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Beginners question - squaring sawn timber

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Garyk85

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Hello

Im new to woodworking and the forum. I'm sure this will have been asked numerous times, but i can't find any other threads on it.

How do the more experienced users plane and square timber? The internet keeps telling me to use a surface planer and a thicknesser. But i can't find any suitable surface planers. Are their alternatives? Am i looking in the wrong place?

Thanks in advance
 

Ttrees

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Hello Gary
Welcome to the forum.
Since If you are looking for instruction on dimensioning timbers look no further than
David Charlesworth, Phil Lowe and Rob Cosman.
Dismiss the waterstones and back bevels though.
You might need to use the cap iron at some stage so that's why I suggest not doing so.
(There are no mainstream youtubers that use the cap iron unfortunately.)

That should be enough to get you started.

Beware of folks lapping planes on youtube, if you find yourself wanting to do so.
There is not one demonstration in video of lapping done correctly
All folks mindlessly rubbing their planes on precision surface plates which creates a convex
plane sole.
You can be sure of this, as they won't show you the test with feelers at the end.
So better off leaving the plane sole alone.
Good luck
Tom
 

Ttrees

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What do you find confusing about those folks publications Phil?
Better off learning from the best of them IMO
And better to know what folks disagree with with those folks methods.
If I listed some other popular youtubers and their methods, I'd be here all night :D

Tom
 

MikeG.

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It's really simple to describe, Gary, but there are skills involved, and that makes the process more difficult in practise. With a handplane, there are almost as many skills involved in getting the plane working properly as there are in working with the wood. I suggest you start by watching some Youtube sharpening videos, and get your plane iron really sharp. Then just plane away at some scrap, learning the basics of tuning the plane, and of handling it (and in understanding the concept of "grain"). Don't attempt to flatten or straighten anything for a while, until you are confident that you've got the plane working well.

Once you can make the plane work well, then flattening and preparing stock is just a matter of getting the best face flat and true, and using that as a reference for all the other faces. That will involve some other basic tools, such as a square, maybe a straightedge, a pencil, and a gauge. Frankly, you'll learn far faster by standing next to someone who knows what they are doing.............and maybe if you ask around on here you'll find a member close by who could spare an hour to point you in the right direction. If you can't get this sort of help, you are going to waste a little time and wood, but that isn't a problem. You'll pick it up in the end.
 

MikeG.

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Ttrees":191wk7yh said:
What do you find confusing......
Phil doesn't find it confusing. He just recognises that talking about back bevels, cap irons, lapping, and so on, to a complete beginner who probably doesn't understand any of these terms and may not even know the names of the parts of a plane, is pointless and counter-productive. What a beginner wants is to be able to take a shaving. Just doing that can be a real achievement. Worrying about tear-out can wait for a while......there are far more important things to get to grips with first.
 

thetyreman

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everything starts with learning how to set up a hand plane, then learning how to face/edge mark the wood, this is important regardless of whether you use machines or hand tools, so start there. There is a linear progression in woodworking in my opinion, and also stick to ONE mentor and don't deviate from their methods.
 

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Hi there - I am in your shoes when it comes to planing. You will need a plane, obviously, but also a bench that doesn't wander around the room when you are planing. I know this, now.

You need to sharpen your plane - I have mine sort-of sharp now, and can get a curly shaving (took many sharpening attempts, and making a jig to get there), but it is in no way properly sharp. Investigations continue.

A Shooting board was a new discovery to me, and will get your workpiece square. Try this: as-requested-making-a-shooting-board-t4162.html
There are loads of different threads on shooting boards - a search will give you a huge amount of info on shooting boards, planes, sharpening techniques etc.

Custard did an outstanding sticky on planing and jointing: how-to-edge-joint-t112936.html

There are bound to be other useful threads I haven't found yet, and it would be great if others could add to my feeble list.

I hope that some of the above helps. Just keep rummaging here, as the Information is invaluable, but not always logically presented. Try searches on the job you have in hand at the time may also help.
 

dzj

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"But i can't find any suitable surface planers. Are their alternatives? Am i looking in the wrong place?"

How much space do you have in your shop and what is your budget?
 

Garyk85

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I've just finished building a 5m x 3m workshop (single garage size). So far it has a self made work bench and general bits and bobs.

I'd already seen the axminster one linked above. I'm cautious that something that size will take up a lot of room and also need space for feeding at either side. But if that's the sort of thing i need I'll try find one second hand.

I was also thinking of getting a planer thicknesser and working a face edge square with a hand plane.
 

dzj

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Garyk85":1h8rrgzi said:
I was also thinking of getting a planer thicknesser and working a face edge square with a hand plane.
Quite a few people take this route. Often times using a sled to get rid of cupping or twist and just doing the edge with a handplane.
 

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Garyk85":388wukay said:
.... I'm cautious that something that size will take up a lot of room and also need space for feeding at either side.....
The space you need is not determined by the size of the machine but the maximum length of timber that you intend to plane. To get round space limitations, some people will position their planer/thicknesser in line with the open door and a suitable hole in the opposite wall.
 

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RogerS":249d4ajl said:
Why have all you chaps gone off about hand tools ? The OP has asked about planers and thicknessers .......
.....and whether there were alternatives. And "how do you chaps do it?".
 

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MikeG.":2w2yno9t said:
RogerS":2w2yno9t said:
Why have all you chaps gone off about hand tools ? The OP has asked about planers and thicknessers .......
.....and whether there were alternatives. And "how do you chaps do it?".
Since it was in the context of searching and/or looking for a planer thicknesser, I think that the 'alternative' referred to a different name for a planer/thicknesser. Only IMO :D
 

Garyk85

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I was looking for any alternatives that don't involve me planing for hours. I little planing is fine and it's definitely something i plan on working on.
 

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Garyk85":fzmj9uhm said:
I was looking for any alternatives that don't involve me planing for hours. I little planing is fine and it's definitely something i plan on working on.
I have one of these, and it is fairly awful: [youtube]OA8i7K1zcKg[/youtube]

I was given it, which is very cool, and it works better than my hand plane does, but it certainly has some issues regarding even cutting, snipe, being square etc. I don't think they are too expensive, but may no longer exists, although I understand that you can get any number of different badges stuck on an identical machine.

As with all these things, you get what you pay for, and a couple of steps up from dreadful will cost you huge money. This thing works, is better than a hand plane if you can't sharpen a plane or use one properly, and I couldn't do half of what I do without it. It's actually brilliant, but I don't want to to get your hopes up, thinking it is good quality.
 

thetyreman

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RogerS":3w1i7o3v said:
Why have all you chaps gone off about hand tools ? The OP has asked about planers and thicknessers ...being the sort of sensible chap like me :wink:

Garyk...look at this for example...

https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-c ... ser-105115
because he asked 'how do you guys do it' I do it with handtools, so do others on here. £850 vs £75-£100 for a vintage no7 plane :roll:
 
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