Andrew asks about flattening and thinning down a big slab of beech...
On Mon, 3 May 2021 at 22:41, Andrew Heybey wrote:
> We recently redid our kitchen. There is a small island in the kitchen,
> the top of which is about 3’ x 3’. A friend gave us a large slab of beech
> to use as the top of the island. The slab is is about 36” by 45” by 3-3.5”
> (it tapers from one end to the other). It is also bowed by about 1/2”
> across the narrow dimension.
Well, I have a fairly recent project (Pandemic Project #2) that used a big
slab of figured cherry. My stock was 48" X 18" and I had to plane half an
inch off it. I learned long ago that one face of a piece of wood can behave
very different from the other. When I worked on that cherry, I ran a jack
plane over one face to see how it worked. It got reasonably smooth and
flat easily. The second face did not work easily at all. Tearout,
and just all-round nasty. So, that meant the Good face was the first one.
I proceeded to flatten that good face and get it reasonably smooth.
Thicknessing, well, for my purposes I just needed it to sit level on the
frame of the table. I used a scrub plane to hog off most of the stock
and then a jack plane to bring it down to the line. Ah yes, the line.
I used a Stanley #78 rebate & fillister plane to cut a rebate with the
fence registering on the Face side. That means I simply plane the
off side down to the bottom of that rebate. Easy to see, that's for sure.
I only scrubbed for 30 minutes or so at a time, otherwise I would have
ended up a broken man, trying to accomplish the entire work at once.
I put some pictures up on Galootopedia. Here's one where you can see
the rebate and the scrub plane.
I don't know how well dried your stock is... my cherry sat in the wood
rack for well over a decade. Despite being 18 inches wide it seems
pretty stable so far.
Best of luck!
Wood Hoarder, Blade Sharpener, and Occasional Tool User