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Planing Twisted Timber

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Hi everyone.
I have some twisted planks to plane on my P/T.
If I apply pressure to the plank on the infeed table, transferring to the outfeed side as soon as there is enough timber there to press on, then the face of the plank will be set by the angle of twist at that end. By the time the far end of the plank gets to the cutter, the plank is canted by the total angle of twist. If I continue with enough passes to fully flatten the plank then one side at the far end will be very thin.
What I would like to do is arrange for the face of the plank to be set at the mid-point, thus minimising the material removed from each end, preserving the thickness as much as possible.
So if the plank is twisted by 10 degrees total, say, then I want the front of the plank to approach the cutter at 5 deg and have the far end approach at -5 deg.
Can someone recommend a safe way of doing this please?
Thanks
Richard
 

radicalwood

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Hi Richard.

I'm not sure it can be done as you describe. I would cut the wood in half if you have the length and half your angle, then run through as normal. should give you more thickness in the end.

Welcome to the forum as well.

No doubt some one will come along with a better solution.

Neil
 

Philly

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Welcome to the forum Richard!
here's a couple of tips..
1: take some sawdust and put some under each end high point to give support to the ends. Obviously sawdust won't harm your planer but will help you maintain the angle until it is flat enough.
2: use a hand plane to remove the worst of the twist before using your power planer. Just hack off the high points, doesn't have to be a perfect finish.
Hope this helps
Philly :D
 

Keith Smith

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Richard, if you have a length of timber that has twisted badly, once you have managed to plane it flat it is likely to twist again as the stresses in the wood are released. Also it can involve removing half the thickness and you can end up with veneer :lol:

Neil's idea of cutting the wood in half is a good one. Another option is to laminate two pieces together. If you have two twisted pieces lay them on top of each other so that the twisting/bowing is a mirror image, then glue them together; clamping them well down on a flat surface while the glue sets. This makes a thick but stable piece of timber.

Keith
 

devonwoody

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Hi Richard

Been there done that :) :) :)

I purchased around 10 lengths of sycamore earlier this year from ..........
and I reckon half of it is lying around waiting for saturday night,the 5th.

The best solution is to buy your timber seen and not those banannas.

Some good tips above though.

Oh and Welcome.
 
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Problem solved.

Thanks to Philly for one of his suggestions which I have modified. Instead of sawdust, I stuck a small shim from scrap under one of the leading corners with some hot melt glue. I set the shim thickness to approx half the total twist and bingo!

I discovered another approach by accident as well. The timber was supported on a roller at around the mid-point of the plank and by keeping pressure on at this point for the first few inches of planing, the approach angle to the cutter was controlled. Having done one pass there was then a sufficient flat on the timber to press down on the table in the normal way.

Thanks for the suggestions folks.

Richard
 

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