How to Make Very Thin Flat 4x4 Boards with Limited Tools - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,557
View Tool Agnostic's Photo Album My Photos
How to Make Very Thin Flat 4x4 Boards with Limited Tools

I have many relatively thin pieces of scrap exotic woods. Most are just over 4 inches wide by 8 to 12 inches long. Some are not very thick to begin with, but most are around 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Many have various defects with tapered thicknesses, twists, cups, etc.

What I would like to do is turn them into very thin 4x4 inch boards. By "very thin", I mean 1/16 inch thick. (I also need 1/8 inch, but if I can make quality 1/16 boards, then 1/8 inch boards should be easy.) I plan to laminate them into three-layer "plywood". I plan to glue a 1/16, a 1/8, and a 1/16 board together to make 1/4 inch thick, 4x4 inch squares. It sounds simple enough, huh?

-> How would you make flat, smooth, perfect 4x4 inch boards that are a nice, even 1/16th inch thick?

Here are some of tools at my disposal:

* DW735 Planer
* 14 inch Bandsaw
* Table saw
* Random orbital sander
* Underpowered crappy drill press with a 3/8 inch chuck
* Ancient handheld belt sander. It is metal and heavy and challenging to use
* Various hand tools, including hand planes (in rough shape), chisels, sanding blocks, etc.
* Harbor Freight Workbench - one vise, non-standard dog holes, with dogs too high for 1/16 boards
* Decent double-stick tape

Here are tools that I do NOT have:

* No power jointer
* No stationary belt, disk, or oscillating spindle sander.

Here is my current thinking, but I would appreciate your advice:

* Some kind of sled on the planer? (Can it make nice 1/16 boards without damaging them or sucking them in?)
* Rough resaw on the bandsaw, then hand sanding to get out the cut marks? Can I make them a true, flat 1/16 inch? That might be challenging.
* Anchor them somehow and try to hand plane them? It would take a lot of restoration work to get the hand planes ready, plus learning good hand plane technique.
* Borrow a friend's power jointer and use it some way?
* Some combination of the above?

Note: I do not mind buying tools. If there is a tool that I need for this job, say it.

Last edited by Tool Agnostic; 06-15-2018 at 10:53 AM.
Tool Agnostic is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 11:14 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NW Pa
Posts: 2,815
View TimPa's Photo Album My Photos
I would run them though the planer to get both faces flat and clean. if tuned, your 14" bandsaw is capable of slicing of 1/16 and 1/8 " thick slices. leave them heavy to get cleaned up. use a sled to clean up the newly cut face on the 1/18" thick slice.


glue up your laminations, with the clean 1/16" faces against the 1/18" slice. then plane the final assembly to clean up the last of the 1/16" faces
TimPa is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 11:17 AM
Senior Member
 
TomCT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 1,216
View TomCT2's Photo Album My Photos
I've done that for decorative panels but only to 3/16" - not sure I'd even try 1/16th....


what is the minimum thickness on the Dewalt? anything thinner and you would need a sled - and the flutter at 1/16" may simply result in shattering the work piece. if you try going that thin - stand well clear of the "ejection area" - little pieces hurt, too....


I glued up the pieces to width, then planed them to thickness. you'll probably want to plane them to a roughly equal starting thickness - for 4" width you could also run 3x4"=12" thru the planer. there is also a minimum length for the planer - usually the distance between drive rollers plus a smidge.


to get a perfect glue edge / joint I glued the pieces together using battens, then ran them thru the table saw, not cutting thru the battens. cut off the battens, glue together, then plane. the table saw kerf will "auto match" the edges - but you must keep track of which pieces go left/right/up/down.


obviously you must start with oversize pieces.... I wouldn't even think about using noticeably warped/curled pieces - way too much work to have them warp after glue up & finishing.
TomCT2 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 11:53 AM
Senior Member
 
nxtgeneration's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Grand Forks, ND USA
Posts: 121
View nxtgeneration's Photo Album My Photos
I've tried going thin on my Dewalt 735 with little success. The pieces usually end up getting destroyed. Maybe a sled would help. Ideally you could find someone with a drum sander.

Timber & Ash Designs, LLC
--> TimberAndAshDesigns.com <--
nxtgeneration is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 12:57 PM
johnep
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Anglia UK
Posts: 1,860
View johnep's Photo Album My Photos
I'm afraid I would just buy veneers.
johnep
johnep is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 01:21 PM
Senior Member
 
hawkeye10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Murfreesboro, Tn.
Posts: 1,022
View hawkeye10's Photo Album My Photos
I think your best bet is your bandsaw. You will need a 1/2" blade with 3 teeth per inch. To get a smooth cut once you start cutting try and not stop the cut.

To use your DW735 you could use a stationary sled. The sled stays in the planer and your workpiece moves. I use a piece of 3/4" waxed MDF, about 12" wide and 48" long. I don't think you can run boards shorter than 16" through a DW735 planer. Check to be sure.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
hawkeye10 is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 02:05 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: NE
Posts: 231
View Larry42's Photo Album My Photos
Whatever method you choose, you need one true reference surface to start with. Your band saw with a coarse blade can be used to slice some over thickness parts. Leave them as large as possible for all the rest of the operations. Build yourself a small vacuum bed. A box with a bunch of small holes. Use your shop vac as a source. Build a small gantry to hold your router so it can travers in both directions. If there is any of the vacuum bed that is not covered by the work put some tape on it. Take light cuts to clean up the band sawn side. This same setup can be used to true one face to start with. Blocking the work in place by placing it against slightly raised sides on the vaccum bed will provide further hold to keep the work from slipping.
Larry42 is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 02:08 PM
Senior Member
 
Maylar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: South Central Connecticut
Posts: 1,147
View Maylar's Photo Album My Photos
Double sided tape them to a plywood sled and get both sides flat and parallel with your planer. Resaw to rough thickness on the bandsaw, then double sided tape again and plane each piece to final thickness. You'll have to account for the tape thickness in your final measurement. It'd be best to have a cleat on the sled to back the tape up, but at 1/16" that may not be practical.

Dave in CT, USA
Maylar is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 02:12 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Cyprus
Posts: 235
View sunnybob's Photo Album My Photos
The answer is a router on a sled.
this kind of thing;

Easy to make out of scrap. Find a granite floor tile for the base. Hot glue the wood to the base. use a bowl cutting bit in the router.
Cut VERY thin each pass. once you have one flat side, use a wall paper scraper to lift the piece off and turn it over to start again.
sunnybob is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 06:44 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,300
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
You'd be better off....

You have more choices than making veneer yourself and gluing it together to form 3/16" plywood.
!. Buy 3/16" hardwood plywood.
2. Buy 1/16" veneer from a supply house and make your own plywood (this wouldn't be my choice)
You will not be able to make your own veneer that thin without specialized tools, and that is NOT a router sled. It will tear up because it's not secured enough. If you do secure it enough, you will bust it up trying to pry it off.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-15-2018 at 07:13 PM.
woodnthings is online now  
post #11 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 06:54 PM
Senior Member
 
Brian T.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: McBride, BC
Posts: 2,647
View Brian T.'s Photo Album My Photos
I believe it's a mistake to use any exotic wood for the middle layer in your glue up = out of sight.
Glue exotics to either side of some thin stock then plane & sand it to thickness.
Brian T. is offline  
post #12 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,557
View Tool Agnostic's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks to everyone for their great input. You have provided so many terrific ideas.

Here are a few additional comments:

* I am not trying to make plywood per se. I am going to make drink coasters. The design is more complex than flat, three-layer, 4x4 squares. The only part of the design that concerns me is figuring out how to make the thin boards that I need.

* One design aspect is that each coaster will be made from a different combination of exotic woods.

* I could use veneer, but I have a nice collection of beautiful exotic wood scrap boards that I have collected, and I would like to use them.

* Yes, I also own a router. I hadn't thought about that when I made my list of available tools.

* I don't own a drum sander, but I know someone who has one that I can use.

Please keep the suggestions and discussion going. I am learning a lot from this thread. Thanks again!
Tool Agnostic is offline  
post #13 of 19 Old 06-15-2018, 10:05 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,300
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
Thinking outside the box ....

Make a vacuum hold down pad.
If you cut your material into 4" squares and place them over a piece of wood or aluminum that has 1/4" holes drilled in a 3/4" grid that is the top part of a sealed small box with an inlet for a shop vac, it "should" secure the pieces well enough for sanding or planing by hand. There can be a rim around the top which would limit the depth of the hand plane, making all the piece a uniform thickness.

Production shops use vacuum for hold downs, no reason a home shop couldn't as well.

https://www.mmsonline.com/articles/h...n-a-cnc-router

https://makezine.com/projects/make-4...d-down-system/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-15-2018 at 10:11 PM.
woodnthings is online now  
post #14 of 19 Old 06-16-2018, 08:58 AM
Senior Member
 
TomCT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 1,216
View TomCT2's Photo Album My Photos
TomCT2 is offline  
post #15 of 19 Old 06-16-2018, 01:30 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,596
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
I think that trying to make the boards 1/16" thick is a visual mistake. Wood slices that small will just not make the visual appearance that you desire. I think that you need at least 1/8" thick. That will also ease your manufacturing job.


George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #16 of 19 Old 06-16-2018, 03:55 PM
Master firewood maker
 
Chris Curl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,972
View Chris Curl's Photo Album My Photos
"Plies vary in thickness from 1.4 to 4.3 mm in thickness." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plywood

1/16" is 1.5875 mm. So 1/16" is thicker than the thinnest ply. But essentially, it sure sounds like you ARE building small plywood pieces. And the folks that make plywood ... they have specialized equipment for make it. 1/16" is REALLY thin. I don't believe it is realistic to think you can do it at home with limited tools.

... turning perfectly good wood into firewood every day ... :smile3:
Chris Curl is offline  
post #17 of 19 Old 06-16-2018, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,557
View Tool Agnostic's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCT2 View Post
Oops. That was me. I didn't mean to start a second thread, but I just got back into this coaster project. I have access to better tools now, too.
Tool Agnostic is offline  
post #18 of 19 Old 06-16-2018, 10:14 PM
Generic Weeb
 
WeebyWoodWorker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Gorgeous Oregon!
Posts: 835
View WeebyWoodWorker's Photo Album My Photos
Do you have a lathe? You could turn a spindle, glue sandpaper onto it and make a table to go under it thus making a pseudo drum sander. In fact I should do that....

"Dreams are stronger than poison and seize more firmly than disease, once captured one can not escape. It's a real curse, but for adventurers who are dedicated to it, body and soul, people without dreams are more frightening than death" (Made in Abyss). The Twenty Seventeen anime of the year, it definitely deserves that award. It's a show you don't expect to throw you off as much as it does. It may be Moe but it's certainly not lighthearted, just the opposite.
WeebyWoodWorker is offline  
post #19 of 19 Old 06-17-2018, 06:16 AM
johnep
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: East Anglia UK
Posts: 1,860
View johnep's Photo Album My Photos
I used to just mount an arbor with sand paper in my drill and clamp in the B&D work bench.
johnep
johnep is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pros and Cons of Woodworking with Manual Tools WoodworkingTalk Featured Topics 81 03-20-2016 04:55 AM
What power tools do I need to make precision wooden children’s toys? JimGnitecki Power Tools & Machinery 57 12-11-2015 12:17 AM
Can I make a little extra money restoring tools maple man General Woodworking Discussion 20 08-14-2015 04:30 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome