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Author Topic: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)  (Read 1049 times)

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Offline JBailey

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Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« on: July 09, 2019, 12:18:50 PM »
 
Hello!  I知 brand new member but have learned a lot reading old post, so thanks for all the knowledge conveyed.  I知 here to ask for some more help.
 
 
I知 in Virginia and am building a timber frame great room, a king post bent design, 32x28, with about 60 members in white oak and black walnut.  I have all the logs cut into cants, many of which have been seasoning for 3 years.  Before working on the room, the wood needs to be resawn and planed.  I have a pro with a mobile band saw but need help with the planing.  Money is not a major consideration but I want a solution that produces the best product at the least cost.   I want my timbers to be square, smooth and have consistent width and thickness and I知 very picky here.
 
So far, I have thought of these planing options:
 
1.      Buy some type of timber planer
2.      Find a professional with a mobile timber planer
3.      Find a mill with a timber planer
 
In terms of option 1, I am looking at the Wood Mizer MP100.  I could buy, set it up next to my barn (it has 200 amp service).  I could use this on the property for the next year or so as we complete the job and then look to sell it used. Or maybe I could find a used one for sale. Or I could buy and build one of those planer set-ups with a 鼠unch box planer, several designs I have seen on this forum, although I知 leery this solution will offer the best finished product. 
 
In terms of option 2, I have a pro mobile sawyer, but he does not have planing service right now.  I could call Wood Mizer and ask for reference.  Or maybe someone on here knows someone.
 
In terms of option 3, I have called a few of the saw mills in the area without success (no one has planer for timbers).  I知 fairly close to WV and PA, which have lots of active mills.  Again, maybe someone on here knows an option.
 
ANY ADVICE VERY WELCOME.  Thank you.
 
PS here is a picture of the 遡ing post walnut that is providing 2 素ree of heart timbers as king posts.  It was a beautiful tree, and the decision to take down was tough, but its use will honor and respect its greatness.
 
 


 

Offline ScottCC

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 06:50:56 PM »
The mp 100 is your best option I know of, I love mine.  The timbers are jointed as straight as can ever be.  They are as square as your level and bed are set up also.  Sizing is within an easy 1/32.  Get 4 sets of blades and a person on an industrial sharpener to do the work when dull.  Brad has the same set up on this forum.  Chip handling is a pain without a system, but a leaf blower will get you by.  Get a huge tarp and call a horse guy who wants free chips.  I have three original beds that can go with any reasonable offer if you build a set up.  Please make sure forestry forum gets their going rate.  I retrofitted my mp100 to an lt15 wide bed so I do not need them.
Necessity is the mother of invention.  Poverty is its big brother.  WM mp100, WM eg100, WM sp4000 chip extractor,  WM 260 molder on order ,WM electric  lt15 wide with extra track, 71 Oliver allterrain forklift, 26' flat bed trailer, road legal log arch, homemade kiln, AutoCAD lt15

Offline esteadle

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 08:05:45 PM »
What is the moisture content of the timbers:
a) now
b) when you plane them
c) when you install them 

If you are this picky about your timbers, you should realize they will not be the 10 thousandths of an inch accurate after you get all this planing done when you install them. 

They may all be twisted, bent, cracked, and maybe trapezoidal. :) 
Maybe plan to sand to final dimension onsite when you install.  :D


>> here is a picture of the 遡ing post walnut
> and call a horse guy who wants free chips.

OOh. Cloven foot animals and Walnut (wood, sawdust, chips, or any remains) should NEVER be brought together under any circumstances.

Timber Harvester 30HT26 (setworks, hydraulic) Stihl 880 (36" bar).

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 08:28:17 PM »
@JBailey I would contact Jordan Finch at Finch Woodworks for help getting a silky smooth surface.  Jordan is an expert framer, teaches quite a bit with the folks at VMI and other places and has a large shop in an old truss factory (lots of room, so so jealous).  

Liking Walnut

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2019, 08:29:40 PM »
@JBailey I would contact Jordan Finch at Finch Woodworks for help getting a silky smooth surface.  Jordan is an expert framer, teaches quite a bit with the folks at VMI and other places and has a large shop in an old truss factory (lots of room, so so jealous).  
Think his father lives in Rapp county too.  He lives just over the mountain in Woodstock.  
Liking Walnut

Offline JBailey

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2019, 12:12:00 PM »
The mp 100 is your best option I know of, I love mine.  The timbers are jointed as straight as can ever be.  They are as square as your level and bed are set up also.  Sizing is within an easy 1/32.  Get 4 sets of blades and a person on an industrial sharpener to do the work when dull.  Brad has the same set up on this forum.  Chip handling is a pain without a system, but a leaf blower will get you by.  Get a huge tarp and call a horse guy who wants free chips.  I have three original beds that can go with any reasonable offer if you build a set up.  Please make sure forestry forum gets their going rate.  I retrofitted my mp100 to an lt15 wide bed so I do not need them.
ScottCC-
thanks for the info here and I will certainly contact you with an offer on your three beds, if I go the MP100 route.  It looks like a great machine and its good to hear the positive reports from owners.

What is the moisture content of the timbers:
a) now
b) when you plane them
c) when you install them

If you are this picky about your timbers, you should realize they will not be the 10 thousandths of an inch accurate after you get all this planing done when you install them.

They may all be twisted, bent, cracked, and maybe trapezoidal. :)
Maybe plan to sand to final dimension onsite when you install.  :D


>> here is a picture of the 遡ing post walnut
> and call a horse guy who wants free chips.

OOh. Cloven foot animals and Walnut (wood, sawdust, chips, or any remains) should NEVER be brought together under any circumstances.


I do not know the current moisture content of my white oaks.  They have been under a shed as cants for approx 3 years.  The walnut is even less seasoned. I hear you on the difficulty on getting 10 thousandths, but I'm not THAT picky :)  Would love to hold a 1/32 or something like that.

Roger on the animals and walnut.  We have a good bit of cherry on the property too and we watch that wood material as well.

@JBailey I would contact Jordan Finch at Finch Woodworks for help getting a silky smooth surface.  Jordan is an expert framer, teaches quite a bit with the folks at VMI and other places and has a large shop in an old truss factory (lots of room, so so jealous).  
Think his father lives in Rapp county too.  He lives just over the mountain in Woodstock.  

Nativewolf-
Thanks for this reference.  Finch Woodworks looks great.  I'm going to contact him.  I'm in Rapp County, literally right on the other side of the mountains from Woodstock.

Best regards all!  Thanks very much for this input.  Slowly pushing the project...

Offline Wudman

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2019, 05:01:16 PM »
Take a look at this link for the Redneck solution.  It worked for me.

http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=23672.msg337355#msg337355

Wudman

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 02:15:24 AM »
Yes, I love my MP100.  I have 8 sets of blades for when I'm continuously planing.  When I first started out, it took me over an hour to change blades/knives.  With practice I can do it in 30 minutes.

I have some leftover long large oak timbers from a build.  They were grayed out from sitting on the job site and had some forklift fork stains.  I didn't want to remove much material so I just belt sanded them.  With the MP100 you'll take off at least 1/8"-1/4" per side. That's a good amount of material.  If you have a timber that is already to the dimension you want, and you don't want to remove much but you need to smooth the timber or remove marks or the rough sawn texture, you can go after it with a good 4x24 belt sander.

@ScottCC Do you have a pic of the modification of your MP100 to fit the wide mill?  Did you also increase the cutting width?  I know one guy in Alaska modified the MP100 frame to fit the wide mill.  He cut the outside leg, welded a piece 90 degrees, and then welded the cutoff piece to the jogged piece.  He didn't increase the cut width though. You can PM me if you want?
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline ScottCC

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2019, 08:22:07 AM »
I did not do it to get the width bc of time when I did it.  I don稚 think it痴 a big deal to do but I thought the whole rig needed to go to the shop for that.  I値l look for the pictures but if I can稚 find need to get it Tuesday. My next move with the saw and planer set-up is to get the power and water line in an overhead track so the cords are off the ground.  Not to mention finally made a covered chip trailer so I can hook up my WM extractor.
Necessity is the mother of invention.  Poverty is its big brother.  WM mp100, WM eg100, WM sp4000 chip extractor,  WM 260 molder on order ,WM electric  lt15 wide with extra track, 71 Oliver allterrain forklift, 26' flat bed trailer, road legal log arch, homemade kiln, AutoCAD lt15

Offline JBailey

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 11:17:37 AM »
Take a look at this link for the Redneck solution.  It worked for me.

http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=23672.msg337355#msg337355

Wudman
@Wudman
thanks for this link.  I am impressed by your innovation.
Questions on this setup-
(1) is the benchtop planer durable enough for heavy jobs?  I have 60 members to plane on 4 sides, in somewhat seasoned white oak and my concern is this is too much for a benchtop planer.
(2) are you able to get consistent thickness?  7.00" at the top, middle and bottom for example?

Offline JBailey

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 11:24:04 AM »
With the MP100 you'll take off at least 1/8"-1/4" per side. That's a good amount of material.  If you have a timber that is already to the dimension you want, and you don't want to remove much but you need to smooth the timber or remove marks or the rough sawn texture, you can go after it with a good 4x24 belt sander.

@Brad_bb
thanks for your comments.  I saw your video of your MP100 and it looks like a great tool.

w/ the machine taking off 1/8" to 1/4" per side...  is this consistent ???  I don't want to go into planing and not know if its going to take 1/8" or 1/4" off... 1/8" variation would be too much.  Or maybe I'm not understanding your statement right.
Say you need a 7.00" x 12.00" timber... do you band saw the timber to 7.50" x 12.50" and take 0.25" off each side to get a square S4S that is 7.00" x 12.00" ???
thanks for this input and my "rookie" questions...  
I was hoping to use a belt sander as a 'finish tool' and not as a 'thickness tool'. I was hoping the planer would to all the thickness and squaring work.

James

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2019, 12:30:43 PM »
What I'm saying is most of the time, my timber that has dried for a year after being rough sawn, will require me to remove 1/8"-1/4" per side to get it all flat with the planer.  It's not unusual that there will be a slight bow in the timber such that your planing pass will take off material in the middle and it takes 1/8 to 1/4 before the ends get planed and the whole timber is dead flat.  Now if you have a wave or dip or rise when you were sawing, It's obviously going to require more material removal to get the face flat.  When I mill my timbers, I mill 1/2" oversize in Ash and Walnut.  I don't get my hands on much oak to saw, but if I did, I'd allow a little more than half inch due to shrinkage.

So If I'm milling a green Walnut or cherry, or honey locust 8x8, I'm milling it 8.5x8.5.  Since most of the dead Ash is very dry to start with, I might mill it to 8.25x8.25.  If I'm milling Osage, I'm milling it pretty darn close to 8x8 because it's not going to shrink much at all, and you can't plane the Osage or you'll get tear out.  I belt sand Osage.

The MP100 will take as little as you want in one pass.  I usually take off about 1/16th per pass till I get down to the level I want.  When the timber is not flat and you start out too log (accidentally) you could end up as deep as 1/4 at one spot.  The machine is most "happy" taking 1/16th which is one quarter turn on the crank.  It can take more but I don't prefer to.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline ScottCC

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 01:14:55 PM »
The obvious next question to get a super finish would be is there a drum sander that goes on my woodmizer set-up to pass over the perfectly planed and square timber to take the ever so slight planer marks out that are visible in highly finished timbers or the right light?
Necessity is the mother of invention.  Poverty is its big brother.  WM mp100, WM eg100, WM sp4000 chip extractor,  WM 260 molder on order ,WM electric  lt15 wide with extra track, 71 Oliver allterrain forklift, 26' flat bed trailer, road legal log arch, homemade kiln, AutoCAD lt15

Offline Wudman

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 01:37:09 PM »
Take a look at this link for the Redneck solution.  It worked for me.

http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=23672.msg337355#msg337355

Wudman
@Wudman
thanks for this link.  I am impressed by your innovation.
Questions on this setup-
(1) is the benchtop planer durable enough for heavy jobs?  I have 60 members to plane on 4 sides, in somewhat seasoned white oak and my concern is this is too much for a benchtop planer.
(2) are you able to get consistent thickness?  7.00" at the top, middle and bottom for example?
That little Rigid planer has run a pile of wood in its lifetime.  I'm still using it regularly today (even though I have a Woodmaster 718 as well).  I have no complaints or concerns with it.  Planing oak, expect to pull about 1/32 inch per pass and you would have no problems.  My consistency is as good as my sawmill is flat.  Keep sharp blades on it, and everything is fine.
Wudman

Offline JBailey

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2019, 01:18:51 PM »
The MP100 will take as little as you want in one pass...
Excellent reply, I'm tracking you.   Thanks much.

The obvious next question to get a super finish would be is there a drum sander that goes on my woodmizer set-up to pass over the perfectly planed and square timber to take the ever so slight planer marks out that are visible in highly finished timbers or the right light?
My plan was to use a belt sander once the bent was all together, but prior to raising.  This will hopefully knock down any nicks that come up during the joint chomping as well as those faint planer marks.


Wudman
This is amazing. You clearly have good design and assembly skills.  I will talk to my sawyer and maybe we can put something together on this sawmill deck.


Thanks all!  I think you all have given me the confidence to try and do this planing on site rather than transport it to some distant mill in PA or WV.  I do like having control of this product, as I'm not sure I want to ship off 40,000lbs of white oak and walnut timbers and "hope" it comes back in good shape and not all messed up.

I am also going to call Jordan Finch and hopefully go out and see him and his shop in Woodstock. Having a resource like that close is very valuable.






Offline ScottCC

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2019, 02:16:21 PM »
The reason the automated drum sander is nice is the last little bit to be perfect is unbelievably time consuming.  I did two timber frames exactly the same last year and it wore out to the point of repair 6 porta cable right angle sanders.  Douglas fir can be unfriendly.
Necessity is the mother of invention.  Poverty is its big brother.  WM mp100, WM eg100, WM sp4000 chip extractor,  WM 260 molder on order ,WM electric  lt15 wide with extra track, 71 Oliver allterrain forklift, 26' flat bed trailer, road legal log arch, homemade kiln, AutoCAD lt15

Offline Tom King

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Re: Planing timbers for timber framing project (Virginia)
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2019, 03:17:42 PM »
I have smoothed timbers by walking a floor finishing drum sander on them.  I don't remember ever doing any narrower than 8" though, but it went fairly quickly.

You want to use one with a small handle that raises and lowers the drum, rather than one that you have to push down on the whole handle. 


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