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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I ordered this several months ago (October 2020), but with covid ... and the Suez Canal jam ... and the cargo ships anchored offshore with no one to unload them, it FINALLY arrived eight months later.

"It is better to be lucky, than smart." My step-dad always used to say. So it was, with the planer arriving for pick up in Springfield, MO. at the GRIZZLY location. It just so happened that I had planned a trip up to Clever, MO. to visit with friends who drove in from CA. to visit their cute granddaughter. Clever is only 15 minutes away from Springfield, so when I got the call that the planer was in, I was smiling ear-to-ear! What luck, to drive up there only ONCE for the visit, and to pick up the machine! Boy, this sucker is HEAVY.

I also bought the SB1100 Dust Collector they had, from South Bend Tools. It is a nice machine, but the assembly instructions were written by a moron, and their "quality control" department is sorely lacking. They sent me ISE bolts with METRIC wrenches. They sent three Allen keys, but only one of them actually fit the set screws or the Allen head bolts. I added about two dozen washers. I guess a bag of washers is too much to add to a machine that sells for $850.00 😖 I also bought the rolling base for the machine.

The illustrations inside the SB1100 manual were drawn by someone who NEVER saw the machine, and I had to disassemble parts of it three times, to do steps that SHOULD have occurred five steps earlier, before other things were bolted together. VERY frustrating!

I bought a nice 2" Mag Drill as well while I was there. It was in perfect condition and new, but it was in the scratch-n-dent room because the exterior cardboard shipping box got damaged! So I saved $150.00 on it, for a box I would immediately throw away.

I've never used a planer before. But I have all of these church benches I acquired a year ago, stacked up in my shop. 132 16-foot red oak church benches, all mine, and all FREE! It took five guys two days to remove them from the church, and two 18-foot car haulers to carry them home. Both trailers were heavily overloaded and the pickup truck beds and rear seating areas were stuffed with the sides and legs, etc., but we drove slow!

In the past year, I stripped off all of the fabric, and the foam rubber. So I am down to the bench seats, which are a cutting board style long planks of sandwiched 1x2" strips of wood weighing about 110 pounds each, and the backs which are about 130 pounds each, but they are solid red oak. I also have all of the sides and center legs, and the wooden Bible pockets as well. I probably have a couple hundred of them. I haven't figured out what I will do with those yet.

Pinterest.com is an eye candy store. LOTS of ideas for repurposed church benches there!

So the only thing I am missing is a way to scan the wood for nails and screws. Does anyone make a nice "wand" or something I can pass over the planks to reliably detect metal? I do have one of those arm-swing beach treasure hunting metal detectors, but I was hoping for something more practical, like a wide bar with a coil that I could pass over the planks to check for metal. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

A one-week trip to GA. and VA. to help some friends, and then I will be back at home, to try this thing out.

Joe

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Nice tools! I have the "Little Wizard" which is fine and works well for me and my purpose but you will need something with a wider scan. Wizard have their bigger version Lumber Wizard 5 with a wider scanning area. Search this sight as I remember the topic being discussed and someone using a very good metal detector.
 

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The varnish on the wood can dull the blades so be prepared to buy new ones after the job is done. Also, be sure to have an outfeed table or a roller system to hold the weight of the wood. An infeed system would be a good idea too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The varnish on the wood can dull the blades so be prepared to buy new ones after the job is done. Also, be sure to have an outfeed table or a roller system to hold the weight of the wood. An infeed system would be a good idea too.
The plan is to cut the benches into manageable lengths, so I won't have to plane 16-foot planks.These will probably MOSTLY become simple wood projects, like birdhouses, breadboxes, and such. I may select a few to make four-seat dining benches or 90-degree corner benches too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The varnish on the wood can dull the blades so be prepared to buy new ones after the job is done. Also, be sure to have an outfeed table or a roller system to hold the weight of the wood. An infeed system would be a good idea too.
This planer uses the square blades that are mounted to a helical drum. So dull blades can be rotated 90 degrees to give the cutter new blades to cut with. I also purchased some spare blades in case I hit a nail or something.

 

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This planer uses the square blades that are mounted to a helical drum. So dull blades can be rotated 90 degrees to give the cutter new blades to cut with. I also purchased some spare blades in case I hit a nail or something.

I put an insert cutter head in my old P100 planer, that carbide lasts soooooo much longer than steel! My excuse was that my wife wanted to re-plane a bunch of ipe decking, and I didn't want to change the HSS blades for her every fifth board (or however many, I bet they would dull fast though). I've had that cutter head since 2015 and only just recently rotated the carbide inserts the first time. Love that setup!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
While breaking down the pews and loading them up, how long did it take for someone to say "I knew there was going to be a lot of wood but I didn't think it was going to be this much"
About three hours into the FIRST DAY! I figured we could disassemble them with cordless tools in the morning, and haul them all off before closing time. NOPE! Five guys. Three days. Lots of HEAVY lifting. Then I had to store all of these long planks with the foam and fabric on them. We eventually found some time to strip the foam and fabric off of them, but even that was a two day project.

It didn't help to learn that those good, God fearing Christians like to shove their chewing gum into the holes and plug up access to the screw heads either. We began by trying to unscrew the Bible pockets on the back. Shortly into the first day, I gave a guy a claw hammer and said, "Swing hard!" :oops: When he began beating them off, the project moved more quickly. I still have all of them (about 300 of them) and believe it or not, they are still in great condition. I will be able to use the thin wooden planks for ... something.

So was the wood actually "FREE"? No. Not really. Five guys. Three days. Gas. Food. etc. About $2,000.00 total, to remove all of them from the church. Given TODAY'S wood prices though, I still believe I am ahead of the game.

Joe
 

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About three hours into the FIRST DAY! I figured we could disassemble them with cordless tools in the morning, and haul them all off before closing time. NOPE! Five guys. Three days. Lots of HEAVY lifting. Then I had to store all of these long planks with the foam and fabric on them. We eventually found some time to strip the foam and fabric off of them, but even that was a two day project.

It didn't help to learn that those good, God fearing Christians like to shove their chewing gum into the holes and plug up access to the screw heads either. We began by trying to unscrew the Bible pockets on the back. Shortly into the first day, I gave a guy a claw hammer and said, "Swing hard!" :oops: When he began beating them off, the project moved more quickly. I still have all of them (about 300 of them) and believe it or not, they are still in great condition. I will be able to use the thin wooden planks for ... something.

So was the wood actually "FREE"? No. Not really. Five guys. Three days. Gas. Food. etc. About $2,000.00 total, to remove all of them from the church. Given TODAY'S wood prices though, I still believe I am ahead of the game.

Joe
Sounds like my projects I get in to, a one day job turns into a two weekends of head shaking work....
 

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The varnish on the wood can dull the blades so be prepared to buy new ones after the job is done. Also, be sure to have an outfeed table or a roller system to hold the weight of the wood. An infeed system would be a good idea too.
Strip and finish off the boards before planning. Not only will it dull the blades, it'll probably **** up the planer. The dust from the finishes is also deadly. Reclaiming lumber takes a lot of work but definitely worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Strip and finish off the boards before planning. Not only will it dull the blades, it'll probably **** up the planer. The dust from the finishes is also deadly. Reclaiming lumber takes a lot of work but definitely worth it.
Hmmm... I had not thought about the varnish being an issue. I DID strip off all of the seat cushions and foam rubber. THAT was a project in itself, with each cushion being held down with a thousand sharp STAPLES! The first few took forever. I had a helper. We cut the fabric, and stripped the foam off of the planks. Then we grabbed the folded edges of the fabric and yanked them off of the wood. Leather gloves helped deal with the staples, but then we went around the board with side cutters, pulling out EVERY %&^$* staple!

After that, I decided to simply run the planks across the table saw, and cut off that 3/8" of wood that was holding the staples and fabric strips. Since I have no specific projects in mind for this stuff, I didn't see any issue with changing the dimensions of the planks by sawing the staple-littered edges off.

WHAT IF I put the planks onto the floor, and run a nice aggressive floor sander over them first? :unsure: The seat side of the backs are slightly curved for lumbar support, so I guess that would only work on the BACK side? Maybe I'll have to do the orbital hand sander on that side.

When you say "strip and finish" ... what exactly does this entail? Are you talking about chemical strippers and ??? Or is the process of stripping them simply attacking the surface with a 40 grit belt sander? o_O Is there such a thing as a BRUSH ON - RINSE OFF stripper? Not that I am "lazy," but my back is my evil nemesis, so I am not good for a lot of upper torso physical labor anymore. Would simply wiping them down with Acetone, or MEK, or ???? effectively remove the finish? What if I were to wipe the surface with some flammable liquid, set it on fire, and then put it out with a hose 20 seconds later? Would THAT remove the finish?

I know what you are thinking ... "Dear God, keep this man FAR AWAY from that wood!" 🤣

I guess there is a REASON these benches were free. Maybe you experienced wood workers know that there is too much work into making these benches useful for projects? Still, I cannot imagine that slicing them up to make bread boxes, or mail boxes, or wooden art pieces, or dog houses, or address signs, or kinetic wall art, or whatever, will require THAT much prepping. Am I in for a RUDE awakening?

I confess that I am NOT a woodworker by any stretch of the imagination. I was thinking of creating some five foot bench and table sets, some corner wall benches, maybe some spice racks, wall shelves, sliding interior barn doors, wall clocks, etc. etc. If the finish becomes an issue, then I guess I might end up selling a few thousand wooden bird houses next Christmas!

I need ideas for how to turn this heap of wood into ... SOMETHING ... that I can sell, either at a local arts and crafts fair, or a swap meet, or ???? I am still in my frump, and the days are passing quickly.

Joe
 
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