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Thicknessing wood

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Ian Gardner09/06/2010 10:13:05
566 forum posts
1 photos
I like to build to fairly large scales and enjoy using wood. I tend to cut my wood on a bandsaw and finish with a block plane and sander but have been looking for a better way to finish sheet and strip to a uniform thickness. I have tried a drum sander against a fence in my pillar drill but it's not very satisfactory and creates huge amounts of dust. I have attempted to make a thicknesser but cant find a cylindrical sanding drum I can support at both ends. I'm now considering experimenting with a router system. Has anyone come up with a good system? I might even consider  buying a small thicknesser if I thought it would do the job. I note Proxxon do one but I don't really want to start another mortgage!
Any suggestions?
Ian Gardner
David Meier09/06/2010 10:28:04
205 forum posts
81 photos
Could you lash something up using an electric hand plane?
What thickness and width strips are you wanting?
Bob Abell09/06/2010 10:31:10
9317 forum posts
2976 photos
Hello there, Ian
I always use a bandsaw.................leaving the sawn!
My Great Eastern had 70 off x 8`-0" planks of 10mm x 3mm........Imagine planing those?
The planks are glued to the formers and THEN planed Thickness plane not required
Having said all that......I`d love a little planing machine!
There!........I`ve saved you a small fortune?
Ian Gardner09/06/2010 10:46:37
566 forum posts
1 photos
Thanks both.
Bob I cut planks on a bandsaw and plane each new edge before cutting and use the sawn edge inside the hull. I find I can cut  1/8'' sheet say 3'' wide on my bandsaw but wanted a way of finishing the surface uniformly. I already use a plane as I described to take out saw marks. I'm thinking more of mahogany sheet for superstructures. I'm just not sure if a small thicknesser could cut down to  that size- I've never been reassured about that enough to make the expenditure.
David, it might be worth looking at the electric planer idea - it occurs to me that one might arrange it between two thicknessing strips with the sheet fixed down temporarily with hot glue- food for thought, thanks.
Peter Morris09/06/2010 12:39:54
32 forum posts
29 photos
I noticed that B&Q are selling MacAllister planer/thicknessers for £190 - still expensive but a lot less than the Proxxon machine!
Ian Gardner09/06/2010 16:41:26
566 forum posts
1 photos
Hi Peter,
It's the sort of machine I have often considered buying but I don't know if it would do what I want it to. They always give maximum thickness of section it will take but not the minimum.
certainly is a good price- might pop along to B&Q and see if I can find someone who knows about these machines.
Kevin Bellman09/06/2010 22:37:01
68 forum posts
2 photos
I have a friend who has a full size planer/thicknesser. I found that by putting a sheet of 10mm MDF on the bed of the planer and sliding my stock wood over it was able to go down to 1mm thick.
Put a lip on the front/underside  of the MDF to stop it going through.
Ian Gardner10/06/2010 15:14:44
566 forum posts
1 photos
Thank you Kevin,
That's an excellent suggestion and I can see how that would work.
neil howard-pritchard10/06/2010 18:28:37
1916 forum posts
1747 photos
Sorry ian, but an incredibly dangerous practice.
When you feed a piece of timber through a planer/thicknesser you have the safety of anti kickback grabs on the timber to stop it from being thrown out of the planer at about 400 miles an hour.....the blade speed at the tips on a planer can reach anything upto 2400 mph.
Once you put that timber onto another piece, you loose either the top or the bottom grabs, and you have little control of what the planer can do.........
I speak from traning and the certificates I hold as a retired teacher trained on these machines........AND THEY ARE NOT TO BE ABUSED.......... SERIOUS INJURY CAN AND WILL FOLLOW by abusing what can be very dangerous and unforgiving machines
Ian Gardner10/06/2010 18:35:02
566 forum posts
1 photos
Warning duly noted.

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