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Which plane for flatting a table top

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Mcluma

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I am new to 'fine hand woodworking' so be gentle with me

I need to flatten some sheesham hardwood. so what kind of plane do i need the top is about 500 by 1500 (thats why it doesn't fit through my bench planner without cutting it in half :wink: )

McLuma
 

Alf

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Moved this over here to hand tools, Mcluma; reckon you'll get more responses that way. Not just now from me though. I'm all typed out today. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

MikeW

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Hi McLuma,

Do you already have any planes? If not, you cannot go wrong with the LV low angle Jack.

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=49708&cat=1,41182,48944

Note that the currency which may show up is US dollars as that what I use.

You may want a second blade that is the high angle one, depending on the wood itself.

But, if you want, ripping it in half is also a good option. You do need to take care in order to take a minimal kerf, I use a bandsaw usually. The edges then need carefully joined in order to go back together without disruption of the grain. I do this all the time.
 

Midnight

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McLuma..

best recommendation depends heavily on the specifics of how the top isn't flat... any error across the width of the top is best corrected with something like a jack plane (or similar)... errors along the length are best tackled with something longer..#'s 6,7 or 8..
 

Mcluma

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Well it itsn't flat over the length as well over the width, that is what you get when using reclaimed indian timber. :cry:

So we are looking at a Jack plane :!:
 
A

Anonymous

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Start with a #7, then Jack. I usually finish it off with a #4.5 smoother, but the Jack should do a great job

On my tops I also like to use the scraper plane to get the final finish rather than sanding as one gets a nice glow rather than that dul, lifeless finish sanding gives us.
 

Alf

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1500? What's that in inches... :oops: 'Bout 5'? Hmm, well if we're talking just flattening, then a jointer would be preferred, but a jack would do the job okay. Assuming you want to go beyond flattening into smoothing, then Mike's suggestion covers both bases with one plane just fine. Sheesham's a rosewood, isn't it? Very hard I think? Hmm, you're going to have fun then... :twisted: :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Mcluma

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Yeah, you right about it being a hardwood, that's why i have been playing with the thoughd of ripping it in half, and putting it through the bench planer

So I take Alf, you have still not gone metric [-X

McLuma
 

beech1948

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mcluma,

I have never actually done the procedure ( very medical this morning) described below but I have seen it done.

1) create a flat frame outside the piece to be flattened. Could be a couple of 2x 's. The essential thing is that they should both be in the same plane both longitudinally and widthways.
2) Build a bridge to hold a router that will slide non the two side pieces
3) procure a 1 inch/35 mil bottom cutting bit for router.
4) use bit to cut across the top slightly overlapping the several cuts.
5) Finish with #7 or #5 set very finely as there should be little to remove...possibly use a scraper plane instead.

I saw this done on a mahogany top which had slightly slipped out of level registration on glue up...about 28"x84" in size. Worked very well and was quite quick.

There thats todays idea dumped...good luck
 

Alf

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Tsk. Everyone knows you can't get a 1" cutter for a #71. D'oh! #-o :wink:

Mcluma":3lstnqsd said:
what makes a plane to be it a jack plane??
Size. Salaman reckons anything between 12" - 18" long and blade width between 1 3/4" - 2 1/4", although the #5.5 goes up to 2 3/8" wide blade of course. And what you do with it too, if we want to get pedantic. But we don't want to do that. :shock: :D

Cheers, Alf
 
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Mcluma":191qebe9 said:
what makes a plane to be it a jack plane??
Such an innocent sounding question :twisted: .

Since hand tools go way back in history and across all cultures, nomenclature can be very tricky. To oversimplify, a jack plane is roughly 12" - 18" long and the blade is cambered (takes a deeper cut in the middle). It is normally set to take heavier cuts to quickly and roughly dimension a workpiece.

So why are people recommending the LV Low Angle Jack for flattening a large panel? Because the LV is actually a panel plane. A panel plane is similar to a jack in size but the blade is straight across and it is set for a fine cut. The LV would be a fine choice for final flattening and smoothing a large panel.

For initial flattening, choosing a plane depends on how out of flat your panel is. If you need to remove 1/4" you don't want to make 125 passes at .001" per pass. The goal is to remove as much wood as possible without getting tearout below your finished level. A jack is good for removing high spots quickly. A longer plane with a very slightly cambered blade (called a try plane) is good for getting the panel flat. The final flattening and smoothing can then be done with a panel or smoothing plane.

Trying to do everything with one plane is like trying to do everything with one grit of sandpaper, possible but not efficient.
 

Chris Knight

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Frank,
You (or Adam) really should know that you need three benchtops for this method - otherwise you will get rounded tops as the two in use develop male/female curves!

It's the same with straightedges.
 

Alf

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I think someone mentioned that at the time. Makes the whole thing impossible. Two benches, maybe. But who has three? :roll:

Roger Nixon":3n24akwa said:
So why are people recommending the LV Low Angle Jack for flattening a large panel? Because the LV is actually a panel plane. A panel plane is similar to a jack in size but the blade is straight across and it is set for a fine cut. The LV would be a fine choice for final flattening and smoothing a large panel.
Ah, Roger does want to get pedantic... :wink: :lol: That's what I mean by it depending what you do with it. Yes, the LVLAJ, or BUPP (Bevel Up Panel Plane) does lend itself naturally to panel plane activities, but it will work as a "proper" jack. Or a jointer. You just need to camber the blade, not using the MkII honing guide of course... :roll: Anyway, we're trying to gently coax him onto the Slope here. No need to scare him off with talk of not being able to do everything efficiently with one plane. Time enough to find that out when he's safely sliding... :twisted: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Alf":1neqa32e said:
Anyway, we're trying to gently coax him onto the Slope here. No need to scare him off with talk of not being able to do everything efficiently with one plane. Time enough to find that out when he's safely sliding... :twisted: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
Ever the gentle one :D . This question reminded me of Pam Niedermeyer's experience when she purchased a jack (authentic to 18th century details) plane from Clarke & Williams. She said the plane was quite different from what she expected.
 

ydb1md

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Frank D.":36yde3x3 said:
Adam Cherubini discussed a method of rubbing two benches (benchtops) together . . . :wink:
Wouldn't that produce some baby benchtops? :lol:
 
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