Planing. Blade on grain.

The transformation of raw to ready, rough to smooth.

It conjures up images of handmade hand tools, whetstones and canvas aprons.

In that not so distant past lies the root of today’s workshop. The tools are machines and the blades are nearly a metre wide but the result is not so different.

Wide boards, figured grain, smooth surface.

We decided on a wide board planer one day because for working boards over 220mm wide, believe it or not, the alternative was hand tools. Powered, but still hand.

So we keep two wide board planers running up to 1400mm wide, one of which sands to finish too.

It’s a beautiful thing that these wide boards, those giants of the forest that were…  giants of the woodshed today, are desired and left in their entirety more and more. The time has come for wood to be treasured for it’s natural character. Woodworkers are finding more ways to use the whole boards and in the process waste less and less wood. And the real bonus is that once thicknessed, the board will lie flat on a base!

We’ve known (and loved) big wide boards that have gone on to be happy tables, desks and worktops. Butterfly jointed and encased in resin. Worked with Nakashima restraint and Makepeace exuberance.

The route to achieving pieces like these is simpler and speedier with the use of a wide planer and it leaves more time for sanding, finishing and daydreaming about the next trip to the woodyard..


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