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Planing to 3mm tips

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B3nder

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Hello,

I've been attemptingto plane various pieces of ash to 3mm,but I'm finding it a bit tricky.

I've tried:

Holding the piece in a vice.

Using a bench dog only just protruding above the bence.

Clamping one end of the piece thicknessing the swapping to the other end.

Any other tips or suggestions.

Stock is 50 wide by 200m long.

Thanks.
 

AndyT

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I see the problem. At that size it's a bit thin and whippy, assuming you meant 200 mm.

If you are only making a few, I'd try all of those. I'd probably also put a couple of pins through one end, planing away from them. It's often an advantage to allow extra wood for fastening and trim later. If you have anything to spare on the width, you could hot melt glue along one edge and trim back later. (I don't trust any glue to peel off perfectly without marring the surface.)
If you are making hundreds, it could be worth making a thicknessing jig - there are plenty of designs on YouTube.

You could also try something like cutting a 3mm deep rebate in some softwood, so the work is restrained all the way along, maybe with an undercut in a stop at the far end and a matching angle at the end of the work, to force it down rather than letting it ride up.

What's the rest of the process? Are you sawing slices off a 50mm board? Planing one face of the board, then sawing, then cleaning up the back?
 
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Have you tried the non slip material stuff? only few quid a roll so might be worth a try.

Maybe also use it in conjunction with the dogs.
 

owen

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Would it be easier to plane one side then cut to 3mm and then sand?
 

Cheshirechappie

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1) Make sure the bench top is nice and flat, with no sneaky little dips or humps that will reflect in the finished work. Plane it flat if it isn't.

2) Find or make a strip of wood about 100 to 150mm long, about 2 to 2.5mm thick and something like 20 to 25mm wide. Screw or pin it to the bench top to act as a planing stop. Keep the pins or screws towards the ends of the piece, so that the plane doesn't pass over them and nick the corner of the iron.

3) Butt the ends of the workpieces against the stop and plane normally. The weight of the plane will stop the work lifting and sliding over the stop. Check thickness frequently.
 

samhay

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Those jigs are great if your stock is narrower than your plane. 50mm is pushing it.

I find planning thin stock with the back end clamped works much better then trying to plane against a dog- pull rather than push.
This does require the material to be significantly longer than final length though. Either way, support along at least one long edge as others mentioned is helpful.
 

Luke Barnard

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I would put a wide strip of masking tape on the back of the board, and another piece of masking tape on the bench, and then superglue the faces of the masking tape on the board and bench together. It holds well while planing, and then is easy to peel off when done. Worth doing a test to make sure the superglue doesn't bleed through the masking tape - I've been caught out by that before.
 

B3nder

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Yep meant 200mm not m!

Tip about the superglue is the way to go I think.


Cheers.
 

Ttrees

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Is sawing an option?
You might be able to gang plane them all afterwards.
There are some jigs for making kumiko that may be of use either.
Tom
 

sunnybob

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Any power plunge router, home made router sled, hot melt glue all the way round the piece.
I've been using this system for 5 years plus with perfect results and never one piece slipped. 8)
 

Jarno

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Ttrees":188sy0t3 said:
Is sawing an option?
You might be able to gang plane them all afterwards.
There are some jigs for making kumiko that may be of use either.
Tom
Was going to mention kumiko, that seems to work.
Bridgecity has a hand plane with adjustable sides to adjust for thickness, they use it with their chopstick maker?
I bought a record 60 1/2 with the idea to do the same. Drill and tap holes in the sides of the plane and mount plates which act as depth/thickness stops.
 

AndyT

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If you glue your guide strips to a board, there's no need to drill into the plane and risk breaking it.
This does all depend on the width required being less than the plane. The sides of the plane (plus a tiny bit of the width of the iron) run on the thickness guides, constrained by more wood either side. In principle it's like a shooting board with two runners, turned 90 degrees.

Not much use to the OP who needs 50mm width, but he can use a bigger plane.
 

profchris

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I do this kind of thing when making ukulele sides (though mine will be around 70mm wide). I'm planing down to around 1.8mm, where the wood becomes really flexible.

The best way I've found is to take a piece of melamine faced chipboard (standard shelf material) and glue two guide strips on it which are just higher than my final thickness. I place these around 10mm further apart than the width of the strip I'm planing.

Clamp the strip between the guides at one end (leaving 0.5mm each side) then plane away from the clamp. Angle the plane at 20 or 30 degrees so its sole rides on the guide strips either side while the blade cuts the wood itself. Swap the strip end for end regularly so that you gradually take it down - it's easier to take a little off each end at a time. Take thin shavings.

This works nicely in non-figured woods which don't have a lot of runout. With light runout, a close set cap iron should mean only a little tear-out when planing against the runout (this is why I set my guides a fraction higher, removing the last 0.2mm or so with a cabinet scraper). Heavy runout might mean this method doesn't work.

200 mm strips are short, so I'd probably use a block plane for those - harder on the hands, but less unwieldy. My ukulele sides will be nearer 400mm. so I can use a bench plane.

For figured woods I'll place the strips further apart and plane across the grain at 45 degrees using a close-set cap iron. The heel and toe of the plane need to stay on my guide strips so I can only take very short strokes. For this I clamp either end and plane the middle, then move one clamp to the middle and plane the free end, then swap the end clamp and plane the other free end. I'll regularly rotate the strip so i'm planing it from either side. Doing this is likely to cause tear-out on the side towards which you are planing, so leave a little extra width and trim the strip down once it's at final thickness to remove this. With this method I spend nearly as much time removing and refitting clamps as planing, but it's worth the time to save destroying highly figured wood. As before, the final fraction is removed with a cabinet scraper.

I have used the superglue and masking tape method successfully, but found clamping as described is easier for me.
 

richarddownunder

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Did this recently for 2 mm thick guitar side reinforcing laminates as well as 2.5 mm sides. I have a bit of MDF screwed to the end of my bench that protrudes above the bench by ~2 mm as a stop. But as has been noted, the wood can lift as you plane sometimes when it gets thin, so I have also used clamping at the up-stream end but another technique it to use a little double sided sellotape and stick it to a flat MDF surface although this adds a little thickness so you have to be aware of that (maybe pack the non-stuck length with some paper of the same thickness as the tape). Just don't use too much sellotape as it is hard to get the wood off the MDF afterwards. Double sided tape is great for many temporary hold down jobs!

Cheers
Richard
 

thetyreman

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I use my simon james bench dog which can cope with around 3mm or just below but anything thinner than that and I'd use superglue and masking tape with accelerator, it temporarily sticks the work down tut bench top and works really well as long as the workbench top is dead flat.
 

D_W

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as short as this is, there are two things i'd do if working it by hand.

I'd make a fixture for it to butt into, and then I'd resaw the wood by hand so that it would be close in size. IT should be easy to get very good at resawing with a handsaw and get close to getting these nearly dead on.

But I'd probably scrape them for thickness and I don't often advocate that. the reason for that being a round purpose made scraper can have a shorter sole than a plane probably can, making the clean up easy on shorter pieces.

It's also possible to put a narrow plane in a vise upside down (one with a short sole) and push and pull this over it, which is how I always finish thickness a small moulding (or plane to a marked line).
 

Jarno

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I sometimes see people doing this, and it always send shivers down my spine. The only time I did that ended up with me having a juicy flapper on my finger, to be fair, it was a little short piece, but still.
 

D_W

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where's mike G?

set the double iron when doing this for two reasons:
1) to keep the wood being planed in the cut and the depth set consistently to the cap set
2) if you are pulling into the iron, generally with the cap set, the wood will catch on your iron and not your fingertip

I make pencils pulling little tiny pencil pieces across a plane like this - i'm sure my fingers touch the iron sometimes, but I emerge free of injury. The plane is set relatively rank (like really thick smoother shaving, bordering on jointer).

The cap iron must be set as these pencils are wandering incense cedar and not all parts are planed with the grain. It turns out to be a gain many ways.

note, straight into the iron. If you slice your finger along the length of the iron (across the width of the plane), you'll get a fillet with cap set or not.

Pulling light things across a plane can be made miserable times ten using a steep angle plane or allowing for bad tearout.
 
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