now I'm tired. should I be?

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Found 2 boards of free cherry on craigslist. 4/6 and 6/4, each 8" wide and 10' long (had to cut in half to fit in my Fit). The problem is is they are rough lumber. I don't have the power tools to mill this. I do have an old Stanley no. 7 plane amongst my grandfather's tools. Brought it to work and and threw it in the electrolysis tank, watched some youtube videos on sharpening, put everything together (like this sentence) and went to work on one of these boards. One side is nice and flat now. Is ten hours too long for this? Buying a planer tomorrow for the other side. Is this an acceptable way of doing this or am I just killing myself? Is there a quicker way of acquiring experience than time and effort?

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If you are talking about ten hours to rehab a #7 and planing down one face of a 8" x 10' board, that's probably okay, depending on how much work it took to get your #7 back into shape. But if you spent 10 hours planing that board, that's way too much time.

My first guess is that your #7 is taking shavings that are too fine to effectively plane a board to level in a reasonable amount of time. It will get you there, and your board will be real flat, but it will take forever. It sounds like what you could use is a jack plane with a blade with a fair amount of camber, so that it can take off shavings that are about 1/32"-1/64" thick. Most jointer planes should be set up to take a shaving in the 0.003-5" range. So if you do the math, if your board is 1/8" out of flat, with a jack plane it will take 4-8 strokes to remove that amount of material. With a jointer plane, it will take you 25-40 strokes to remove the same amount of material, and you'll be doing it with a heavier plane. That will tire you out. ;)

If you're anywhere near central NJ, send me a PM, and I'd be happy to show you how this works in person. It's one of those things that you have to see to believe.

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Even when working by machine it's best to cut pieces for a project to rough dimension before any planing or jointing takes place. The old term for stock preparation was "thicknessing" because that's the ultimate goal--to get straight, true stock at a given thickness. If you plane whole boards, you'll invariably end up working with thin stock. Projects built with thin stock tend to look weak and anemic. It's a lot easier to work with wood that's been reduced to rough dimension as well.

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Thanks for the advice. The 10 hours was for the board. The plane took days, but it was in a pretty bad shape. The guys in the machine shop at work hooked me up and did a great job rehabbing it. Have to buy me a jack plane. The only other salvageable tool is a little block plane. I'm loving the community here. I can't wait for the day I can be on the answering end of the questions.

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A lot of good advice has been given. I recommend buying:

Coarse, Medium and Fine: Fundamental Woodworking Techniques

By Christopher Schwarz

This DVD explains and demonstrates which tool to use and when to use it.

You can buy it through the Wood Whisperer Store and support the site.

From the main Wood Whisperer site (

Click on the Store menu item

Click on the / Tools and Hardware button on the bottom right of the screen.

Then under Books and DVDs you will find this video.

This sounds more complicated than it is.

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I don't like doing things I like to do for ten hours. I have some old chestnut that is very rough. The saw marks are fairly shallow but still require a lot of planing. I use a jack with a 1/32 convex iron which removes the roughness quickly. Once smooth enough to run through the planer, the other side is very easy to true up. As mentioned above, cutting to slightly larger than finished dimentions first reduces the time and effort for each part.

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