Friday, August 26, 2016

Hump Removal

 I have a sofa table to make and my plan is for the top to be one piece.  I had an poplar slab long enough and thick enough for the job. The problem is that I have no way to re-saw a twelve inch board.
 How to get a poplar slab that is 48x12x7/8 to a piece 48x10x5/4?  If I can get a flat side, my planer with just manage the job.  Needless to day my jointer is not large enough to flatten a 10 inch board.  
 What do you do?  The slab was somewhat bowed so either the hump needed to be flattened or the high edges on the valley side need to be flattened.  I opted to remove the hump. My thinking was that putting the board on the bench hump up would make it more stable upon which to work.  If I'd put the hump side down I would have to wedge/clamp the board so that it didn't rock while I worked on it.
  What are the best hump removal tools?
  My father did a great deal of work on rough lumber with a massive grinder and 7 inch grinding disks.  If I were working outside I might consider that method, it is fast but oh my goodness does it create a fog of dust.
  I decided to break out one of my favourite hand planes. Years ago I bought a scrub plane from Lee Valley and have used it to remove more humps and lumps than a  Hollywood dermatologist . I set the blade for a medium deep cut and worked across the grain systematically. If you have never used a scrub plane you have no idea what a wonderful tool it can be.  In a very short time I had scrubbed off the hump and was ready to move onto stage two.
 A few years ago I imported some low cost hand planes from India, Anant Tools was the company that made the planes.  For the price the tools are good value and I kept a few of the planes for my own use and sold off the balance.  I have two small  A 33 Craftsmens planes (Stanley #3 sized) that I use regularly.  One of the planes is set for a  coarser cut and the other for a finer cut with a finer bevel on the blade.  

hump removal tools:
scrub plane, smoothing plane,
 straight edge, bee's wax block.

poplar plank ready for final smoothing.

  I spent nearly an hour turning that rough plank into a board with character.  Once the hand planing was done there were many passes through my bench planer.  It is pleasantly surprising how much wood can be removed by a 12 inch bench planer if you don't demand too much of it.

  The top is prepared and ready. The next round of serious machine work will be making the taper legs. That is next weeks job.

cheers, ianw

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