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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My step-dad had a favorite expression: "It is better to be lucky, than smart."

So ... this church in Nashville decided they needed to change out their church pews for individual chairs, to accommodate "social distancing" and allow other events to take place within the walls of the church where floor space would open up when the chairs were moved to the sides. They posted this a couple of nights ago on Facebook. I just happened to stumble upon the offer during a sleepless night of web surfing, and seized the opportunity to (1.) help out the church by removing the pews, and (2.) add raw material to my shop for future projects.

The man in charge of getting rid of the pews didn't want to see them disappear one or two at a time over endless months ... waiting for people who never show up, and who have no means to transport them, and no place to store them, etc.

I told him that if he would give me exclusive claim to them, I promised to show up the following morning with a crew, and we would remove every last one of them immediately. :wink:

In a nutshell, I went down there with a crew of five people over two days. We disassembled and removed (133) 16-foot solid red oak church pews. (Do you need a moment? )

The backs, legs, end pieces and Bible book racks on the backs are all finished, and the seats are raw oak planks with a foam pad and red fabric stapled around the bottoms. The legs and ends are all solid oak. We estimated it to be about 29,000 pounds of wood. :surprise:

So now, I GUESS I am in the market for a planer, and maybe a sander that can handle these planks and larger wood pieces. I will measure them but I think they are a little less than 24" wide, x 3/4" thick. I need your advice. The planer ... Blades, or spherical? I do not have three-phase power, and that is not an option unless MAYBE I buy a phase converter. But the three homes on my rural street are basically powered by "heavy speaker wire" running over a neighbor's farm. Our three homes and shops / barns etc. have 1,600 amps of service total. The power company says, "If you plug in ONE MORE Christmas light!!!...." :lol:

When I built my FrankenBarn with 400 amp service, they had to come out and change the transformer on my pole. My home (200A) and metal shop (200A) and FrankenBarn (400A) account for half of that. They told me that NO MORE power can be brought across that line, which was originally installed to power only ONE mobile home on a farm. For $200,000.00 they will replace the power line with something of higher capacity.

So tell me where to look for a GOOD planer and sander. I don't want any cheap Chinese junk. "Good used" is better than Cheap new.

My mind is reeling with ideas of what I will make out of this wood.

Joe
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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I am not a fan of Red Oak, Joe, but that is an impressive haul!!! You may wear out a planer like the DeWalt 735 but it will do up to 13 inches quite well and then you can get another one if you just sell a couple of pews to finance the purchase. Or you could get a 15" Jet or Grizzly or PM and have a heavier machine that still won't be too much of a power hog.

Just for grins, post a photo of your haul.

David
 

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Great score...!

That's a lot of feet to run through a planer...not sure the cutters will stand up to all that finish. Are they varnished or poly'ed...? I would assume so. Don't forget the metal detector...

How about selling them as is (finished) but disassembled...? Save you the trouble of cleaning up the wood... Or are you going to use all of it for your projects...?

For the ones you will use for yourself you might be able to clean them as you need them...that might save on the cutters.

You might have to get something real heavy duty...but turn all the lights off when you use it...:grin:
 

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I understand the power issue but that said, usually you'd be running the planner and a dust collection system of some sort along with some lights. You have plenty of power unless you're running a production shop with many people and machinery working at the same time. LED lighting helps keep temperature, amp draw, and costs down as well. Running a 15/20" planner and dust collection system shouldn't be an issue. What can be very important is proper balancing in an electrical panel. As for sizing the planner I'd have to ask if the pews are basically flat, seats and backs or curved. You may find that you'll need to rip those boards some to maximize the yield of straight evenly planned wood. Just saying the wood seems key to what you may need and what your future need/plans are.
 

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Good morning Joe,

I don't comment a lot on the forum but when I do I feel I may have something worth saying.
You mentioned chinese junk and I am with you on that totally. (not saying that we all don't have some as its unavoidable)
I don't don't hear many talk about Wood Master , but I make my living with tools and know that Wood Master is far superior to many out there. They are robust simple and just plane work. pardon the pun. I have several of pieces of Wood Master equipment and my model 718 I have had since 1991. Keep it greased and oiled and it will run forever. I believe it has a 5 hp lesson motor on it. Exceptional machine and if you buy the helical head it uses about 1/2 the power a traditional straight knife head planer uses. Plus you can convert to a drum sander if you desire to do change overs. I personally do not do change overs but did when I first started. Now I have dedicated equipment as thats where I make my nickels.
Just my opinion so hope it helps and don't hesitate to check them out. MADE IN THE USA.
 

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A bit off the wall, but how about laying the planks flat on the floor and running a floor sander over them, I mean the big daddy, not the small edger...
Rent not buy.
https:/q/www.ebay.com/itm/ESSEX-SILVERLINE-SL8-Wood-Floor-8-Drum-EZ-Sander-Machine/293542965214?hash=item4458862fde:g:~d0AAOSwJD9ekTOL
You'll be down to clean wood lickity-split.
 

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A bit off the wall, but how about laying the planks flat on the floor and running a floor sander over them, I mean the big daddy, not the small edger...
Rent not buy.
https:/q/www.ebay.com/itm/ESSEX-SILVERLINE-SL8-Wood-Floor-8-Drum-EZ-Sander-Machine/293542965214?hash=item4458862fde:g:~d0AAOSwJD9ekTOL
You'll be down to clean wood lickity-split.

Now that's what I call "plain ole tinkin' outta da box"
 

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Now that's what I call "plain ole tinkin' outta da box"
don't use clamps or stop blocks...
for entertainment purposes only...
 

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LOL! You're bad, Stick!!
The daddy of all electric belt sander races...
"You stand over there and catch them as they come outta the sander."
instead letting the sander fly...
launch the board...

call it a ''board distance throwing meet''...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmmm... I like the floor sander idea. I am looking at helical planers in the 20" range. A friend with a wood shop is selling off his tools, so he has a nice sander, a huge table saw, router tables, dust collectors, etc. I am going to try to get some of his stuff from him. He is going through the Big-D and it all needs to go.

I will try to post photos soon.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I tore the padding off of one of the bench seats. It is apparently strips of solid oak that are laminated together like a cutting board. The plank is about 1-1/4" thick. I am not sure what to do with them. Cutting boards, I guess. What else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The foam was stuck down with some sort of adhesive. NOTHING will touch it. I tried paint thinner, mineral spirits, laquer thinner, acetone and even straight MEK. I couldn't even soften it for scraping off. What are my options now? I am afraid the adhesive will gum up a planer.

Joe
 

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