The logs are natural logs with uneven features since they are natural hand hewn. They were supposed to be flattened at the mill but that did not happen. I tried a 4 1/2" planner but I need to take off 1" to 1.5" (6" to 8" wide) and the process was way too slow (less than 1/8" per cut on 4 logs each 16' long). The logs are floor joists that full 2" T&G will go onto. I looked at using a band saw but I would need to use a 14" band saw that weights 250 pounds. I have an Alaskan mill but the chainsaw oil and fumes inside the house are not desirable.

I am looking for more ideas . . . thank you!

  • I wouldn't say it's the best way but I think you should look into a wide drawknife. You'll need to sharpen it so you'll need to buy some sharpening stuff if you don't already own anything. Edit: another way is with an adze, but that takes much more skill to wield accurately and there is much more potential for personal injury.
    – Graphus
    Jul 22 '17 at 21:21
  • How many logs are we talking about? How flat do they need to be? And are they already "installed"? If there's more than on or two, it may be worth the effort to take them outdoors and saw them there, then re-install. If they don't need to be too precisely flat, you might consider hewing them by axe blade. Look up Roy Underhill's TEDx talk for the basic technique.
    – workerjoe
    Jul 24 '17 at 15:14
  • Problem being that hewing with a broadaxe (if you can lay hands on one) is done vertically, and these appear to be already installed with the face that needs flattened horizontial. Due to gravity, this is not a minor problem. While the adze is used in that orientation, it is indeed a tool that is very easy to hurt yourself with, as you are cutting towards your feet.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 24 '17 at 22:44
  • I'd go with the drawknife personally, but another thing that might be worth thinking about would be turning a bigger jack or jointer plane into a scrub plane (i.e. heavily cambered blade, wide throat, large blade projection, use across or diagonal to the grain.) Jul 24 '17 at 23:53

I can dream up all sorts of methods.

Whether any of them (including set-up time and building fixtures) will be faster than just going "way too slow" with your planer that you already have is debatable.

For instance, if you can set up something at a fixed height above the plane you want to achieve, you can crosscut down to within 1/8" of the line with a circular saw every 1/2 inch or so, and break off the waste. But setting up the thing for the saw to run on is non-trivial. With such a thing set up you can then finish with a router - but you still need the thing to run on.

If you can get (or make) a couple of straight 16 foot 2X12 it might not be too difficult? Put up some temporary blocking between the joists so you can set one either side of a joist (between them, not too close) and use as rails for a saw sled and router sled, having set the tops carefully level above the plane you want the joist tops to be at. You could also do the whole job with a router, but you'd be back to "way too slow."

  • 1
    +1, but I'm still back at drawknife.
    – Graphus
    Jul 24 '17 at 20:50

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