Flattening a Slab
A friend is having some trees cut down, including a red oak that's about 20" diameter. He's thinking about asking the crew to cut a 4' length at the bottom of the tree and then cut a longitudinal slab out of the center - slab would then be about 20" wide and 48" long. Discounting the problems in drying it so that it doesn't crack (another subject), we were discussing a method of flattening the faces so he could make the slab into a table top. So, mounting it to a sheet, shimming from the bottom and then using a router in a sled is one option. Has anyone thought about fixturing an electric hand planer into a sled and using that to flatten the part? Assuming that the planer could be fixture, this would give a 3-1/4" wide pass down the slab each time, and greatly reduce the time needed. The bar size isn't limited by the holes in the router base so could be made of 1/2" or 3/4" iron pipe to give minimal deflection.
What do you think?