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Discussion Starter #1
After running bandmills and being a avid woodworker...I've been pondering on building an overhead planer!.

There is a fellow on youtube that built and is doing the same things I'm talking about and it works great! I've been thinking of this for years and just never have done it yet!

Here's the deal.......
build a frame too whatever length you need.....this need too be made of steel because straightness is going too be important and keeping things straight forever!.
Using an old planer head of whatever width (I'm going too use a 24" head from an old old planer) mount the head too an overhead track system with steel rollers that will allow the head too travel down the track while staying straight!.
The board will be placed on the table and clamped into place with an automatic clamp that will hold the board down the table at several places too keep the board in place while planing.
If the board dont lay flat, this is good!...leave it that way and it clamps where its at!.
Run the planer down the length of the board taking light cuts with very sharp blades!. Once the board is planed down smooth and flat, remove the board and run it through a thickness planer too your desired thickness!.

What you will end up with is a truly flat board that is much easier too make than using your jointer!. The ovehead planer works same as a jointer too flatten one side of the boards taking cups and twists out of the board. And being as the board is stationary, it should be a lot more accurate than trying too run long boards across a jointer and get them right!. The overhead planer would just be a giant upside down jointer!.

Seems complicated but with would work about the same as a bandsaw mill....moving the cutter thru the wood instead of the wood thru the cutter!
 

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where's my table saw?
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I donno about this idea....

There have been a bunch of planing with a router Videos on You Tube like this one. Moving a large, heavy planer from an overhead rail just seems like too much engineering. There have also been examples of using a bench top planer and moving it along a beam or plank.


and this one:

converted benchtop planer:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why not just build a carrier for your planer?
That's basically what it would be but without the bottom table!. This planer would need too travel over the face without a backup table under the board!. That video above planing the pine beams is exactly the one I am talking about only larger with a heavier frame too do more production work......I even thought about building this on its own trailer for transporting the unit.
I'm looking for something I can run out a thousand feet of lumber in a reasonable ammount of time and then run it thru the regular planer for thickness. I just need a way of jointer long boards on one side too prepare them for the planer.
End result is a quickly made flat board ready for woodworking!. This would do the same exact thing as a large jointer....only safer and quicker with more accuracy!. :blink: But Hey....I've built a few "good idears that dint werk" in my life!......Another one couldnt hurt!!!! Lol
 

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We use one of these for heavy timbers but they aren't really for 1" thick boards.
Auto flattening planers have been around a long time in many configurations. These are more suitable for thinner material. This is an older example that is inexpensive. More sophisticated ones flatten, surface and sand all four faces, others also flatten, straighten and can mold all four surfaces. http://www.exfactory.com/Detail.aspx?recnum=PD-010606&refcatid=PD&menu=used
 

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where's my table saw?
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I have to reconsider this idea...

It may be OK after all! I can see a 4 post carriage like Cook's Bandsaw Mills use and just use the head and height adjustment columns from the stationary planer. You need a means to adjust the height for sure. It would be similar to the band mill's height adjustment with screws all linked together on a chain loop..

On the other side of the issue, you could also just get a arse old 20" wide jointer and a power feeder and stand back and feed the boards through about as fast as a guy could catch them out the other side.

My theory has always been...large, heavy board? move the tool, small board? move the board.... skil saw vs table saw sorta thing.

 

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where's my table saw?
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Ya lost me here Frank

I can't see the advantage of having two planer heads, if you are going to use a conventional planer to do the second side. This would make perfect sense to me for beams so you don't have to manhandle them.

If you have an extra planer you can part it out for the project.
It would be useful for large beams, and planks.
The planks would have to be secured and supported so they don't tip under load.
The rails would have to be level straight and true or the board will be wavy.
The rotation of the cutterhead would have to be such it doesn't lift the plank.
It could be done using off the shelf parts and off the wall ideas....
 
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