23 votes

When should I use a Jointer vs. a Planer?

A planer is used for making two edges parallel while a jointer is used for making straight or flat surfaces. Let's say you have a warped board (suppose it looks like a banana from end to end). If you ...
  • 4,166
19 votes
Accepted

What is the minimum length I can thickness plane?

It varies by model, check the manual online for the model you're looking at. Generally the shortest recommended length is also the distance between the center of the rollers. Basically, you never ...
  • 4,382
19 votes
Accepted

When should I use a Jointer vs. a Planer?

A planer will ensure that 2 opposite faces of a piece of wood are parallel to each other will generally handle wider pieces of wood is not the appropriate tool for working the narrow edge of a 'wide' ...
  • 5,912
19 votes
Accepted

What is a planer sled and how do you use it?

A planer sled is a flat, rigid box or piece of material that supports your workpiece and holds it in a specific orientation as it passes through a thickness planer. By holding a twisted or otherwise ...
  • 18.6k
17 votes

What is the minimum length I can thickness plane?

Technically there's no minimum length you can send through a thickness planer if you 'cheat'. There are various tricks that allow planing of material both too thin and too short and they can work well....
  • 59.8k
13 votes
Accepted

What's a good way to cut a board parallel to its face?

The operation you want to do is called resawing, and is best done on a bandsaw. Ideally, your bandsaw should be equipped with a 1/2" or wider, 2-4 TPI blade and a resaw guide or high fence that can ...
  • 18.6k
12 votes

What is a planer sled and how do you use it?

To add to Rob's answer: A planer mills the wood to a fixed height above the bed. If the piece is warped or twisted, the warp will still be there upon exiting the planer, and at best you'll have a ...
  • 9,101
11 votes

Can I run pressure treated deck boards through thickness planer?

Will I have problems running 16' deck boards through a planer and will I get a nice result? Will the pressure treated chemicals, or the years of tree muck adhered to the surface of the boards wreck ...
  • 12.1k
9 votes
Accepted

Can I repair this bent part in my thickness planer?

This looks to be the shroud the helps direct woodchips out of the exhaust port. My guess is that it either something got caught on it while you fed it through or something hit it from kickback when ...
  • 12.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Can I run pressure treated deck boards through thickness planer?

Cleaning the deck is the right call here. I wouldn't in general countenance planing PT stock (or doing any other operation to it in bulk, especially sanding). Yes you can protect yourself from the ...
  • 59.8k
8 votes
Accepted

What are the differences in use between a drum sander and thickness planer?

You're correct that the planer can remove much more material at a time. With the planer, it is also simple to adjust the depth for removing more material in a pass. With the drum sander, you can ...
  • 1,072
7 votes

What's a good way to cut a board parallel to its face?

It's called resawing, and generally it is done with a bandsaw. There are blades that can make this process easier. Getting the largest (wide) blade you saw can handle is the best way, at least for ...
  • 15.1k
7 votes

Can I run pressure treated deck boards through thickness planer?

Mostly no, but you could. I would not because if it is treated lumber you run a risk of removing the protective layer that makes the treated lumber, well... treated. So with that said I would not. But ...
  • 3,058
7 votes
Accepted

What is snipe on a thickness planer?

Snipe occurs when the leading or trailing edge of the board lifts a bit off the bed of the planer or the planer head, being supported only on one side if the cutters, drops a bit. The result is the ...
  • 9,101
7 votes
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What to look for when buying a thickness planer

When purchasing a thickness planer, what are some features that are essential? Some nice-to-haves? Anything that is just fluff, especially for a beginner woodworker? type of cutterhead knives: ...
  • 18.6k
7 votes
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Feed direction on a planer/thicknesser

I'll use the US terms jointer for the top part of that machine and planer for the bottom part. Thickness planers typically have a motorized drive, meaning there's no choice about feed direction (...
  • 2,169
7 votes
Accepted

Why do I need to push the plank into the thicknesser?

This isn't unusual - even for reasonably high-end industrial thicknessers costing $5k upwards. I've used a few different makes/models and this has always been an issue with wider boards. The feed ...
  • 3,833
6 votes

Tips for planing huge panels of joined wood

Find a local cabinet shop or woodworking store that has a wide belt sander. My local hardwood supplier will run panels through their 50" wide sander for just a few bucks. My planer will handle a 13" ...
  • 8,016
6 votes
Accepted

How can I minimize snipe while thickness planing?

A couple things that haven't been mentioned yet: feed several pieces in one after another. If I feed piece B before piece A exits, the rollers don't have a chance to drop (and hence, there's no ...
  • 4,166
6 votes

Milling wide lumber to square

See past comments re using a sled to stabilize the piece so a planer can be used as a wide jointer. e.g.This one If you don't want to build a sled, another approach is gluing reasonably straight "...
  • 9,101
6 votes

Can I run pressure treated deck boards through thickness planer?

Rent a floor refinishing belt sander or a large orbital sander (24in disk) and keep the boards in place and sand them down. When you pull up those boards some will have a tendency to warp and twist ...
  • 69
6 votes
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Can barn wood planks be planed and how thin?

As wood ages it will dry out and become more rigid. Most portable thicknessers can get the wood down to approx. 1/4". Any thinner and the wood is at risk of tear out which will destroy the plank as ...
  • 7,884
5 votes

Milling wide lumber to square

Bring in some other tools This would seem blasphemy to do to wood of this age but you could consider cutting the boards down their length and laminating them once you make them square. If you are ...
  • 20.1k
5 votes

Passing wood through a planer on both sides?

A planer sled can be use with a planer to effectively joint (make flat) one side of work that's too wide for your jointer. Once you've flattened one side, you can flip the work and run it through the ...
  • 8,067
5 votes

How to plane boards to the same thickness

I work with a lot of pallet wood and frequently many of the boards will be different thickness. I could pass all boards through, lower the height, pass them all through again, lower again, and so ...
  • 20.1k
5 votes
Accepted

Thicknessing and planing wide hardwood boards

Are there any other options open to me? There is one other option that you didn't mention. You can build a "router sled" to flatten wide boards. This is basically two rails on either side of the ...
4 votes

When should I use a Jointer vs. a Planer?

I agree that you should have both. However if there were budget and space considerations I would go with a jointer. A jointer is going to enable you to get those precise surfaces for joining your wood....
  • 388
4 votes

What is the minimum length I can thickness plane?

As a rule of thumb, i never plane anything shorter than 12". I have the Dewalt DW734.
4 votes

Passing wood through a planer on both sides?

but now seeing as both sides might be uneven after gluing, can I pass the board through the jointer on both sides? Instead of jointing both sides, instead pass one side through the jointer to make it ...
  • 12.1k
4 votes

Tips for planing huge panels of joined wood

I do some guitar building, and guitars happen to be just wider than standard planers. So, I build a planer sled for my router. Depending on your overall width, this could be useful for you. some ...

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