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Eliminating concave / convex surfaces

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  • Eliminating concave / convex surfaces

    I recently purchased a Ridgid TP1300 planer and JP0610 jointer. I have rough cut 8-12" x 30" mesquite lumber (about 3" thick) w/ a chainsaw and am attempting to create boards with 2 parallel surfaces but am having alot of difficulty in accomplishing my objective. It's hard to get a flat surface to start with using the chainsaw (I really need a bandsaw), and after I run the planks through the planer and then place a straightedge on the planed surfaces, they are often concave on one side and convex on the other (about 1/8"), and a couple of pieces have had a pronounced twist. I sure could use some help figuring this out and would very much appreciate the benefit of your experience.


  • #2
    Jim, I'm only speculating here, but there may be 2 things going on with your trouble.

    First, the stock may not be thoroughly dry. Are you working with wood that is green, or even close to green? If so, letting it dry, or even just stabilize in your shop conditions can make a big difference about movement after milling.

    Second, you mention planing but not jointing. Don't expect the planer to give you squared stock from rough. You'll need to use the jointer first to establish flat, true surfaces on one face and one edge.

    I envy you the mesquite you're describing. Bet it's gonna look good in something.



    • #3
      Thank you for your reply, Joe. Concerning whether the wood was green or not, the wood should be dry as it has air-dried now for about 2 years. Besides, mesquite is one of the most dimensionally-stable woods in the world, and I've even read about guys who've turned green wood on a lathe with no problems because mesquite has a 1:1 shrinkage ratio both radially and tangentially.

      It's been a long time since I've been into woodworking and I didn't recall that planers don't always produce true surfaces. I had hoped it was a simple matter of technique that I could correct to get the results I was looking for. From what I've read here on the forum, I guess I can run a board over the jointer and then swap ends and run it through again for boards greater than 6" in width to get the flat, true surface I need to start with.

      Thanks again, Joe. I'm really looking forward to making the transition from sawdust-maker to cabinetmaker!!


      • #4

        I think you are doing the operations in the reverse order. Flatten one side first on the jointer, then run the flat side down through the planner. The planner will not flaten boards, it will only make them a uniform thickness.

        Bob R


        • #5
          Thanks, Bob. At first I didn't realize that I had to start with the jointer initially, and had hoped I could have taken care of the wide boards > 6" in width with one operation on the planer. I've never attempted to perform the operation I read about earlier by using a jointer to get a true surface on boards greater than 6" in width. It sounds a little tricky. I've read where it's important to keep pressure on the outfeed table as the board passes over the jointer, but what about when you reverse the board and go from the opposite direction to plane the other half of the board width??



          • #6
            Rooster, click here:
            Buy this issue!
            See page 64 "THE JOINTER AND PLANER ARE A TEAM", they explain it much better than I can.

            Eastchester, NY
            "He who is not just a little bit scared of his power tools, we call stubby" ~ John M Peragine