Previous owner of my house installed a staircase by creating an opening in the ceiling/floor. One side of this opening is a major support beam of the house --- 12" high, probably 4" wide. Single solid piece of wood. This beam is bowed outward. I would like flatten it out so I can put some drywall over it. This would require removing somewhere around 1/4" to 3/8" over a span of about two feet, and a lesser amount outside of that.
I'm familiar with using sanders, and I know it would do the job --- eventually. But that seems like an awful lot of wood to try to remove that way. I'm not familiar with using other tools that might be useful here --- chisels? planes?
What would be the right tool for this job? And BTW, is there a name for this kind of wood working operation? (Can't google it if you don't know what to call it...)