Looking to plane some barnwood

I am making a desk for my oldest daughter and have some barnwood I would like to plane. I joined a couple weeks ago but missed the Woodshop class at the end of last month.

Is there anyone willing to help me plane 20 sq ft of barnwood? Or ideally any woodshop classes coming up?

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I won’t be up for a couple of days so hopefully someone else can help you pretty quick. With barnwood it is VERY important that you run the metal detector over it to make sure it doesn’t have any metal fragments like nails. Pieces need to be no less than 1 ft long. So you can at least check these items before running them thru the planer. other than that it should run pretty quickly.


Why is that? Please educate me.

Because they won’t be able to go through the planer easily.

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James I’m usually free Thursday evenings from around 5-6:30 or after 9.

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Hmmm. I would have thought that 1 foot long is difficult to feed in and out of the planer. Not knowing any better, I think I would have just taken lighter cuts.

IIRC, about a foot is the shortest you can have it & the rollers still have the grip of the wood. Woodshop folks can correct me if I’m wrong.


Stated min. length is 6-3/4"

but I suspect we’re suggesting “for better results” experiences suggest keeping work longer than 12" yields better (I have no personal input on this; I’m guessing about why this was posted)…

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Personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable trying to use the planer to do 6 3/4”. 12” lets you feed the wood where fingers aren’t near the machine nor have to reach in on back end. The machines around the Makerspace are generally more capable than we give them credit for, but as Makers we push ourselves as well. Let’s do our best not to push past our limits and stay safe making.


Welcome, @jameshess! There is a metal detector that looks a lot like a flashlight that’s usually attached to the bottom legs of the SawStop table saw.

Tagging our Woodshop Basics teachers @Mrksls2 @shoottx

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one is obviously so you don’t have to reach into the outfeed to grab your work.

Also, a short piece will want to ‘lift’ as the rollers press down on the back end of the workpiece.

On a long board you might see this as a snipe - which is why you support the exiting board

by hand. On a short board you cant do that and if it lifts enough it

will smash into the blades and just chop up your board. there may be other reasons

but these two should be enough. There are plenty of videos that may have better


Having said that - there is a non-recommended way to do it. you start your short board by pushing

it in with a longer board kinda like a train. the idea is that if they are in contact it acts as one long board.

It works ‘most’ of the time for me unless the front board takes a turn. (I only try this at home).



    September 10

Pieces need to be no less than 1 ft long.

Why is that? Please educate me.

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OK, so one foot long for barnwood. Can you still use the full width of the planer?

that might actually work better since the board can’t turn.

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We have manual hand tools that can do planing on your smaller pieces. They live on a shelf on the wall by the tables just outside the Woodshop. You don’t need certifications to use the hand tools

The blades might need sharpening, though.

The general rule is 1 foot long for any wood going through the planer, not just barnwood. The printed rules on the planer say 1 foot minimum length.

OK, now after I stirred this up, mea culpa. I am such a doofus. I read this wrong. I thought it said no longer than 1 foot … which is why I was so confused. :upside_down_face:



I have a work meeting until 5PM in Grapevine and could head over after that. To clarify, its just weathered boards I got in a pack from home depot. There shouldn’t be any metal in it.

I hope that doesn’t damper your enthusiasm to help!

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Thank you! I should have clarified that its weathered wood from a pack at Home Depot and not actual reclaimed barnwood.


No worries. At least you got to see how we look out for each other :grinning:

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Help will always be given at Hogwarts, Harry, to those who ask for it. :mage:

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