Today I got to mentor my uncle on milling planks and what a joy it was to see these planks blossom! You cannot believe the amount of different colors in them! It was cool teaching my uncle about the thickness planer and then to see the wood when it was done was icing on the cake! We knew when we were cutting and slicing the planks on the band-saw that they were going to be nice, but when we saw them come out of the planer we were ecstatic! My only regret is that I took pictures with my phone and they didn't do the wood justice out in the sunlight like that. Tomorrow I will use the better camera and show you what I really mean!
So last year my Dad and I got these 5 x 1 x 14 Eastern Red Cedar planks for back up on the canoe from Medford Cedar Products (a great group of folks that are very helpful and enthusiastic) in case we needed to mill extra strips for the canoe. We didn't need them so I was actually thinking of making cove and bead strips for the rails of my surfboard with them, but I took a closer look at the grains on them and said "wait a minute here!". The grain in that wood was nicer than a lot of the grain in the redwood that I have milled for the board. I knew the grain was nice, but not the color too! BONUS! So some of the more boring redwood planks I am going to mill for the cove and bead rail strips which are about 1/4" by 1/4" or so. I might make them a wee bit bigger.
Below we are cutting the planks in two before we split them. I would have rather let them stay at 5.5" but splitting them at that width would have been beyond our means. Cutting them in two lengthwise was no problem, the green featherboard worked great for holding it in place on one side and the fence on the other. Getting everything square was tough on this saw as it is of poor quality. If I make a new fence and adaptations to the featherboard I can probably slice a 6" plank and I think that would be worth it!
****OK reminder**** Safety gear is necessary at all times. This machine is especially loud. Loud doesn't describe it. It is PIERCING to the ear drums. I like to wear ear muffs for this one. Plugs aren't all that great. This step is also very dusty. Much more dusty that the band saw and you gotta wear a mask. Cedar can be very irritating. I felt a little woosey in the stomach and was sneezing quite a bit with a mask on. I have a beard and masks are only so effective with beards.