Flattening a ~7.25” raw lumber plank on our 6” jointer

I’m not super experienced in working with raw lumber. For my current project, I’ve got a rough-milled plank that’s approximately 7.25”x32”x1.4”. I’d like to consider jointing the 7.25” face, but we only have a 6” jointer, correct?

(I say “consider” because it’s not really critical for this project since it doesn’t require perfect square/parallel faces, but it would be nice to figure out if it is practical.)

Anyway, has anyone done this sort of operation with the tool(s) we have?

I found a tutorial for one possible way to do it, but it would require taking off the built in blade guard and ideally adding a temporary guard on top. Seems a bit overkill if not really needed, but curious if anyone has experience or other ideas.

If your problem is side-to-side flatness and not really end-to-end flatness, you can definitely do it in the planer. Be aware the planer is going to squeeze some cup out of the board, and it cuts on the top. Run the board through crown-side up (so it doesn’t rock on the table) and keep passing it through at the same thickness until it stops biting before moving thinner. Once the top is flat, you can flip and flatten the other side normally.

Alternately you could flatten one side with a fly cutter on the CNC.

Once flat, I always use a track saw to get one straight edge, then use the table saw for the other edge. I saw one section of track floating around the shop, but if the whole track saw isn’t there anymore you can use a regular circular saw and a straightedge.

There are different length planing sleds in the shop. I jointed out half a dozen 1 1/2 thick boards that were 7 to 8 ft long.

I cut mine down to shorter lengths, based on where the warp in the boards are. At 32" length for your lumber, the smallest sled will handle that. It can handle up to about 33". A 4ft straight edge, and/ or a piece of string are helpful. Lots of videos. Be very generous with your shims. Get extra wood, because the first few attempts will be great practice, but very possible not good results.


Thanks, @Jon and @cfstaley! That gives me some options I hadn’t considered.

I honestly had no idea that planing sleds existed.

But also, I obviously wasn’t thinking creatively, because as Jon mentioned, I can definitely do with with the CNC. I don’t have a proper fly cutter at the moment, but since this is pretty low surface area I can probably do it reasonably quickly with my 0.5" endmill.

The simpler planer trick might work well enough. I’ll look more closely at my raw stock.