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.
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.
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!!!....
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.