Picture of How to Prepare Reclaimed Wood
Before and After.jpg
I bought some wood off of craigslist. The fellow said it was redwood from a barn. I decided to restore it rather than using it with the aged look.  The Instructable will describe how I went through the process of getting the wood ready to plane using the planer/jointer at TechShop.

What you will need:
* Eye protection
* Ear protection
* Respirator while sanding
* Old wood
* Access to a Jointer/Planer
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Remove Nails

Picture of Remove Nails
Absolutely no metal can go through the planer/jointer. If there is a nail or staple in your wood it will damage the blades and you will have to buy new ones. 

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.

Did you dowel the end caps?

FN642 years ago
If you get a nick in a planner head...
Loosen one blade and move it about 1/32 to the left
Loosen a second blade and move it 1/32 to the right
Leave the third blade where it is.
now the "streak" from the nick will disappear.

Hi, would this work for an Bench Top Planer as well?

Hi Adam.. I don't see why it wouldn't. Mine is an old Foley floor model so theres enough room to slide the knives a bit. This trick as saved my hide in the midst of a project a couple times.. Best luck..FN..

Funny, you should say something now---today, I noticed mine has oil cups on knife the mount, filled it up with wd40, and oiled up the wheels, and the blades... woa, does it cut even better now... smooth, clean, clear cuts.... no more skipping, and its not taking off chunks of wood now, just clean shavings... helps having quality made old school stuff... Going to have to post up some of the stuff I have made, using recycled wood.

Good to hear!! You might be interested in checking out a forum I'm associated with:

I've seen several folks from instructables there & it's a great knowledge base of talented folks

tdc22021 year ago
Nice "ible" Groovy! The coffee table is beautiful. I wish we had a TechShop in Redding!

You do not need A TechShop...I trolled Craigs list or a few days, and found a vintage Craftsman
Joiner/Planer from 1931, with its own wooden made cabinet, and shavings
catcher. I picked it up for $25 bucks!! You lean a new skill, and you could maybe make money, doing the work for your friends, and you got a really neat tool... BONUS!

Hey Adam - Great advice! I live in a mobile home and don't have a big enough shed to hold much in the way of tools. But maybe something smaller would work, like a nice sander or something.

If you can make 3-4 feet of space, along a wall... you'll have enough room. the older planers, are like the size of big shoe box, give or take. here is mine 100%

hey do not have to be like, shop size... to make a nice edge on boards... AND, really... you can use them as a surface planer too... Just set the table really high, so it just kisses the blade... and make a few passes till the face of the wood is the way you like it... bare in mind, pay attention to grain direction... if you find the grain, 2-3 passes, boards look new smooth... if not, it looks like shaving with a dull blade.... and you get plane-stubble. Not pretty. Just got back form casing pallets at a landscaping site, in my neighborhood... they left them for me, I did ask.

I found out, my local TechShop, charges almost 900 bucks to Plane 5 wooden slats it would take about 4 weeks to get to it- they had to call someone who was certified..?! I planed wood in shop in HS. So, I trolled Craigs list or a few days, and found a vintage Craftsman Joiner/Planer from 1931, with its own wooden made cabinet, and shavings catcher. I picked it up for $25 bucks!!! I just needed some light, repairs. (replacement of a generic belt wheel, and some oil.). 4 1/4 cutting area, and 3 razor sharp steel blades.... Amazing what it will do! This thing will last another 75 years, with light up keep! YES, Troll Craig's List, people get rid of really good wood working stuff, ALL THE TIME... cheap. Most people, are scared or something, of the idea of re-finishing lumber.

terrible811 year ago
You planned and sanded away all the character of that wood. I mean it's a nice table you've got there, but it looks so average...
fretted2 years ago
I've got a nice groove in my blades on my planer from a broken screw in the edge of a board by not using a magnet first i learned my 95 dollar lesson well never again without a magnet on reclaimed wood .

You would be surprised what you would and can find in fresh cut trees to planks nails screws chunks of metal bucket handle chains i've actually gotten rough cut lumber with large chain and musket balls in them of course the musket balls are pretty much mush but its scary to find it regardless
PS1182 years ago
Also, using a metal detector is HIGHLY recommended! (Missing one little nail can really mess up your tools!!!)
yoyology2 years ago
This is a great instructable, but if you want people to find it, you need to make sure you are spelling the words "plane", "planing", and "planer" correctly and consistently throughout.