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    I have some dried timber boards from the 1987 storm. Most are beech, but some are Holm oak (see attached). I'm wondering what's the best way to plane and fill them. I thought I could use an electrical plane and a sander, but a colleague says I'll need to take them to a woodyard to be finished. Any thoughts?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2017
    will look well nice with curvy front edges! can be done with an planer and belt sander but not easy and not as good as woodyard machining.

    filling is well tricky, practice on off-cuts with wood stopper mixing colours til perfect match when dry then use fine black or brown pen to add grain lines.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2017
    They will most likely be bowed, cupped and twisted.
    If you try to thickness them in their present state, as wide boards, you could loose 3/4 them. If they are worth saving, e.g. the oak boards with burrs then pre cut them to their rough eventual width to minimise thicknessing loss, then contact a local joinery workshop and ask them to do the job.
    They most likely will need "surfacing" first to flatten/true one side, before "thicknessing" i.e. both sides. Be prepared for a substantial loss of thickness if you want flat boards.
    Once you've got clean boards you can decide, or not, to leave the room facing edge, as waney edged or to cut them straight.
    It is possible to true such boards with a router and an accurate home made jig but it does need some skill.
    • CommentAuthorjfb
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2017
    the boards would look better if you can just thickness/plane them without sanding but if you are using a small planer you will have to sand as well to get any lines out. Depending on how flat they are and if you don't have access to cheap thicknesser I would have no qualms about doing it myself. Flat is overrated and character underrated! (also better if rendering/finishing walls after window boards are in). I'm all in favour of a good waney edge too (though some in the picture might stick out too much - but you can get away with taking out some overhangs without it looking too obvious).
    Thanks all. I've spoken to my local timberyard who say they can plane up to 600mm wide for £1 or £1.50 per cut. I'll see if I can get away with planing one side. They're pretty flat I would say, but I guess we'll see.
    • CommentAuthorJamster
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2017
    Woodyard or local woodworker might be able to cut these for you - keep the front waney edge, cut out and rejoin the worst of the split up the middle. You would need to cut the back edge anyway I would think. Could look great though - have a look on something like UKWorkshop for finishing ideas...
    I've had the beech and oak boards planed, and they've come up really well. Woodyard were very helpful. The beech has a few sections that are quite badly split. I'd like to fill them with the right colour. Does anybody recommend any particular product? If like to keep the natural colour.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTime22 hours ago
    There are numerous ways to fill the cracks. In your case I'd be tempted to use floor filler. First sand the boards and reserve the sanding dust; buy some floor filler "base",- sort of a syrupy liquid which is then mixed with the dust, and then the cracks are over filled and sanded back once dry. You could also fill with something darker to make a feature of the splits.
    Thanks @owlman, that's really helpful. Somebody else suggested glue and sawdust, but said that it might be less flexible than a specialist wood filler. What do you think?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTime7 hours ago
    Standard adhesives can work in the same manner I suggested, but best for smaller cracks and fissures. PVA doesn't dry hard enough IMO and tends to get messy with subsequent sanding. The flooring stuff is usually better able to cope with bigger areas. The biggest problem will be one of shrinkage over time and window boards are not the most sympathetic locations, think radiators,- full sun,- night time chill,- condensation; they may not all apply, but it gives you an idea. The wood has to cope with all that and still look good.
    I'd be tempted to leave final filling and finishing until the boards have been in situ for a while, sods law says the cracks will open further. Seal/paint the boards well on the underside before fitting.
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