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Cutting The Planking

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by slk, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I have a question about saw blades. I was thinking of getting a thin kerf 10" blade to rip the 3" planking. I have a delta unisaw, so it has loads of power. I see they have thin kerf carbide ripping blades with a 3/32 kerf. Do you think I will be able to cut the planking with that type of blade. Or what do you guys use for ripping 3" material?

    Steve
     
  2. Just1moredave

    Just1moredave Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I used a bandsaw, a Rikon 10-325, with a 1/2" Woodslicer blade. Rikon sells a bearing upgrade kit and I have that. The upgrade makes it similar to the current 10-326 model. I spent a lot of time on getting the setup right. My planking stock was from Chesapeake Light Craft, S4S, slightly thicker than 3/4", 4" wide. I was able to rip at 6/32" with a 2/32" kerf and get 4 planks out of each piece. The cut quality was excellent, so a little handplaning and each piece was usable. The bandsaw isn't quite as easy to use as a table saw. The blade can deflect and get off track for lots of reasons. I felt lucky to get it to work that well.

    A table saw should work. I don't think I'd want to set the fence 5/23" away from the blade and blade height at 3" - a thin piece like that trapped between blade and fence can be trouble and hard to control. If you can, start with stock thicker than 4/4, and leave a thick scrap on the fence side. I'd consider cutting at 1 3/8" blade height, then flipping end-for-end, handsawing the web in the center and planing it flat.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    I have a delta 18" band saw, but honestly have never had very good luck with cutting long boards to such a small thickness. It only takes one wobble to mess up two pieces. I plan on trying 3/16" cuts and running them through the drum sander to acquire the 5/32" finish size. I am trying/hoping to get three 3" planks out of a 3/4" thick board.
     
  4. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I just ripped and milled a bunch of planking yesterday. I've been using a portable table saw with a 2mm kerf ripping blade. I make 6mm passes with the table saw. I usually do two passes and don't try to rip in one cut. This seems to reduce the tendency for kick back. I can get 6 planks out of a rough 2X4 WRC.

    That said... I don't mess around when I'm putting a board through. Always make sure all my important bits are off to the side. All the safety equipment etc. I don't have a riving blade. I'd definitely use one if I had one.

    After that I run it through a lunchbox planer to about 4mm. I usually try to get at least one good board face.

    I've heard that if you have a skip tooth blade and taken the time to set the saw up properly, a band saw is the way to go. But for me the table saw works out pretty well too.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Got the planking cut today. I bought a thin kerf blade today with a 3/32” kerf and I was able to get 3 planks out of a 3/4” board. The blade performed perfectly.... I cut 630 feet of 3/16” x 3” planking. I will run it through the drum sander tomorrow to get it to 5/32”.

    Steve
     
  6. Just1moredave

    Just1moredave Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Skip tooth blades work better because the blade has trouble clearing all the sawdust. I think I spent 3-4 hours checking everything on the saw. I tried to make thin rips on maple when I first got the saw, and those were terrible. You're not far away from me; let me know if you want to try it and we'll see if it was just luck.

    I thickness-planed by hand which is a bit of a workout but makes nice shavings.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. J.C.Molburg

    J.C.Molburg New Member

    Most people would recommend a band saw as the safer, quieter route to go, but a bit of browsing on any woodworking forum reveals the frustrations that many people experience getting the band saw properly set up for ripping. Recognizing that, a table saw with a thin kerf blade may be more convenient. use feather boards and stand out of the line of fire in the event of a kick back. Europeans use short fences that end at the first blade tooth to reduce the prospect of kickback. Full length American-style fences violate safety codes in some jurisdictions. You can accomplish the same thing with a short auxiliary fence attached to the front of a full length fence. You might also consider cutting half way through and then flipping the board end for end to finish the cut. That way you are not cutting with the blade at full height. Also, that strategy should reduce your sawdust exposure.
     
  8. J.C.Molburg

    J.C.Molburg New Member

    I recently saw an episode of The Woodright's Shop with a guest demonstrating the use of a wide mouth smoothing plane. He planed across grain until he was close to final thickness. I have never tried that, but it seemed to greatly speed the process. Of course final cuts were taken with the grain.
     
  9. Just1moredave

    Just1moredave Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I used an old #5ish plane, 14 inches long, with a blade ground to a curve, something like an 8" radius. The best plane for this is the opposite of collectible versions. Mine was an offbrand like Dunlap, thick reddish vanish on the handles, no fancy frog adjustment screw, no brass. Probably $20 max on eBay if you have to pay shipping. Grinding and sharpening the curve is the hardest part. When it is sharp, I angle my strokes across the grain at maybe 30 degrees. Each stroke is visible so that you can place the next stroke right by it. The blade is not projecting much, so I cut scallops maybe an inch wide. I can go reasonably fast yet still know where I've planed and how close I am to the right thickness. Then when I get the right thickness, I switch to another plane with a normal square-ground blade. I used a #6 for my planking, because the blade is 2 3/8" wide and my planks were 3 3/4" wide. Mostly because the #6 is already set up for exactly this cut. I don't think the exact plane size is crucial here. You only need one smooth side once the plank is installed.
     

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