As you can see, good help is hard to find these days. Regardless, I purchased a 1" x 6" x 8' piece of wood for around $20 and needed them to cut it in half because I drive a Kia, not a truck. Hey, that's just how I roll. The goal here is to end up with six 1/2" x 5" x 18" pieces that I will joint (glue together in a side-by-side fashion) together to create one large piece from which I will eventually cut the keys.
The first step is to plane the two pieces to 1/2" from their original purchase size. Now, the interesting thing is that any finished lumber you purchase has already been planed so that 1" is really 3/4". This means I need only remove about 1/4" using a planer (photo below).
A planer is a wonderful piece of machinery. If the knives are sharp and everything is working as it is supposed to, a planer will make short work of trimming 1/4" from the boards. And, voila! As you can see below, I'm well on my way.
The board on the right above has been planed to 1/2", the one on the left is next. As you can see below, both are planed and ready for ripping and cross-cutting.
More to come...