If you are looking for a tool that can help you to make a smooth board for carpentry work or create a perfect piece of furniture, a wood planer is the right option to think about. It not only prepares the wood for any type of project but also helps to smooth rough and old wooden pieces.
A wood planer is a great tool to give an even surface to any wooden piece and turn it into a board that you can use for different purposes. This tool is capable of ensuring the right amount of thickness as per your desired settings.
Below, we are going to discuss the working of a wood planer along with some other relevant information associated with this tool.
How does a wood planer work?
A planer is a tool, which helps you to take off flakes of wood from a wooden surface. If you need boards of the same thickness, these planers will serve the job well by shredding down the additional wood. The planer works in the same manner, irrespective of its size and type.
However, the performance and quality of work may differ depending on the type of wood planer. In order to get a specific type of finish, a particular planer is used. Moreover, the type of planer also depends on the thickness of the wood.
Types of Planers
The wood planers are of two basic types, including a handheld planer and a stationary planer. Although they work on a similar principle, both these tools perform slightly different tasks.
Handheld Wood Planer
This is a portable model, which is the older type of planer. These are small in size and require you to you clamp the wood. This helps you to manipulate the planer in a better way. Today, almost every handheld is electric, making it easy to use the equipment.
It tends to work well in those situations where it is not possible to move the wood piece. An electric planer is a great option if you want to speed up the process of making the wood smooth. It will remove the additional wood much faster.
Stationary Wood Planer
A stationary planer is a tool, which requires you to insert the wood into it in order to remove additional wood. To use it, you first need to place a flat board on the surface of a planer. Set the thickness and switch on the planer. Now start pushing wood into the planer and remove the additional wood.
The feed roller will start pulling the wooden board. The rotating cutter will remove the desired amount of wood as the board travels through the machine. Since all the planers have the ability to remove the specific amount of wood, you have to use different planners for different wooden boards.
Here are some of the commonly used stationary planers:
A thickness planer is of great importance if you need to have a nominal thickness for the wood. For example, if you need all your 2x4 boards to be 2 inches thick, a thickness planer is the tool to use. This is what they are made for.
This type of planer is also used to get the desired thickness of the wood. It is a smaller unit as compared to a floor model. These planers hold the capacity to deal with 12 inches or even 13 inches wide wooden pieces. Moreover, these planers are lightweight, making it easy to move them.
These planers are much larger in size than all the models mentioned above. They weigh more than several hundred pounds. However, once fixed, you don’t need to move it. The planner is capable of handling the lumber, which is 15” to 24” wide.
How to use
As stated earlier, a wood planer is a tool that you can use to create an even thickness of a wooden board. It makes the wood much smoother and gives it a clean appearance. Usually, a traditional wood planer used to be a handheld tool. However, at present, the modern electric-powered planers are in vogue.
A planer helps to adjust the thickness of a wooden board accurately and quickly. In order to use the planer, you first need to measure the board. After that, set the cut depth to remove the additional wood. You can do this either by the planing platform or adjusting the cutter drum/head. Now switch on the planer and slowly push the board.
Once the board comes into contact with the feed roller, it will start pulling it. When the wooden plank moves through the fast-rotating blades of the cutter, it removes the addition amount of wood. The outfeed roller brings the board outside the machine, which means you don’t need to pull it.
The board that comes out of the planer is smoother and has a consistent thickness. In this way, you can create a large number of wooden boards within the less anticipated time.
Advantages of a Planer
A wood planer can change a rough and uneven wooden piece into a smooth and even surfaced board. It helps to shave off the protrusions or grooves. You can use each modified wood piece on its own or glue it to another piece to get a thicker and stronger board.
Even if you have assembled the two wooden blocks, you can remove the imperfections by using a handheld planer. When you are planning to create woodcarvings, cutting boards, or other craft items, a planer would definitely save your time by trimming the boards.
A planer is also useful when you want to remove the old surface of reclaimed wood. In most cases, the surface of wood appears to be damaged due to years of use. You can use it for construction and furniture purposes by shaving off the old skin of the damaged wood.
A thickness planer gives you the freedom to take rough and irregular wooden pieces and turn them into smooth and perfectly thick pieces. You can easily set the thickness level and get the perfectly sized boards for your project.
This suggests you can use old or new wood for your project and manipulate it for your own use by taking advantage of a wood planer. Moreover, you can also put some roughly cut blocks and feed them into the planer to get perfectly finished deck spindles within less time.
If you are working on a project where you need to join the two edges of wooden pieces, a planer can turn out to be a handy tool. After a few days of practice, you can easily bevel the door edge up to 5 degrees with the help of an adjustable fence attached to your planer.
Wood Planer Selection
If you need a wood planer, it is advised to keep in mind three fundamental aspects. It will help you to choose the best planer for your task. The first thing to consider is the fact that how easy it would be to sharpen the blades of your planer.
There are some models, which offer disposable knives (double-sided). Once they wear out, you can easily replace them. Some other machines come with such blades that you can use again and again after sharpening them.
Secondly, you also need to note whether the planer you are buying is capable of offering a variety of settings. If it allows you to preset the thickness at different levels, just go for it. It will lower the fatigue of manually setting the cuts.
Thirdly, when buying a stationary planer, choose one with a proper dust or residue collector. It will help you to keep your workstation clean and perfectly managed.
Get Proper Training
Although a wood planer is an ideal tool for different types of woodwork, you can’t start using it without prior training. This is because this tool is sharp and may cause serious injury if you start working with it without any training.
If an inexperienced person operates the planer, the quality of work won’t be so great. It may have snipes, tear outs, and inclined planes on the surface of the wooden board. As a result, the overall working time will also increase.
Hence, it is essential to properly understand the functioning of the planer and learn how to use it. Additionally, you also need to consider the operational aspects of this machine. With a few days of practice, you can learn the art of creating smooth and evenly thickened wooden blocks.
There is no doubt in the efficiency of a wood planer, which suggests that no wooden product can take shape without this particular tool. You can use it to create smooth and even wooden boards and use them to create any possible structure or furniture.
So, what does a wood planer do? This tool gives the right size and appearance to a wood that you can use during any project. However, before buying a planer, make sure to keep in mind the purpose for which you are purchasing it.