If you want to take a one-inch board down to three-quarters, from which side should you remove the wood, the hidden side or the one that will show?
Richard Jones: The most common method is to try and remove equal amounts from both sides. This way, if there happens to be stress in the wood, you keep it in balance, and this, the theory has it, helps to maintain the board’s flatness. In practice, I find this is generally true, but there are always exceptions to every rule.
John Brock: It depends. I start with the jointer to get a flat side and a 90-degree edge. Then I move to the planer. If I like the grain pattern on the jointed side, I’ll plane the other side. If the grain pattern on the jointed side doesn’t wow me, I plane the other side to make it parallel, then alternate sides through the planer until I get a side I like better.
Mark Hensley: I go from one side to the other until the good side stands out.