Planer Tips, Tricks & Techniques

Take a look in most woodworking shops and you’re sure to find stationary machines that allow lumber to be milled into four-squared, usable boards. The three main machines used to mill are a jointer, planer and table saw. Of those three workhorses, the planer is the least studied and least understood.

(Fig. 1) Planing thin material can be dangerous to your machine and work piece unless you know a simple trick.

Contrary to what some woodworkers believe, a planer is not a machine that mills lumber flat – this behemoth produces parallel sides, be they faces or edges. Parallel is not flat. If you take a cupped or twisted board and run it through your planer, what comes out is still cupped or twisted, but it’s opposing sides are now perfectly parallel to one another. There are, however, a couple of tips and tricks that make this machine more valuable in your shop, including how to mill thin parts for piece such as spice-box dividers. (Fig. 1)

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4 thoughts on “Planer Tips, Tricks & Techniques

  1. Great video. I learned a lot and came away with a couple of good tips to help in the shop. Only comment is that I think most hobby woodworkers are not lucky enough to have a large stationary planner in their shop. I would like to see a like video that addresses the bench top planners as they seem to have a different set of attributes than tge larger stationary ones.

    1. Dan,

      Thanks. I’m glad you came away with a few good tips you can use. When Glen and I made the video, we tried to make it clear that there was very little difference between the bench-top planers and the stationary ones (other than a lack of adjustments on the bench-top models). In fact, we mentioned in the video that the major difference is how you deal with snipe. Beyond that, there isn’t anything we showed in the video that can’t be done with any planer regardless of how large or small it is.

  2. Great info…the wide board with narrow jointer and plywood carrier was a interesting idea I had never thought of…Thanks…Thanks again..

  3. One of the best videos I have seen in a long time! Lots of useful info.

    Thanks especially for the tip on adjusting the infeed and outfeed tables on a bench planer to deal with snipe.

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