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Thread: Thin hardwood stock

  1. #1
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    Default Thin hardwood stock

    I have need for some thin stock, something 1.5 to 2 mm thick. My thickness planer will take it down to 3.5 mm. Does anyone here use a sled to get thinner stock from their planer? Any other methods?

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Quote Originally Posted by cathouse willy View Post
    I have need for some thin stock, something 1.5 to 2 mm thick. My thickness planer will take it down to 3.5 mm. Does anyone here use a sled to get thinner stock from their planer? Any other methods?
    Yes, that's entirely possible. A bit of googling will net you the how-to details. But with that thickness, your planer best be fully fettled. If you have someone who you can contract it to, esp. if they have the capability to dial it in with abrasives (wide-belt, drum sander, or abrasive thicknesser), you might be better off.
    David G
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    How wide do you need your stock? A thickness sander should go down to ~1-1.5mm with no problem. A bowyer friend of mine made one with his belt sander that worked pretty well for 2-3" wide strips.

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Sounds like construction grade veneer.
    http://www.robbins.co.uk/marine/veneers.asp
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    How big and what species?
    I've used a sub table in a big planer,but it's always a gamble.
    A little one should be better.
    The thickness sander was a vast improvement.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    How wide do you need your stock? A thickness sander should go down to ~1-1.5mm with no problem. A bowyer friend of mine made one with his belt sander that worked pretty well for 2-3" wide strips.
    This is a very simple method to run veneer down to well less than 1mm. How thin it can be worked depends on the skill of the operator but 0.5mm is pretty easy.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Thanks for the replies. The wood is black walnut and spruce, pre planed to 3/16 thick and up to 11" wide. A thickness sander would be the best but I don't have access to one so the planer is my best shot. Luckily I have lots of scrap to practice on.

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Use freshly sharpened blades and a very light touch.

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Be very careful about the orientation of the grain going into the planer. Thin stock like that has a habit of exploding if you are shearing the wood in the wrong direction.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    So here is the stock I have to resize, black walnut and afromosia. 1.5 to 2 mm thick for the walnut is what I need. I'm nervous about working it,It's so nice I'll feel really bad if any of it became firewood.The planer will reliably take it down to about 3.5 mm and I'll finish it on a shop built thickness sander for the wood lathe. (under construction)
    ukulele wood 002 (800x600).jpg

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    What are you making?
    Steve Martinsen

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Inspired by Bruce Taylors' ukulele build on the homemade christmas gifts thread I'm going to try my first musical instrument project, a baritone ukulele.I hope I can do the materials justice.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Short and thin are dodgy at best in a planer even with a sled or alternative bed, find somebody with a widebelt sander, like S*** through a goose

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Like everyone else said, that thin in a thickness planer is dicey. Increase your odds by angling the stock as much as possible. Also, wiping the stock with a wet rag can help

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    bump. some ukulele progress. The walnut side pieces didn't survive thicknessing on the planer, you know the story,just one more pass ought to do it....Rats! So they've been replaced with african mahogany not as pretty but easier to work with.Since this is my first try at instrument building it's all a learning curve.

    saucies apr 1518 008.jpg

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Funny, I thought I had offered to thickness sand it for you.

    If you haven't done the back yet you can send it over to Salt Spring and I'll do my best.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Not my area of expertise but could the wood ride on some sort of carrier through the thickness planner until you get the thickness desired?

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Quote Originally Posted by cut3times View Post
    Not my area of expertise but could the wood ride on some sort of carrier through the thickness planner until you get the thickness desired?
    it could - easy way is too double stick tape it to plywood, but it's difficult to get them done that way in a power planer ime. A thickness sander is much, much, easier and less wasteful. If you are going to be stubborn use a handplane with a toothed iron.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Quote Originally Posted by cut3times View Post
    Not my area of expertise but could the wood ride on some sort of carrier through the thickness planner until you get the thickness desired?
    The thinner it gets the more likely it is that it will buckle and get munched. 2 mm maybe, 1 mm very unlikely.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Funny, I thought I had offered to thickness sand it for you.

    If you haven't done the back yet you can send it over to Salt Spring and I'll do my best.
    Thanks for the offer. I put together a thickness sander for my wood lathe that did the job on the top,back and new sides. The ruined sides were very pretty but had some really gnarly grain. Even If they survived the planer they would have been a difficult bend.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    In the future call around to a local cabinetmaker or millwork shop. Where I live you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one. Most of us would be happy to help you out for an hour’s pay. Anytime I try to plane any thinner than 3/16”, any wood prone to tear out tears all the way out to the chip shed. I just sanded a stack of white oak down to 1/8” last week. 60 grit works a treat for thicknessing.

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Quote Originally Posted by cathouse willy View Post
    Thanks for the offer. I put together a thickness sander for my wood lathe that did the job on the top,back and new sides. The ruined sides were very pretty but had some really gnarly grain. Even If they survived the planer they would have been a difficult bend.
    for bending instrument sides (except violin family) use a heating blanket and a sandwich of sheet steel shimstock + al foil + paper towel

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    What kind of bracing pattern are you using for that top?
    Jay

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    What kind of bracing pattern are you using for that top?
    Jay
    The full size plans I'm following call it "fan bracing" with cross braces at the upper bout and just below the sound hole and three lowers in a fan shape.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Quote Originally Posted by cathouse willy View Post
    Thanks for the offer. I put together a thickness sander for my wood lathe that did the job on the top,back and new sides. The ruined sides were very pretty but had some really gnarly grain. Even If they survived the planer they would have been a difficult bend.
    Next time consider this: http://openwoodshop.com/invention/sander.php
    A fixture to turn a belt sander into a veneer thicknesser.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    I use a sub table ( melamine-faced so it is slippery ) to plane down to 1/4" on my 15" Jet planer for my boxes. I wish I had one of those thickness sanders though to finish off woods that chip easily, like figured maple.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    I made this one for my lathe. I don't have room for any more machinery in my small shop.This is crude but it does the job,I've taken quilted maple down to 3/16 inch on the planer and sanded it to less than 1/16 with this.

    drum sander 002 (550x413).jpg

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    There are several ways to brace a baritone uke. I think that Martin uses a horizontal bracing complex as in some guitar work. I do a bit of luthering myself. Never have used walnut as a tone wood, please let us know how it sounds. Yours is an interesting project!
    Jay

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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Quote Originally Posted by cathouse willy View Post
    I made this one for my lathe. I don't have room for any more machinery in my small shop.This is crude but it does the job,I've taken quilted maple down to 3/16 inch on the planer and sanded it to less than 1/16 with this.

    drum sander 002 (550x413).jpg
    Hey, that's clever! I love this forum.

    My son the hobby bowyer got a Performax 16/32 for making veneers for laminating. I've probably used it more than he has. It's served us well, except that we went thru a couple of drive belts pretty quickly. The first time it was tensioned too tightly, the second time unevenly. Now we have a plastic drive belt of some sort, polyurethane I think. It's seamless and tougher, should last a long while.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    A bit more progress the fret slots are cut

    fretboard 002 (640x480).jpg

    and the neck is roughed in

    uke neck 002.jpg

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Bump.
    A bit more progress. The box is closed up and bound.The fretboard fretted and glued to the neck and fastened to the box. the box is getting some coats of shellac so its starting to look better. Tapping the body produces a pleasing ,live sound so here's hoping it will sound good.

    ukulele retake 004 (420x315).jpg



    ukulele retake 005 (420x315).jpg

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    Very cool!

    Can you tell us a little about the binding?

    Kevin
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    The bindings are a bit of a mashup.They're strips of maple and black walnut planed as thin as I dare then taken down further with a thickness sander.In order to correct slips by my inexperienced,fat fingers they differ in thickness and height from the top set to the back set and they don't fit quite perfectly.That said this is my first attempt and I've jumped into the deep end. I'm hoping for at least a good playing instrument and some experience to apply to the next one.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    That's impressive. If it sounds half as good as it looks you won.

    I wish you had sent me some bits to thickness sand, then I could show it to people and say "I helped build this!"

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Thin hardwood stock

    A shot of the black walnut ukulele bridge.


    uke3 002.jpg

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