I had some questions about my new planer I got as a gift.

1) Sharpening the blade How many times could I sharpen the blade before it becomes inaccurate. I was thinking once, maybe twice. But I a sure that somebody has done it and has a good idea on that.

2) The belt I already ran into a problem. The company does not seem to directly sell the belts for the planer. So what size is typical or what kind of belt do they use?

3) Greasing the gears This was recommended in the book. But how often do I need to do this. And better yet, I do not know what kind of grease to use with this kind of stuff.

4) Grain direction I know you want to go with the grain. But what if I where to say make a board that had to be feed cross grain. Any way to make it safer? I was thinking just make shallow cuts. Which I already do at 1/32 of a inch at a time.

Well to be honest I really do not have any other question as of now. But anything that you have to recommend to me with this new planer, since it is my first one. Thanks!

  • "...before it becomes acculturate" . The term acculturate does not appear to apply. Did you mean inaccurate? unusable? – Ashlar Jan 19 '17 at 21:31
  • 1
    FYI 1/32" is not a shallow cut in a planer. You can go much shallower than this (presumably depending somewhat on the model) and if you want to ever plane cross-grain you're going to want to. AFAIK you never want to send material through a planer sideways, judging from the surface you get doing it with a hand plane I can guess why! Also there's great potential for the rear edge to tear away (called spelching) which may be a safety issue as well as the damage to the board. – Graphus Jan 19 '17 at 23:18
  • @ashlar sorry that is what I meant – Ljk2000 Jan 20 '17 at 17:48
  • @Graphus yes my planer can go way shallower. I could make 128th inch passes with ease. The most is 3/32 (but not on very wide boards, may be hard on it). – Ljk2000 Jan 20 '17 at 17:50
  • 2
    I put this on hold because you are actually asking many specific distinct questions under one. If you edit this one to include only 1 question, and break the others out into separate questions, it will fit the SE format much better, and will serve future visitors, as well--ideally, please also try to make each question apply to a broad audience, not just those with a specific brand or model of tool. – rob Jan 22 '17 at 5:55
  1. Sharpening the Blade I have a similar table top planer (Delta). The blades are reversible so I use them for a year or until I otherwise notice significant degradation in the surface smoothness. Flipping the blades takes less than a half hour. I have been reluctant to sharpen them and find $30 in new blades every couple years is reasonable in my case so I can't offer more insight into this.
  2. The Belt. There is no standard size for the belt, it will vary per manufacturer and model. Your manual should include an exploded parts view that should identify the belt. (or go online).
  3. Greasing the gears. I assume you are referring to the leveling gears. There is no maintenance schedule I am aware of. Inspect them now and then check annually to verify they are still working well and have sufficient lubricant.
  4. Grain Direction. There is no real safety issue with grain direction. Rather, if the board runs through backwards or sideways there is increased risk that the cutting edge will raise grain that travels deeper into the board, causing "tear-out" in which chips of wood are lifted off of the surface leaving gouges. If you run the board through in a cross grain direction the blade is more likely to pull out longer wood fibers causing similar surface imperfections. Running the board with the grain is best, but if you can't, you can reduce the risk of tear-out by making very shallow passes removing very little material in each run.
  • I would have to say very much the same with the blades. They are reversible and are $30 for the 3 blades. And about every year, sounds like you can get a LOT out of the blades before going dull. – Ljk2000 Jan 20 '17 at 17:51
  • 1
    @Ljk2000 That is affordable but I think I should mention that resharpening planer blades is very much a done thing, we even have a previous Q&A on it. Don't at all think it's something too difficult for you to do, just a few strokes on the leading edge followed by a gentle lapping of the flat of the blade is enough to get the blade sharper again. And you can take it further to make it sharper than it came from the factory. So this can be VERY worth doing to improve results, e.g. on tricky wood. – Graphus Jan 20 '17 at 19:19

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.