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sanding maple

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How much do you need to take off? If you need 1/8" or more - what about the Safe-T-Planer? I haven't got the smoothest results with mine but I don't have anything holding the pieces down either. I know some people actually use it as their main planer. Even if you use it, I'm sure some sanding would be required though - but maybe it could help if you have 1/8 or more to take off.

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find a friend with a thickness planer or go to a hardwood shop? maybe a school with a carpentry class has one? other then that.... look for some 40 grit or lower to put on your sanding stick

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...a plane?

Set it fine, use diagonal strokes if tearout is a problem, them follow up with 80 grit on a flat block to get perfectly flat. You can also setup a router for thicknessing - lay to pieces of timber of equal height on either side of you body blank. They should be taller than the blank. Then, lay two rigid rails across these blocks, clamp them in place, and run a router across so it removes a small amount from the face of your blank. Move the rails along a bit, repeat, and continue until you've removed an equal amount from the entire blank.

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