Tools Anonymous #2: The planer, boss - the planer!

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Blog entry by Sandra posted 10-06-2012 02:08 AM 1869 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Finally using a circular saw Part 2 of Tools Anonymous series Part 3: The miter saw that started it all »

And finally I used the planer…

The guys renovating our basement thought birch would stain nicely to match the new laminate flooring. The plan was to make a ledge/rail at the bottom of the half wall and a long ledge (110”) where the wall juts out. I thought it would be a good project for me so I took it on.

I found birch and maple on kijiji and came home with a van load of rough lumber. Which lead to me building lumber racks. Funny how these things snowball.

Then of course I needed a planer. Did some reading, decided on the Ridgid 13” portable planer. (portable is open to interpretation obviously) The planer got good reviews, but one of the complaints was that there were too many plastic parts. I thought this would be good for me and meant a somewhat lighter planer than the Dewalt.

After reading the instructions a few times and watching really cheesy how-to videos, I took the planer out of the box. I set it up outside on my Durabench which is rated for 500 lbs. It fit nicely on it, and felt very sturdy. The planer itself required no set up other than attaching the dust hood, taking out the packing material and checking it for level.

I hooked up my shopvac to the dust hood and I was off to the races. I treated my first piece of lumber as a test piece and assumed that anything put in the planer could act as a lethal projectile and made sure I was never in the line of fire. I started doing shallow cuts with a goofy grin on my face. Then the planer and the shopvac died.
With the lumber halfway through. Double crap.

I unplugged everything and thought about how in heck I was going to get the lumber out. I’m ashamed to say I even got out the owner’s manual and flipped to “troubleshooting” before I realized that I just had to turn the handle to raise the cutter blades. Duh.

Then to the basement to reset the breaker. Turned on my shop vac and it was making a sickly noise.
Triple crap. My brand new shop vac ruined. Unless…. And yes the thing was jammed full. I knew the planer would produce a lot of chips, but hadn’t expected it to fill the shop vac that quickly. Emptied it out and problem solved. Since I was outside I decided to lift the dust hood and let the shavings fly.

If I wasn’t hooked on wood before, I certainly am now after watching the grain show up from the rough piece of lumber. I got the short piece of birch done for the half wall ledge and then routed out the bottom so that it would sit over the drywall.

For the longer piece, I put my miter saw a few feet away, and set the rollers on that stand to the same height as the planer. As the 11 ft piece came through the planer, it hit the rollers on the miter saw. It gave me lots of time to get over to the other side and support the piece as it finished going trough. No sniping, nothing.

Mission accomplished. Here’s a picture of the the planer before getting started and the two ledges.

Oh yeah, after using my Bosch Colt palm router on the underside of the short ledge it would have been nice to have a chisel to clean out the corners. I don’t own any chisels. Yet.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

4 comments so far

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3308 days

#1 posted 10-06-2012 03:02 AM

to show your pictures
i just dragged all your http stuff down
and put an exclamation point tight to both ends of it
(each one separate)
presto !
(that’s how to show them)

very nice work results
glad you are having fun

clamp the planer down
the vibration will make it wander on the stand
or outboard weight (which keeps increasing)
can make it tip

hate to see you lose a brand new tool

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2042 days

#2 posted 10-06-2012 01:36 PM

Thanks for the tip – I wasn’t sure how to show the pics. Good point on the clamps. I was figuring it was sturdy enough but hadn’t taken the vibrations into account.


-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View DocSavage45's profile


8520 posts in 2810 days

#3 posted 10-06-2012 04:30 PM

Chisels? Joinery? a whole new area. Buy the best.

sounds like you are learning.

been helping my friend install new windows.


-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View FeralVermonter's profile


100 posts in 1938 days

#4 posted 01-18-2013 02:51 AM

Oh, man… I gotta get a planer…

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