Unlock the Benefits of Woodworking: Learn How to Use a Thickness Planer
Using a thickness planer is an economical way to create top quality finished lumber from inexpensive raw material. Working with the powerful and compact option offered by power tool manufacturers today, you can create smooth and uniform planks for a variety of intricately designed projects. Whether you are building a library with an elaborate shelving design or new cabinets and work tables, the wood pieces you create with the thickness planer will amaze you with the finished look they produce.
Before beginning, do some research to find out what features are available in different planers. The brands that offer the most efficient power tools include Rockwell, Delta, Dewalt, Makita, Ridgid and Ryobi. Usually available for around $400, the tools available vary in the amount of lumber they can accept. 13-inch boards are the standard bit boards today. The thickness planers also come in electric and handheld versions, but it is important to note that the electric version produces higher quality results.
Once you have chosen your planer of choice, locate it near a power supply making sure that the cord does not interfere with your workspace. It is also important to secure the base of the device to your work table or stand so that the machine does not shift or tip over while in use.
Now you are ready to turn your pieces of lumber into something beautiful. Always choose boards over 14-inches in length and no smaller than ¾ of an inch in width. Cedar provides a fresh pine scent with brighter coloring, mahogany has a dark hue, and redwood is noted for its strength and rich tones. Another important factor to consider is plank thickness. The tool you’re using generally will allow for a removal of 1/32 to 1/8 of an inch from each side of the board, meaning it may be necessary to feed the board through the planer twice to reach your desired result.
Safety is of utmost importance when using the thickness planer. Before power up the machine and turn the depth adjustment crank to the desired thickness, ensure that there is no material inside the feeder. Make sure to wear safety glasses and ear protection while operating the tool as well as a safety mask to keep sawdust away from your face and lungs.
Finally, feed the wood boards from the front of the planer and make sure the height is uniform on each side of the board. With these steps, you can create an endless array of projects with the thickness planer, transforming inexpensive lumber into a professional looking finished piece with a satin sheen. Not only can the planer pay for itself with a few home projects, but it can also turn a dull room into an ornate one.