When you glue together all the segments of a ring you'll quickly learn an awful secret. No matter what you did to true
up your saw, the glued up ring will not come out perfectly flat. That means you will have to find a way to get at least one
side trued up so you can glue it to the next ring. Here are some of the ways you might try.
|Sandpaper wrapped around a flat piece of wood
||Cheap; easy to implement
||Hard work; slow
||Better than by hand
||Not a very flat result
|Cole Jaw Chuck
||You'll eventually own one anyway; easy setup
||face cutting sometimes troublesome
||More power is better
||Hard to be precise
||Fairly fast; good results
||Requires a large unit; watch your fingers
||Gets the job done fast
||Back side tends to chip out; smaller rings require a hold-down mechanism
||Very flat result; fairly fast; works with small or large rings; very small rings (<2.5") require a hold-down mechanism
||$100-$800 and up
Both the Surface Planer and the Drum/Thickness Sander require assistance to hold down small rings. Otherwise they'll just
pick up the rear edge and make a mess. Just weakly attach two boards on opposing sides of the ring; use something like hot
glue or double-sided tape. Start with boards that are about the same thickness as the ring and are a foot or so long.
Process both sides and then remove the "sacrificed" boards. This would also be a way to safely use the Wagner Power Planer
in a drill press.
The Drum/Thickness Sander deserves some extra explanation because of the quality of the result. While commercial units
start out in the $800 range, you can build one yourself for about $100 if you have a spare motor lying around. The people
at Moritz Designs have a plan for sale, at just $9.50, that is easy to follow. You'll find it at
I have just one tip for improving on their design of the table that your work rests on. That is to put 3/4" plywood on
both the top and bottom sides of the table to maximize its stiffness. The extra stiffness will ensure that the clearance
under the drum is constant for its entire length.