How Does a Wood Planer Work?

When you are working on a wood project, there are many tools that you use. And each of these tools depends on what kind of wood project you are conducting.

Most wood projects contain the same tools. One such tool is a wood planer. A wood planer is essential to wood works as it does some important functions.

For example, if you are making a door, you will need things like screwdrivers and drills. But you will also need a tool like a planer to help thin it out and make it smooth.

This tutorial will not only tell you how to use a wood planer, but it will also explain the difference a planer and a jointer.

What Is a Wood Planer?

A wood planer is a tool used for smoothing and flattening a piece of wood.  Wood planers are also able to even out a piece of wood by reducing its thickness. This piece of wood is usually a board.

The most important function of a wood planer is that it helps control the thickness of a board. This means that if your wood is too thick, you can use a wood planer and smooth it down until it is thin enough for your needs.

Although similar, a wood planer is different from a jointer. Knowing the difference between both tools will help you with creating your project. You will learn more about this later.

How to Use A Wood Planer

While there are many tutorials online, they may be confusing or are about a specific type of planer. But here is a basic tutorial on how to generally use a wood planer.

  1. Check your planer before using.
  2. Organize your work area and position yourself so that your dominant hand is behind the planer while your other hand is in front. Your hand in front of the planer is supposed to guide the planer, but be careful to avoid injuring yourself.
  3. Secure your board on your working surface as it will be easier to use the planer if the board does not move around a lot while you are working.
  4. Choose where and make the first cut
  5. After every cut, check your board to make sure your cut is even.

When it comes to checking your planer, you should check for things like blade sharpness and cleanliness. It also important to see if the blade is even and level if you are not cutting at an angle.

Checking your planer every once in a while is important in fixing your planer should you have a problem. As many common problems can come from easy fixes such as a dull blade or a wood shaving getting stuck in a planer.

The Difference Between a Wood Planer and A Jointer

Now you know how to use a wood planer. Wood planers seem like another tool called a jointer, and people always confuse the two. But wood planer and jointers are two different wood working tools.

While planers can be used to flatten a whole surface, jointers can only be used for certain wood surfaces. The reason is that jointers are only used to flatten and smooth the length and edges of a board.

Thus jointers and planers are completely different but similar. This is important to know, so you won’t try to substitute a jointer for a planer or planer for a jointer.

However, there is a 2 in 1 tool that combines a planer and a jointer. Just remember to read the instructions of the machine, so you can properly use it.

Activities with a Wood Planer

Wood planers can be used in many activities that involve wood working. These projects range from small ones, like smoothing door edges, to large ones, like smoothing and thinning out wood cabinets.

For example, you can use it to recycle an old piece of wood that is in good condition. Wood that is in bad condition may not be recyclable. Wood in a terrible condition breaks apart very easily, so take caution if you are recycling pieces of wood.

Recycling wood can save you money as you do not have to spend money on a new piece of wood. You can use a wood planer to change the thickness of the old piece of wood to fit your project. This will make the old piece of wood new again.

Recycling wood is not the only project that involves using a wood planer, but it is one of the more interesting. There many other fun projects that will make a wood planer an interesting to your tools.

Tips for Using a Wood Planer

Now that you know how to use a wood planer, there are many important tips to remember. Some of these tips include:

  • Take time to understand how to use a wood planer as using one is harder than it looks. It is quite easy to mess up, especially if you are new to using a planer.
  • Make sure that you need a wood planer and not a jointer for your project. Remember while both are similar, they are used for different reasons.
  • Always remember to wear safety goggles or glasses when working with wood. It does not matter what type of wood planer you are using. Flying wood particles can injure your eyes.
  • There many types of wood planers, so make sure you read the instruction manual if the tool came with one. Instruction manuals will help you with any problems you might have with your plane, but they usually come with instructions on how to care for your tool.

Hopefully this tutorial helped you with using your wood planer. While this tutorial had a lot of information, it will help you with your projects as you will know whether a planer is useful to you. You will also know how to use a planer in a general sense as planers generally work the same way, electrical or not.

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