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Thinning Sides


Vinny
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I had some success thinning my archtop sides over the weekend and wanted to share what I did. They were 2x36 flat sawn walnut ripped on the bandsaw to roughly 3/16'', I needed to get them down to 3/32''. Here's what I did. First I tried using a Safety Planer chucked in the Drill Press, even though I put a fence on the drill press table, the planer blade grabbed the side out of my hand. I was going slow and taking off the bare mininum but I think it happened because it was walnut. I used to use the safety planer for a lot of things but since adding a 12'' planer and a 6'' jointer its been sitting under my bench. I thought this could be better accomplished on the jointer so I then took a flat 3x3x36 poplar blank and attached the side with dbl sided tape. It took 5 passes at the lightest setting to get it down to what looked thin enough. I ran a flat metal ruler down its length to separate the taped side from the poplar carrier board. Dont pull them apart because the weaker of the 2 boards will crack. It was perfect, actually too perfect because I went one pass too many. The side was down to about .065'', too thin but nice and flat and ready to go on the bender for a test bend which I plan on doing tonite. I'm glad that Ive figured out a way to get my sides down to corredt thickness, but I'll try to get them off the table saw a bit thinner first to cut down on waste, If I can rip them at 1/8'' that'd be a plus. A thin kerf re-saw blade for the tablesaw is on the list. -Vinny

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Vinny,

Sounds like you where able to get this to almost work this time, but I would be carful. Obviously there is a chance the jointer could rip the wood off the blank (just a bit and your jointer blade will rip the side apart), you also run the risk of tear out. All that I am sure you already know.

I would recommend cutting much closer to your needed dimension, during the initial re-saw. Then finish with a plane or sanding block (you should be able to re-saw within a few thousandths depending on how ruff your saw blade cuts/ scratches the blade produces). Sounds like your heading that direction with your cutting already, I would just avoid the joiner.

Peace,Rich

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Yes, its definitely different planing hardwoods than say pine, its a hairy job on the jointer. I have a belt sander and will consider clamping it down and sanding it to final thickness. Thanks Rich, -Vinny

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Yes, its definitely different planing hardwoods than say pine, its a hairy job on the jointer. I have a belt sander and will consider clamping it down and sanding it to final thickness. Thanks Rich, -Vinny

Vinny,

Be careful trying a belt sander, they are too agressive and you likely mess your sides up (this is what happened to me years ago when I tried). If you cut your sides to .100" (given your blade scratches are not too deep), you can touch up the sides and thickness with a sanding block in short order(much safer).

Peace,Rich

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