What you will need:
* Eye protection
* Ear protection
* Respirator while sanding
* Old wood
* Access to a Jointer/Planer
Step 1: Remove Nails
To make sure your wood is metal free follow these steps:
* Visually inspect the wood.
* Remove all nails, screws, staples, rocks.
* Look for problem areas. Cracks, loose knots and rotten wood. You may not want to plane those boards.
* Use a hand sander to sand all sides of the wood. You can get away with just one pass The sander will find any last metal you missed. You may be able to see the metal - as it will be a little shinny dot. Or you may hear a new sound when the sander hits the metal.
* Cut off the ends of the boards if they are not even. This will help the wood feed through the planner.
Step 2: Using the Planner
Use eye protection
Wear short sleeves
Don't wear gloves or jewelry
Measure the width of your board. If it 2 inches, set the planer for 2.125 inches and run a test board through. It should slide right through. Adjust the machine in tiny bits until it is taking just a little bit of wood off of the board. You can see in the two pictures here that there is a little difference between the 1st and 2nd pass through. Some of my wood required 2 passes and others required 3. If you want all of your wood to be the same thickness, you will need to pass all of the boards through at the measurement of the thinest board.
Most of my boards were 1x8. That means the true original measurement was 1.75 by 7.5. After planing both sides the boards were close to 1/2 inch wide.
Step 3: Using the Jointer
This process took two people 3 hours to remove nails and sand. It took one person 6 hours to plane all of the edges. The folks at TechShop Menlo Park and San Jose were a great help.
My Son and I made a nice coffee table with the wood. We had to adjust the plans for the smaller width of the boards, but it seems the thinner wood will work just fine.