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Thread: Planing out a small recess in glued up panel

  1. #1
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    Planing out a small recess in glued up panel

    I am trying to get the hang of hand planing and am wondering if there is a preferred method to get rid of a small recess in the middle of a panel where I slightly misaligned the board edges during the glue up.

    It seems like the concept would be to bring the entire panel down to the depth of the recess, then re-flatten and smooth.

    The panel with this defect is about 9 inches by 24 inches, but once I get this figured out, I am going to take a stab at flattening the top of the workbench I built that has a few of those same issues, and don't want to screw that one up.

    I've got a No. 8, a No. 5, a No. 4 and a 62 low angle. I was intending to start diagonally with the No. 5, then along the grain with the No. 8, and then smooth with the No. 4. Does that sound even close to the right order of things?

  2. #2
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    When I mess up a glue joint, I will rip the boards on the joint and re-join them. You will never see the error if you do it this way.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Zucker View Post
    I am trying to get the hang of hand planing and am wondering if there is a preferred method to get rid of a small recess in the middle of a panel where I slightly misaligned the board edges during the glue up.
    Have you got a smaller and shorter plane? The high areas around the recess keep your longer planes from touching the surface just outside the recess.

    Or try removing the surrounding high areas with a card scraper. Remember to stay away from the low area/recess.

    Try the above on a simulated scrap in case you have never used them before.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 01-19-2018 at 8:43 PM.

  4. #4
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    You can use a cambered iron, set to barely cut, and then work only on the high spots. Then come back with a #3 smooth plane and smooth the area out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    You can use a cambered iron, set to barely cut, and then work only on the high spots. Then come back with a #3 smooth plane and smooth the area out.
    There is only one problem with that approach:

    I've got a No. 8, a No. 5, a No. 4 and a 62 low angle.
    As many woodworkers who respond to this will likely be how many replies of different ways to accomplish this.

    My suggestion would be to use a straight edge across the surface to map out the low area. Use pencil marks to highlight the high areas. With your #4 work the high areas only and check again with a straight edge. Repeat as needed.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
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    Todd,

    If you are in my area, you would be welcome to come by and try out a smaller smoother if you like.

    Other members in different areas also often welcome visitors to their shops. This is one good reason to include your location in your profile.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
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    Rip and re-join is a great idea, but i canít really do that with with the bench top, so I am wanting to learn about planing on this mistake before doing the bench top.

    Iíve got a 102 block plane. Didnít think to go that small but makes sense. I also have a rectangular card scraper but am terrible with it at this point. Might look at getting a curved one. If I bend it maybe I can hit the edge without leaving track marks.

    I can also visualize the cambered plane for correcting this, assuming I can get the blade to project enough to reach the edges of the recess. But I have been afraid to put a camber on any more planes yet as I have no idea at this point which ones to camber and how much. Trying to read up on it. (I followed Marc spagnuoloís advice to buy a rabbet block plane as one of the first purchases since it could be versatile, and I immediately put a really nice camber on it (that wasnít part of his advice) when I was just starting out on this hobby and I looked at it a few weeks ago and wondered why the heck I thought a camber would be good for rabbeting).

    I will try the card scraper first and see how that goes. Then maybe try a plane with a camber. Are there any threads out there as to which planes should get what radius? I wish there were a chart, I.e. if I have amassed a collection of x y and z hand planes with new, square blades, which should get cambered and how much.

    thanks everyone.

  8. #8
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    Will modify profile. I am in Houston. Maybe Lowell would entertain a visitor after he fully recovers from the hurricane.

  9. #9
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    Todd - While your diagonal with a #5 plan as the first step can be a pretty standard repair plan for something grossly out of flat, as has been suggested, map out the panel first to determine the extent of the problem. Jumping in with the #5 first may not be required if you don't have that big of a problem and then it could create a bigger problem. In my experience, Steven C and Jim have the right idea. Also, remember that the panel may not have to be dead-on flat to the point of a .000000000001 tolerance.
    David

  10. #10
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    Run a search in SMC archives for "best cambers for plane irons" and you too can become an expert. You will get various answers, but can come up with a general consensus. It is one of those sort of subjective opinion things that probably work well within a range of radius profiles. Don't agonize on attempting to get a dead-solid exact amount of radius, just know which plane tasks tend to benefit from either more or less camber. On your panel, if I found (by mapping) that I had a general low area running down the entire lengths of both halves of the panel that left a near to full length valley running down the center of the panel, I would plane with the grain on both sides of the panel rather than having to repair diagonal plane work later. Which plane I would use would more depend om how much there was to take off.
    Last edited by David Eisenhauer; 01-19-2018 at 10:08 PM.
    David

  11. #11
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    If the panel does not have to be dead flat I use a bowed card scraper to get down in to the recessed area. LN sells a pair of card scrapers, one of which is thinner and easier to bow.
    Life's too short to use old sandpaper.

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