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Thom
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum and looking forward to learning.

I recently cut old barn beams for a new mantel. I used a 18-Inch chainsaw to mill the beams. The first mantel piece turned out fantastic. Unfortunately, it was too short. The second mantel piece is way out of square. I was forced to work on a hill which made the process extremely difficult.

I was hoping to get some input and expertise from some members about how to best square up the this piece (without investing too much time). Dimensions 72" long, 8 - 9 3/4 " wide and about 3 1/1 - 4" high. (see attachment)

Thanks n advance,
Thom
 

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where's my table saw?
Joined
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29,616 Posts
"out of square"???

Length, width and thickness for your help in the discussion, like a 2 X 4 by 8 ft.

Can you lay it on a known flat surface to see how much curve and or twist there is?

If not, use a string from each corner down the length, wound diagonally and pulled tight. The gap under the string, if any will show how much it's off. Where they intersect in the center is the total amount. If you remove that much starting from each end you will arrive with zero gap in the center.

How to remove the material?
Hand plane, hand held power plane, jointer, or worst case, back to the chain saw. How much needs to go away? That will determine if you want to hand plane it or use a power plane.... same difference, it will just take longer by hand.

How to get it flat? It won't have to be square for a mantel, since it only relates to the back wall. If you want it square as a milled piece of lumber, then you have to take a different approach.... down to the lumber mill, which will have larger equipment. The 9 3/4" width can be jointed on a 6" jointer by working both sides leaving a ridge down the center to be planed off by hand, BUT it will require some additional jointing skill, since there is no common face for registration on the table. If you have a good eye for straight and flat then it may not be an issue.

You can use a straight flat board as a sled to run it through a planer if you have one. Just wedge up the twisted portion, hot glue the wedges in place and run it through the planer. the board must be longer than the plank and have a small lip on the end to prevent it from coming off.

OR use a sled like this
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/planer-sled-rails-14940/

OR this:
 
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where's my table saw?
Joined
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29,616 Posts
Ha Ha, I'll race Ya with my sled

Router sled. Flatten top, flip and flatten bottom.
:smile:

The OP may have a router, may have a hand held power planer, may have a planer...who knows, only he ..... and the Shadow knows. ;)
 

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Thom
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks!!

Thanks for all the input... I believe I will tackle this with a sled & Planer and a power plane.

Thanks again for the guidance.. and the video!
 
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