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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found 3 interesting videos about flattening slabs (not with typical router sled) using a handheld power planer. Take a look. It seems much faster.




I have been thinking about this for a while.
 

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Theo
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I tried one to smooth out a rough and out of balance piece in a wood lathe. Worked almost too well. That thing smoothed that wood like you wouldn't believe, almost took too much off, all in just a few seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like the idea used in the 2nd video. Just drop it in and use it. 2 boxes, and 2 rails. Simple adjusters.
 

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Steve
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It's an interesting idea. I've got a plane similar to what was used in video #3, and if I made something like what was in #2 (probably a smaller scale - I don't have much space) that could be very interesting.

I guess I'd be trying to figure out how to manage height adjustment, but interesting nonetheless
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's an interesting idea. I've got a plane similar to what was used in video #3, and if I made something like what was in #2 (probably a smaller scale - I don't have much space) that could be very interesting.

I guess I'd be trying to figure out how to manage height adjustment, but interesting nonetheless
Here is another site that better shows how he fastened his guide blocks.

https://www.woodenwidget.com/scarf.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a cheap harbor freight power planer (similar to hitachi planer) that I want to try to use to flatten one side of a slab using this idea. Then send it through my thickness planer to make it parallel. That is what they do in the second video and it works great.
 

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Seems like an easier system than a router sled for a project in the near future. Have to smooth out a maple bar top (actually an old shuffle board) that my dad had installed in their home. There was a flood and the basement had to be redone and the top was under water and the finish on the top was ruined along with a slight warping. Keeping fingers crossed that one of these ideas will help.
Thanks for posting !
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I like the idea used in the 2nd video. Just drop it in and use it. 2 boxes, and 2 rails. Simple adjusters.

Since I am going to use my Harbor Freight Hand Planer, I want to show my thought process.
I am going to use a slide system similar to the one used in the second video...on the boat build "Talley Ho.
I think it is important to have the planer set into the track system so the bottom is parallel to the track when used. The front of my planer has a hole horizontally from side to side, for a guide that I can use a 3/8" rod to support the front of the plane. The rear has no hole, so I removed the rear sole to see how much support there was. Not Much. I made a Hard maple block that is inserted internally to support the plastic body of the plane. The block fits inside the body and I needed to drill a 3/8" hole at the same height so the plane bottom will set parallel when dropped into the track box.

To match the location with the height of the front guide hole, I used a drill bit to mark a scrap of maple as shown in the photo. This became a guide for drilling (from each side) through the body so the hole for the rear support is at the same height as the front guide hole. The rear hole aligned perfectly this way (drilling from each side).

I think this will work well, but since I am going out of town...I have to delay further work on this idea for about 10 days.

My planer is a 3-1/4"...and I see Wen makes a cheap 4-1/2" planer for about $65.00.
 

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I have an Infinity Mega Planner bit that I use in a Frued FT2000 router. It came with a large plastic (1/4") router base and I find it easy to level lumber I have cut up with a Saw Mill. The planer will work but I find the Mega Planner bit gets a really smooth surface on Mesquite which is a wild grain wood. What ever method you use you need to keep your bits/blades sharp or you will get chip out.
 

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Man, these are some great alternatives. I also think you have to find a way to hold the workpiece in place whichever method you use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update on my planer sled

I've been playing around with sketchup … and wanted to present my thoughts. You have already seen my photos about drilling holes through my planer that will capture my planer into my sled assembly. After succeeding the drilling part I intend on putting 3/8" metal rods through the planer. This way I can just drop the planer into a tray with slots cut in the tray. The red tray in the picture will be lifted up and down with 4 threaded rods through the yellow slides. The red tray can slide from side to side within the green tray. The green tray sits on long rails that are adjustable (up and down) to accommodate different thickness slabs, and the whole thing sits on a bench.
That's the basic idea. Shown in the 3rd photo, is a slab that has the radius side against the bench (which would be shimed and fastened somehow). Since I am leaving town for a little while... I wanted to present this to you for your comments.

Note the generic "pink" planer.
 

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Gary,
You have done a good thing by bringing this to our attention. What I don’t get from your plans, or the boatbuilding guy’s video, is how to keep the box holding the planer level, if there are four separate adjusting screws?
Also, he did not mention the initial planer depth of cut setting. Any idea what this should be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Gary,
You have done a good thing by bringing this to our attention. What I don’t get from your plans, or the boatbuilding guy’s video, is how to keep the box holding the planer level, if there are four separate adjusting screws?
Also, he did not mention the initial planer depth of cut setting. Any idea what this should be?
When using it your hands are still on the planer. There will be four 3/8"-16 threaded rods going through two nuts fixed in the yellow slides and jamb nuts on the red parts... I have not worked out those details yet. The reason for using 3/8"-16 thread is that each revolution would be 1/16" in depth. The slots in the red slide are stopped dados, which prevent the planer from dropping through. The planer bottom itself would hang slightly below the red slide when inserted. As far as the depth adjustment on the planer... it would probably be used as you normally would I think.

The reason I settled on this plan is it still allows me to just lift the planer straight up to use it as a planer without the jig. Un complicated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I also plan to use plywood for stability where possible and use Formica on the sliding parts to reduce friction.
 

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Gary, please don't think I am being pedantic. It looks like a really great idea to me, there are just some details I cannot quite visualise.
1. I get the rationale for the threaded rods, but what if one or two are turned a bit more or a bit less than the others? Will that not affect h angle of the planer sole and blades? I get that even though the planer is “dropped in”, it is being held down by the operator’s hand, but if the box is out of level, the cut will be out of level - I would not be able to correct by feel.
2. Assuming the depth of cut is set only via the threaded rods, should the planer’s own depth of cut be set to 0.1, 0,5, 1, or 2,5mm? I realise that all the planer’s depth adjustment does, is raise or lower the forward section of the soleplate, but since that movement exposes more or less of the cutters, I assume the initial setting will be of some importance? Perhaps it needs to be determined by trial and error.
 

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Steve
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Biagio, depth of cut is really at your own discretion and probably depends on the slab you wish to flatten. If it's already relatively smooth you may not want to take a lot of material off, so you may only take 0.5mm off.
If it's particularly rough, you may want to take 2.5mm off to really get down to a flat overall surface. You may even want/need to go over the surface a couple of times to obtain a flat surface, not including doing the other side of the slab as well.

I think you're overthinking that particular point.
 
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