A wood planer is a handy tool that helps you achieve a flat, smooth surface. It can also help you reduce the thickness of a piece of wood.
A wood planer is an essential tool for carpenters, cabinet makers and other professionals who work with wooden surfaces. It helps you reclaim scraps and rough-cut lumber and turn them into useful projects.
Choosing the Right Model
Planers are available in a variety of sizes and weights, so it’s important to choose the right model for your needs. This will depend on the type of work you plan to do and how big or heavy the materials are.
Choosing the right blades is also important. Some manufacturers bolt blades directly to the head, while others use slots in the head and secure them with Allen screws.
A good quality wood planer will produce a smooth, even finish. This can be achieved by selecting the right cutterhead speed.
Cutterhead speed is measured in rotations per minute (rpm). The higher the rpm, the better the finish will be.
Most benchtop thickness planers have motors that spin the cutterhead at speeds above 8,000 rpm. This results in a smoother finish and greater precision.
When using a wood planer, it is important to follow all safety measures and take precautions to avoid any potential injuries. These safety measures include wearing eye protection, ear protection, and a dust mask or respirator.
If the machine has an adjustable feed rate, adjust it to the proper setting for the wood that you are cutting. This will ensure that your cuts are consistent and accurate, which can help you achieve the best results possible.
Another important thing to keep in mind when using a wood planer is the depth of cut that you are applying. This will affect the amount of material that will be removed from each pass.
The thickness of the stock is also a factor when determining the correct depth setting. Typically, it is recommended that you remove no more than 1/8′′ of material from softwood and no more than 1/16′′ of material from hardwood.
Feeding the Wood
A planer is a machine that flattens wood and makes it ready for cutting. It can also be used to create boards with different thicknesses, such as 5/8” or 7/8”.
When you feed a board into a planer, the front roller grabs it and pulls it in at a steady rate until it can make it past the cutter to the second roller. Then, the outfeed roller solely supports the work piece until it exits the cutter and roller.
Inspect the stock before feeding it into the planer to ensure it has a straight, square edge and is free of twists or curves. If it is not, use a jointer or other straightening tool to help prepare the stock for feeding into the planer.
Planing also requires that you identify the grain direction and slope of a board before you plane it. You can find this information by inspecting the end of the board and noticing the wood’s pattern.
Using the Planer
A wood planer is a versatile tool used to smooth and flatten boards. It’s an essential tool for reclaiming old wood, cleaning up inexpensive rough-sawn boards, and creating custom thicknesses for your projects.
Most manual planers work in much the same way as a hand plane; hold on to the handles on top and at the front, and guide the wood through the machine using a downward pressure on the front knob and forward pressure with the back handle. Pay close attention to high spots on the wood and keep your fingers away from sharp points.
Some modern planers use infeed or outfeed tables to help guide long boards into the cutting area and keep them level after they pass through the machine. These feature rubber feed rollers that carry the board past the cutterhead and help push it into the cutting area, along with tension arms that pinch the board against the backstop to ensure a clean cut.