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Thicknessing methods

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ByronBlack

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I've got to a stage where I need to thickness a piece of wood that is too wide for my 6" planer/jointer. It's about 13" wide.

I need to take around 5mm of and a leave a surface that is flat enough to receive a 5mm maple veneer.

Now, do I go the power-planer route? or should I use a hand-plane? I like the idea of using a hand-plane, but not sure how difficult it will be to get a flat surface good enough for the veneer compared to a finished surface from a power-planer. If I do use a hand plane, is a scrub-plane a good idea of a Jack plane?

Or are there other alternatives? I read a short article on another forum of someone making a jig for use with a router? I have a router so quite like the idea of not having to buy another tool.

Advice, as always, greatly appreciated.
 

les chicken

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Rip it in half to fit your P/T then rejoin using biscuits turning the growth rings to make it more stable to take the veneer.
Les
 

Gill

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Les' suggestion is the way I'd go if I was faced with ths situation. By the way, don't forget to veneer both sides of your board to avoid cupping.

I can't help wonder why you want to veneer a solid 13" board - they've got so many uses, it seems a shame to cover it with veneer when you could use an alternative such as MDF.

Is there any reason why you've chosen to use veneers 5mm thick? Most commercial veneers are considerably thinner than this, usually about 0.8mm thick.

Gill
 

ByronBlack

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I should have explained better, the 'board' is in fact a guitar body blank:
See photo:


It's currently 30mm thick, I need to reduce it by 5 mm to accept the 5mm Maple veneer (because it will be approx 25-30mm thick when finished), although this really is more of a tonewood 'cap' than a veneer, hence it being 5mm. Because the guitar body is already laminated, I can't cut in half and then re-do, and biscuits are out of the question as I need to route various cavities along the body.

Here is my final shape (using a pine template):



So basically i'm left with a dilema of whether to use a power-tool to thickness it, or use a handplane, I would prefer the handplane route, but not sure this is do-able for me considering I need a really good surface for the gluing of the veneer.
 

jasonB

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Still can't see why you cannot rip it down one of the existing glue lines, thickness it and stick it back together, you have a bit of spare width so a saw kerf will not cause a problem. The biscutes can be positioned so they miss the holes for the pick-ups etc, even if you did route into them it would nor be the end of the world.

To plane 5mm off will be a lot of work, you could set a circular saw to 5mm depth and take passes along the top then chisel it off before planing (see the japanese stool thread)

Have you thought how you will press the two layers together, it is important to get enough pressure ibto the middle of the board.

Jason
 

ByronBlack

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Jason

Biscuits are really out of the question as the neck tenon needs to go all the way through the rear pickup cavity. Also its really not good sonically to interrupt the grain pattern, it should be going in the direction of the strings at all times, and by putting biscuits in it would interrupt this. I also don't see the need. Almost all guitar bodies are created with glued butt joints without the need for biscuits.

It's too late in the game to cut it in half now, and even if I did the parts would still be too wide to for my planer/jointer. I can't lose any width otherwise it will be too narrow.

So i'm in a position where I need to thickness the wood as-is.

I suppose if this is not possible with a scrub-plane & Jack, I should be looking at possibley using a hand-held power-planer. Festool do one for £197 with a 4 mm cutting depth, a few passes with that should give me a surface that is then atleast ready for smoothing, or am I talking cobblers?
 

matt

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I'd get in touch with someone who has the tool for the job. For example, I'm sure a local joinery workshop manager would not turn down a drink to run the whole piece through for you.
 

ByronBlack

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matt":bali1ak4 said:
I'd get in touch with someone who has the tool for the job. For example, I'm sure a local joinery workshop manager would not turn down a drink to run the whole piece through for you.
This is what I was thinking - kind of last resort as I like to try and do as much myself as possible, but a good drum-sander or thicknesser would do this in 5mins.

Still, could be a valid excuse to SHMBO to purchase a Veritas Scrub and LA Jack :)
 

CHJ

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Byron, Do you have a tailed Router? A lot of passes but it would do the job, you could make yourself a simple Jig to span your blank and support your Router above a flat table and reduce the thickness by milling off the top of the blank. Would be slow but effective.

If you have a router table then just use multiple passes over a flat ended cutter set to the required depth. only the last couple of islands will need removing with a plane.

Where are you located? perhaps one of us with a router table can help you out.
 

ByronBlack

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I do have a router (not sure what a 'tailed' router is though). I have a Ryboi 1/5:



Where would I get a flat ended cutter, most of my cutters are either flush-trim, straight cutting or of the decorative variaty. I do like this idea though, i've seen it a couple of times, and i'm loath to by any more power-tools and would prefer to do it myself.

If you can point me in the right direction for the cutter, I think i'll do it this way.
 

CHJ

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ByronBlack":2u935zit said:
I do have a router (not sure what a 'tailed' router is though). I have a Ryboi 1/5:
Thats the animal, (term used for the cable on powered routers by the more traditional members)

ByronBlack":2u935zit said:
Where would I get a flat ended cutter, most of my cutters are either flush-trim, straight cutting or of the decorative variaty. I do like this idea though, i've seen it a couple of times, and i'm loath to by any more power-tools and would prefer to do it myself.

If you can point me in the right direction for the cutter, I think i'll do it this way.
Any straight sided cutter will do, just that if it has cutting edges on the end you will be able to plunge it easier, if not then just feed it in from the side.
Once you have removed the bulk of the material it should clean up easily with a smoothing plane or sanding.
 

ByronBlack

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Cheers for the tips chas, I think this is my best option, and will knock together a jig tomorrow, i'll post pics of the ensuing destruction! :twisted: :twisted:
 

Alf

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There's no reason in the world why this can't be done by traditional means using planes - if you have the skill. I'd be extremely reluctant to suggest it without extensive prior practice though. I also feel a scrub would be slightly more agressive than required; a reasonably coarse jack followed by a finer set jack or jointer would be my choice. If you're aiming to be doing this often, Byron, I wonder if a stand-alone thicknesser/planer shouldn't be on your shopping list? They go up to 13" don't they?

Cheers, Alf
 

ByronBlack

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Alf":70ucu3vy said:
There's no reason in the world why this can't be done by traditional means using planes - if you have the skill. I'd be extremely reluctant to suggest it without extensive prior practice though. I also feel a scrub would be slightly more agressive than required; a reasonably coarse jack followed by a finer set jack or jointer would be my choice. If you're aiming to be doing this often, Byron, I wonder if a stand-alone thicknesser/planer shouldn't be on your shopping list? They go up to 13" don't they?

Cheers, Alf
Alf a P/T is out of my budget at the moment, and to be honest I don't know how often I would be doing this, as this particular guitar project is quite unique in that its a lot thinner than normal, otherwise I would have left it at its current thickness.

If it was something that i'll be doing quite often, then in my mind a good set of handplanes would be just as valid as p/t, I like to use hand tools as much as possible in place of power-tools, as I tend to work late at night, and have limited space at the moment.

My goal is to get setup with a good hand-tool set first, and then add power-tools as and when they become a nessecity.
 

Alf

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ByronBlack":22ld4jwc said:
If it was something that i'll be doing quite often, then in my mind a good set of handplanes would be just as valid as p/t, I like to use hand tools as much as possible in place of power-tools, as I tend to work late at night, and have limited space at the moment.

My goal is to get setup with a good hand-tool set first, and then add power-tools as and when they become a nessecity.
See what happens when I try to play Normite, folks? :lol:

Laughing more than somewhat at the irony, Alf

P.S I meant a stand-alone thicknesser, a planer to 'Murrican readers.
 

ByronBlack

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A thicknesser - well, I did think about this, but for the widths i'll be using, it turns out to be a lot of dollar. Prefer to spend that money on some LV's.
 

ByronBlack

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Alf":37rd0h1r said:
ByronBlack":37rd0h1r said:
Prefer to spend that money on some LV's.
Not a sentiment I can disagree with - but factor in some practice materials and time.

Cheers, Alf
Will do, i'm only young and in no-rush so i'm more than happy to get my hands dirty and practice, I can see the value in doing it by hand first and then later using power-tools, I like to be able to have some skills to fall back on.
 

ByronBlack

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Just thought i'd update this thread. Although I have invested in some planes, for the particular job I needed to do, i've decided to create a jig that will allow me to use the router as a mobile thicknesser.

Here is a picture of the finished Jig (This is primarily used for guitar bodies).



The pair of 'ski's' can move up and down the jig, with the router going side-to-side.

And here is the router on the 'ski's' :



And lastly, here is a picture of a guitar body being held in place by my flexible clamping system:



This jig will also allow me to route in an angle 'pocket' which will the receive the guitar neck. I'll also be doing some templates to allow for the routing of pickup and electric cavities.

And here is a link to the photoset that has various in-progress and notes on the building of this Jig:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/byronblack/sets/948752/

Some action shots will be taken tomorrow when I attempt for the first to route a neck-pocket.
 

CHJ

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ByronBlack":31d5if6o said:
Cheers for the tips chas, I think this is my best option, and will knock together a jig tomorrow, i'll post pics of the ensuing destruction! :twisted: :twisted:
Well if that is what you call "knocking one together" I would not like to compete on the quality of one you took extra care on.

Glad that the idea has gelled into something that looks as though it is going to have multiple uses in the future.

It looks like a pattern that could well develope into a solution for a multitude of tasks.
 
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