub plane. A jointer plane (number seven) skims the surface and removes subtle high spots then passes with a smoother (number four) removes the tearout and other plane marks.

Then, he manually squares up the edges and determines the thickness of the boards. Repeated passes with the scrub plane eventually bring the board to final rough dimension, then the process is repeated again with the jack, jointer, and smoothing plane.

Phew... looks like a lot of work... but if you've got some hand planes, maybe you can skip the gym membership and just make shavings in your basement instead...

What about you folks? There are many ways to flatten wide boards and even special jigs that can help you joint using narrow jointers or even with a planer.

Do you use these methods? Anyone prefer to flatten by hand? Any special advice for people who might be considering it (e.g. get the ice packs ready)?

posted in: blogs, videos, how to, handplane

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