Thicknessingsurfacing

Immediately after the best edge has been shot the actual thickness of the board must be gauged all round with a marking-gauge, and levelled off exactly to the gauge lines. The exact width of the board is then determined either by measuring with a rule placed on edge and not laid flat across the board (which may tend to give a false reading), or preferably marking in with a pencil-gauge, or with a panel-gauge; the edge is then trued up accordingly. If several boards have to be planed up to an exact and similar width then it will pay to cut a thin lath to the exact dimension, carefully squaring the ends on the shooting-board and using it as a trial stick or template. The lath itself should not be less than 1 in (25 mm) wide, for it is then easier to see that it is laid square across the face of the board and not at a slight angle which again will give a false reading. The length of all boards should, of course, be kept full at this stage to allow for final dimensioning. After several boards for any one carcass have been surfaced they should not be stacked haphazardly until they are needed, but should either be placed one on top of each other on a level bench and weighted down, or stood on edge with a space between so that the air can reach every surface. They should also be protected from direct sunlight and the sooner they are framed together the better, although sufficient time must be given for freshly worked timber to settle down and adjust itself to the prevailing atmospheric conditions. For this reason timber taken straight from the timber-yard is often roughly skimmed over on both faces and allowed to settle for as long as possible before the general levelling, otherwise too much thickness could be lost if the boards warp or crook in length. In machine-planing every board must be flattened on one face on the jointer to take out the wind before it is thicknessed or the pressure of the rollers will merely bend it flat while it is being cut and it will spring back to its original shape as soon as it is released.

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