How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

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themrbruceguy
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How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by themrbruceguy » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:40 pm

Hey there!

I am a fairly new member, but a frequent reader of the threads on this forum. What an awesome resource!

Anyhow, I am getting ready to machine my strips. I purchased my boards from a farmer's barn near Lawrence, KS. It was the weirdest place to find clear Western Red Cedar, but it's nice stuff. He was working on a historic church restoration in the area and had extras.. All the boards have dimensions 1/2" x 5.5" and come in lengths from 16' to 19'.

Due to the thin nature of the boards, I will be planing them down to 1/4" and ripping the strips into 3/4" widths. My question is how to get a nice, straight edge on the board prior to ripping? I have access to a jointer, but that involves hauling my boards again on top of my sedan to a remote location, which is amusing but makes me nervous haha!

I'm aware of the common circular saw guide method using a factory edge of an 8' plywood panel. Has anybody tried this same method but creating a 16' circular saw guide? I could possibly get my hands on a long hand plane that could do the job well enough.

And just fyi, I'm definitely wanting to use the circular saw ripping solution written by Jim Dodd here:
http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/for ... dar-strips
It's awesome to know there are some canoe builders in the midwest! I'm currently in the Kansas City area.

Any thoughts?
Thanks!
~ Jake

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Jim Dodd
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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:00 am

Planing a 1/2" plank, down to 1/4", is a pure waste !

There is No law saying, You Can't, use 1/2" planks to cut your strips from.

Here's what I would do.
Edge glue the planks together. Instead of having a 5 1/2" wide plank, glue two together, and make a 11" wide plank. Cut 1/4" strips from them. Ending with 1/4" x 1/2" X what ever length Longer is always better.
It will take more strips, more time, but the strips will easily follow the curves on your forms ! I'd build with 1/2" x1/4" strips in a heart beat !

Curious what they used Western Red Cedar in a Church ? Ceiling ?

Build your strong back first, as this makes a great platform to work from !

http://i1272.photobucket.com/albums/y39 ... 1jfysm.jpg

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Cruiser » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:47 am

Jake,

Cutting with the skilsaw is definitely the way to go IMO and using the strongback (with some sacrificial supports) is the easiest platform for cutting strips. There is nothing wrong with the thinner strips, just a bit extra work stripping .... better than sweeping 1/2 the wood up afterwards, trying to get 3/4" ones.

Some points on cutting strips this way:
1) make sure that the angle iron vertical side is not deeper than the wood being cut. So if you get a piece of say 3/4" x 3/4" aluminum angle to use as a guide edge and your wood is only 1/2" thick, the the guide bangs into the support strips, so sizing you guide is important, especially in this case were your strips are thinner. So make sure that guide portion is less than the wood width

2) On the leading edge of the guide (were it runs along the wood) ... it helps to bend this out a bit so it doesn't catch the wood

3) The reason Jim is suggesting edge gluing the pieces, is that as you cut, you are also consuming the flat portion of the plank, that is required for the saw to run on and stay flat. Having something wider means more strips from the first piece, less waste. Another way to do this is to fasten one board to the strongback and just butt the board to be cut to that one ... the advantage in your case is that when you get near the end of the board, you can just swap out to a new board ...


Brian

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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Patricks Dad » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:37 pm

Jake,

Neither Jim or Brian asked a critical question...

You want to end up with vertical grain strips. What is the orientation of the grain in your planks?

If they are flat-grain planks now, then cutting 1/2" strips off of them as Jim and Brian describe makes perfect sense.
Randy Pfeifer
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Jim Dodd
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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:58 pm

Great point Randy !
Here's a pic of about how the grain in the plank should look, for the best strips !

Image

This is referred to as Flat, or Slash cut .

Jim
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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Cruiser » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:40 pm

And that is why you need more than 1 response ...lol

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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by themrbruceguy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:26 am

Thanks you so much for the replies!

Jim, all of my boards are currently 7/16" to 1/2" thick (rough both sides). This means I have to plane them down anyways and I may end up with 3/8" thick stock max. This begs the question, do I plane down another 1/8" and rip 3/4" strips (yields face grain strips)? Or do I deal with using 3/8" wide strips with 1/4" thickness (yields edge grain strips)? What are your thoughts here?

Brian, your tips are very helpful. Thanks :)

Randy, that is a great point. I believe nearly all of my stock is flat-grain on the face. Could you elaborate on the pros and cons of using face-grain vs edge-grain for your strips?

P.S. Nearly finished the strongback over the weekend! Such a satisfying process. Going to see if I can get a picture to show up below.

Image
Last edited by themrbruceguy on Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Cruiser » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:12 am

Jake,
Using the thinner dimensions can be a bit of a job for the whole build (IMO), not impossible, but enough that maybe other options should/could be looked at.

Planning to 1/4" is 50% to sawdust, right off the top ... there are also losses when you cut strips and parts of the plank that can't be used for strips (they become too narrow at some point) ... that drives the losses to a level at which point I would be rethinking the "how".

Since you have the plane, maybe consider something off the wall, such as face gluing 2 planks together, creating a thicker board.
- plane 1 face smooth on 2 lengths
- use a longer set glue with a bit of gap filling capabilities, I would grab TiteBond III ... epoxy would be my first choice, for it's long open time and gap filling, but I am not sure you have that on hand yet.
- use a 3" roller and cover boards quickly
- align and pressure along entire length (you have a long flat strongback)
- next day .... plane other sides flat and to a thickness of 3/4"
- you have thicker stock

When you slice the strips, the glue joint will just look like you used thinner strips.

This a little work upfront, but may save you a lot in the long run .... just a thought

Brian

ps. if you decide on epoxy and haven't done this before, ask and I will summarize how I do those size boards.

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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:26 am

One Question Jake
Are you planning to Bead and Cove your strips ?

If you are, Planing is a waste of time ! If you run your strips between the fence, and the router bit, the first pass will plane, and route the strip.
Image

I agree that 7/16" strips would be on the short side, but much better than doing all the extra work, and throwing away usable wood. 3/8" strips, especially full length will conform to the tightest curves ! Ask Brian (Cruiser).
I don't know how much Cedar you have, But maybe check around at local lumber yards, for 3/4"- 1" planks. I would still do up some 3/8" strips !

Obviously you are no stranger to wood working, as you have a nice start with your strongback

Jim
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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Cruiser » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Jake,

Did I just miss it in the previous posts ... or did you not mention the boat you are building?


Brian

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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by themrbruceguy » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:51 pm

Hi guys! Thank you so much for your input!

Brian, I had never considered this before and it looks like it will yield enough strips for my canoe build! This is a great solution as it gives 3/4" strips and presents the edge-grain instead of face-grain. Here are my quick calculations below:
- 15 boards, all at least 16ft, all 5 1/2" wide, all 1/2" thick
- After planing, gluing, planing once more, and jointing an edge, assumed dimension -> 3/4" x 5" x 16'
- Each glued-up board gives 16.2 strips with dimensions 3/4" x 1/4" x 16' (using my thin kerf Diablo blade)
- Assuming an 80% yield of these strips, we have 12 strips per board (worst case)
- Since I have 15 boards, I'll be able to perform 7 glue-ups. Giving a worst case yield of 84 strips.
- Using Chesapeake Light Craft's calculator as a guide, I'll need about 814 LF of strips.
- This comes out to ~51 strips at 16' lengths.
- Not sure if I can trust that calculator, but it gives me warm fuzzy feelings knowing that I may have enough wood haha!

I will most likely be attempting this solution for my cedar planks. Unless if you guys see a potential issue or mistake in my assumptions / math.

Question: when gluing up these boards, why would someone choose epoxy over Titebond glue? p.s. I do not have epoxy yet and won't for quite some time...

Jim, yes I plan on routing a bead and cove into my strips :) I'm confused how the first pass planes the strip... Unless there is a crazy amount of overhang after the radius is finished being cut.

This build will be a 15' Ranger! I love the lines of the craft, it seems fairly stable (I'm an inexperienced paddler), and it fit pretty comfortably in my buddy's garage.

Thanks for all of the help! I'm sorry this reply got long-winded, I just love this stuff :)

~ Jake

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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Cruiser » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:46 am

Hi Jake,

As the width of any given joint increases, the chance that the 2 surface aren't completely flat/parallel to each other increases. Any place the 2 pieces don't mate perfectly will leave a small gap and whatever bonding agent you use will try and fill that void.

Void filling requires solids content ... in the Titebond series, TB III has the highest solids content, hence it has the best void filling of the TB glues .... this is still marginal (1-3 mil). Epoxy is 100% solids, so any voids get filled .... period.

After glue-up you will be slicing the boards and in effect will be exposing the entire joint cross section .... since you plan on planing the boards, you should pretty much expect a very tight fit .... so these exposed joints will likely all be very tight and TB III should be fine.

The reason I would prefer epoxy is the solids content and longer open time, but it is more work and TBH in your case (planed boards) is not likely worth the extra effort.

I would however, use the higher solids glue TB III .... also you will need to plan out the application as you don't have a lot of time to get the glue applied, before it starts "skinning".
I would should suggest:
- use a tray with ~3" foam roller
- apply to both surfaces
- place boards side by side apply at same time is quickest
- this also gets around any "skinning" issues, as the skinned surfaces can bond fine
- wet the surface, but don't have much excess
- pre plan your clamping/weighting scheme
- align edges every 3-4 feet (could be as simple as a block to snug against)
- smaller overlapping weights would work just fine (think regular bricks), clamping if you can figure something that will work for you

This may be somewhat more than you asked ...

Brian

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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Cruiser » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:12 am

I checked your strip calcs and they are reasonably close to what you will likely yield.

A couple of points:

- Jim suggested edge gluing the planks, it means you can get every bit from the plank, as it is supported by the next one .... thinking this way, also means that jointing the edge may not really be required
- I plan on .26" strips and plane off .05" on each side, to make them a perfect .25" (but I can tend to "fussy")
- any edge gluing just has to be enough to hold the boards for cutting, it isn't fussy

Brian

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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by Jim Dodd » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:38 am

First ,Tite Bond will be fine for gluing up planks. It will not run all over like epoxy, just be sure to get a good coating, on the mating surfaces !

Running the strips BETWEEN the bit and the fence, insures they all come out the same. Thin strips of Cedar are no problem ! I wouldn't recommend it for Hard wood. I've done all my strips this way, and see no need to plane the planks before cutting strips, as this method does it for me. Look again at the photo,It should tell, better than my typing ! :thinking

Jim.
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Re: How to get straight edge for ripping planks?

Post by themrbruceguy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:15 pm

Brian, ya I have been a tad concerned about getting a perfect glue-up without gaps. I'm still convinced I'd like to give this method a shot, and I'll deal with any mistakes that I make haha! The info you shared about the solids is really interesting, thanks for that. I'll be picking up a couple rollers and ask one of my roommates to help when it comes time to apply glue and stack bricks :) Hopefully regular bricks will apply enough force for a nice glue-up.

Jim, yes this makes more sense. So your bead bit has a long enough cutting surface to not only form the radius, but also reach beyond that and plane the rest of the strip?

And a new question: In your guys' experience, how many strips does a Ranger (or similar sized) canoe have on it? Assuming the typical 1/4" x 3/4" dimensions. I'm still worried about running out haha!

Thanks,
~ Jake

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