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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got a teeny tiny little shop and am in the early days of kitting it out. We've got a table saw, a mitre saw, an orbital sander, and some hand tools. I don't know that we're ever going to have room for a jointer, and while I'd love a benchtop planer we don't have that at the moment either.

I'm doing a bunch of glue-ups of fancy patterned hardwood, but need to get them perfectly flat — how would you smooth out your stock if you didn't have a jointer or planer? (Honestly the idea of using a hand plane on them makes me feel a little ill, but I'm open to learning how to do that if that's the best/only way! 😅)
 

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Why does using a hand plane make you ill? I find using hand tools a lot more enjoyable, and quieter, and less dusty than power tools, just that time doesn't allow it.

You can get the edge prepared on a router table for glue-up.
To get a surface flat on a board you can also use a router with a sled, there are many examples on youtube. But since you didn't mention a router I guess you don't have one I would recommend a #4 or #4.5 jack plane to do a rough flattening and then something bigger like #6 for final work. Maybe you can doo all with #5 or #5.5.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why does using a hand plane make you ill?
I'm new to hand-planing, and all the bitty little corners sticking up from my glue-up just seem like they're begging to grab a plane and cause gouges. It sounds like I should face my fears and give it a go, though! You're right that we don't have a router (yet — we're getting a plunge router as our next purchase!), so a jack plane does seem like the way to go. Thank you so much for the advice!
 

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where's my table saw?
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I've got a teeny tiny little shop and am in the early days of kitting it out. We've got a table saw, a mitre saw, an orbital sander, and some hand tools. I don't know that we're ever going to have room for a joiner, and while I'd love a benchtop planer we don't have that at the moment either.

I'm doing a bunch of glue-ups of fancy patterned hardwood, but need to get them perfectly flat — how would you smooth out your stock if you didn't have a joiner or planer? (Honestly the idea of using a hand plane on them makes me feel a little ill, but I'm open to learning how to do that if that's the best/only way! 😅)
Well, starting out with fancy wood aka highly fiigured, will NOT be the place to learn about hand planing. Not only do you need to know about the planes themselves and the various lengths and blade angles, BUT how to sharpen a blade properly as well. This can take much more than a "weekend", possibly a few tears to get really good and comfortable with both of the processes, and then throw in highly figured wood, you have a real challenge.
My advice is to sand out the "imperfections" with a 5" random orbital sander:
Really any of these would be just fine:

Keep in mind that you will need progressively finer grits of discs starting from 80 or 100 up to 240, even 320. You must progress up the grit scale to sand away previous small scratches left by the previous grit.
 
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You can also achieve an edge line by building a Glue line rip jig for your table saw. Look up some ideas for them because they can also double for tapered cuts with your table saw.
You will need a pretty decent saw blade to make the cut just like the bit that you would need for a router.
As far as planing, you should go with Woody's advice and learn hand planing.
Or do a search for a local place that would plane your wood. They can be fairly cheap because they more than likely have a big planer and can make some extra $$$
Might depend on where you live
 

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Ole Nail Whooper - Retired Moderator
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I got by without a jointer for many many years, a planer is a different story. I had the advantage to be able to pick through the lumber I bought, so that helped a lot as far as not needing a jointer goes. But even being able to buy S4S lumber it always varied in thickness even when coming from the same run. If the lumber had sat for a good length of time it will still shrink some. Some more than other types of lumber.

Even with having to sand, without a thickness planer it was just luck to get lumber close to being the exact thickness. I found it much less time consuming and a lot better looking project when I used a planer to get all the lumber exactly the same thickness. 99% of the time S4S lumber was close to 13/16th thick, not 3/4 inch, as they knew it would need to be final planed due to handling scratches and such needed to be removed.

A hand plane can be a pleasure to use or it can be total torture, depending on how well it is sharpened and tuned. An untuned but still sharpened plane can be tough. I would use a #4 for a scuff plane and a #6 or higher for final planing. Just from my experiences.
 

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I've got a teeny tiny little shop and am in the early days of kitting it out. We've got a table saw, a mitre saw, an orbital sander, and some hand tools. I don't know that we're ever going to have room for a joiner, and while I'd love a benchtop planer we don't have that at the moment either.

I'm doing a bunch of glue-ups of fancy patterned hardwood, but need to get them perfectly flat — how would you smooth out your stock if you didn't have a joiner or planer? (Honestly the idea of using a hand plane on them makes me feel a little ill, but I'm open to learning how to do that if that's the best/only way! 😅)
If you don't have a planer I would look into a belt sander. A bit tricky, but worth learning...
 

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Why does using a hand plane make you ill? I find using hand tools a lot more enjoyable, and quieter, and less dusty than power tools, just that time doesn't allow it.

You can get the edge prepared on a router table for glue-up.
To get a surface flat on a board you can also use a router with a sled, there are many examples on youtube. But since you didn't mention a router I guess you don't have one I would recommend a #4 or #4.5 jack plane to do a rough flattening and then something bigger like #6 for final work. Maybe you can doo all with #5 or #5.5.

Hope this helps.
Using a Hand plane makes me ill too...
 

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The Nut in the Cellar
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My first shop was 12'x12' and there was no budget for a jointer either. The hardwood store where I buy my project wood sells R1E S2S stock, so I went for years without either a jointer, nor a planer. I have a 24T glue rip blade for my table saw and ended up not really needing a jointer. I do have a benchtop planer now mounted on a rolling cabinet, but used the millwork services of the hardwood store if I needed something less than 3/4" thick before I got the planer. It doesn't cost much to have them run a few pieces for thin stock. I have a benchtop 6" jointer, but I use it very little, only to shave a few thou. off of an edge.
 
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where's my table saw?
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I'm doing a bunch of glue-ups of fancy patterned hardwood, but need to get them perfectly flat — how would you smooth out your stock if you didn't have a joiner or planer? (Honestly the idea of using a hand plane on them makes me feel a little ill, but I'm open to learning how to do that if that's the best/only way! 😅)
We have lost track of the original question. Handplane the fancy hardwood or ....... :(

If there is a local family run cabinet shop, they will have a wide belt sander and for less than 1 hour of shop time, maybe even "free" they will sand them "perfectly" flat. That will not only save the precious wood, but save precious time. Ya gotta know when you're in over your skill set. Nothing wrong with learning hand planing skills, but not right out of the gate on valuable wood... JMO
 
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I saw your fancy glue-ups in a different thread, and they look fairly uniform in nature. It won't start out perfectly flat on top, but it should be reasonably close. I think you can flatten them with your random orbital sander and a straightedge. Test the straightedge often, at all different angles. Don't hover over any one place. Most important: Remember that you must sand everything down to match the "valleys." You can't sand "up."

With all those crazy angles, a hand plane may be difficult, as the grain goes in different directions.
 

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You can use either a table saw or a router table to joint edges. You just need the right jig to set-up. A thickness planer will be tough to do without. I've done the last few projects with handplanes, because I've grown to love them. But, for sure it was a long road to get very proficient with them, and I still need a good thickness planer for large projects.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

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A good sharpening station and learning to use it properly is an essential investment of money and time. I learned to use hand planes by putting scrap pieces of 2x4 in a vice and making them flat, then round. But, until they are sharp, you will just give up on them. Almost sharp will produce agony.
 

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I'm new to hand-planing, and all the bitty little corners sticking up from my glue-up just seem like they're begging to grab a plane and cause gouges. It sounds like I should face my fears and give it a go, though! You're right that we don't have a router (yet — we're getting a plunge router as our next purchase!), so a jack plane does seem like the way to go. Thank you so much for the advice!
Do some reading, or you tube, on how to sharpen and tune up a plane. Even most of the better hand planes need to be fine tuned before use. Once razor sharp, keep it sharp. A dull or out of tune plane will likely frustrate you. A sharp well tuned plane is a pleasure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I ended up taking it to a friend's place; he's an experienced woodworker with a jointer and planer. On the first pass through the planer (which he set! it wasn't my newbie fault!), it exploded. 😅😂

So! It's a learning process. Next time I'll just sand it; he used his belt sander on the biggest piece that was left, and it worked a treat. It'd be more of a pain with just the orbital sander, but I'd rather do a long and painstaking job than end up with shrapnel again 😅
 

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When I started in a commecial shop I 83 I was asked to glue up a landing for stairs. I had the wood , glue and clamps. I clamped the landing together and watched it fly. That's when I learned to alternate clamps.

We all make mistakes. Nobody is ammune
 

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I've got a teeny tiny little shop and am in the early days of kitting it out. We've got a table saw, a mitre saw, an orbital sander, and some hand tools. I don't know that we're ever going to have room for a jointer, and while I'd love a benchtop planer we don't have that at the moment either.

I'm doing a bunch of glue-ups of fancy patterned hardwood, but need to get them perfectly flat — how would you smooth out your stock if you didn't have a jointer or planer? (Honestly the idea of using a hand plane on them makes me feel a little ill, but I'm open to learning how to do that if that's the best/only way! 😅)
Id go hand planer. Once you tune it up a bit, theyre really not hard to use at all and its going to be far less work than trying to sand your pieces flat.
For a long time, I wanted a planer but didnt want to spend $300+ on a power planer and just tried to flatten my work with a belt sander. Once I saw how cheap hand planers are and how well they work once you flatten the base and sharpen them, I was sold.
 
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