Thickness planing the narrow edge

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Forum topic by Tom Huntley posted 10-04-2010 06:59 PM 4591 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tom Huntley

50 posts in 3207 days

10-04-2010 06:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: face-frame cabinets planing joinery planer safety jigs

I recently made my first face-frame cabinets with raised panel doors, and they came out very well. So well, in fact, that my wife has gone face-frame crazy. (expanding the utility of my “man cave”). Here’s my question. I’m pre-cutting and dadoing all of my face-frame and door components with an emphasis on consistency and accuracy (using jigs, fixtures, etc.). I would like all of my initial dimensional lumber to be very accurate. For example, when I plane, all boards are individually taken to within .010 of desired thickness. Then every board is planed on a final pass at one thickness setting to ensure a consistent thickness. This gives me good joints. Ok the question: Is it safe to use my planer to do the narrow edge of a board, assuming I build a fence with a feather board that keeps the board verticle when it goes through the planer? This way I could make my runners and styles all exactly the same thickness and width, thereby making it possible to ensure that every cabined is exactly the same dimension when assembled. Your thoughts?

-- Tom Huntley - Rochester Hills, Michigan

8 replies so far

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2947 days

#1 posted 10-04-2010 07:16 PM

I have run boards though planer on edge as you describe. I just bundled several boards together and they were long enough that I could keep them squeezed together both infeed and outfeed. The problem is if you get snipe your boards have to be long enough to cut it off. My preferred way is to set up on a shaper with a straight cutter and outboard fence. Of coarse this works best if you have a power feeder.
best regards

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3128 days

#2 posted 10-04-2010 07:22 PM

I’d suggest jointing one edge, then running them ALL through your Table Saw on the same setting, and using a featherboard. No snipe there. If you’ll use a good sharp blade(which a lot of home shops don’t seem to have), you should get exceptional results. There’s always more than one way to skin a cat.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Colin 's profile


93 posts in 2779 days

#3 posted 10-04-2010 07:24 PM

Do you have a jointer? The problem with using a planer this way is it will not take out any of the bow in the wood. It can be done to achieve uniform width though. It is tough to do this and get a perfectly square edge since you don’t have a perfectly square edge to put on the bed of the planer. Even once you get one square edge, it is difficult to get them to go through on edge without skewing slightly especially if you are doing this alone.

If you have a jointer, straighten one edge on the jointer, rip all at one time on your table saw then joint all your rough edges at one setting on your jointer.

If you don’t have a jointer, you can set up a router table with the infeed fence 1/16” offset from your outfeed. Line up your outfeed with the outside of you straight cutter or spiral bit and you can use this to straighten just make sure you make your infeed fence about as long as the pieces you are trying to straighten.


View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3729 days

#4 posted 10-04-2010 07:38 PM

I’ve used my conical disk sander to “joint” the edges of thin boards. I can safely do boards of any length/width and they are ready for finishing. I can even sand angled edges.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Tom Huntley's profile

Tom Huntley

50 posts in 3207 days

#5 posted 10-04-2010 08:12 PM

Wow, you guys are great! (an, I have to admint sheepishly, I’m a bit…well….uneducated). I was going to say Stupid, but we don’t use that word in our house. Here’s the plan: I’ll use my joiner for squaring up one edge, and then see what results I get using my Forrestt Woodworker II blade. It leaves a pretty good edge. I have a Jet Xacta fence, so with a feather board, this may get the results I’m looking for. The other idea I really like is Joiner first, then straight cutter on my router table. Thanks SO MUCH for your quick, and excellent responses.

-- Tom Huntley - Rochester Hills, Michigan

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3790 days

#6 posted 10-04-2010 11:45 PM

Tom, I have performed this procedure many times when making frame and panel doors. The only concern would be with snipe, as Lynn mentioned. But I only rarely have any snipe when I thickness material. I have gone both routes- clamping a group of boards and running them individually. I really don’t see any difference in the two but you certainly could work up a sled with a fence to keep them clamped in a verticaly position.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View cutmantom's profile


402 posts in 3003 days

#7 posted 10-05-2010 12:06 AM

I mill stock 1/16 wider than finished size, then I cut to finished length which seems to leave some splintering(I can’t afford a 100$ + blade), next joint both edges with the jointer set at 1/32, all splinters are cleaned up, this also helps when doing cope and stick, cope the rails then joint to final size, then run the profile and groove

View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3128 days

#8 posted 10-05-2010 12:44 PM

cutmantom, to prevent splintering, try adding a sacrificial fence(backer board) to your miter gauge on your Table Saw. Or if you are using your Miter Saw, set up backer boards for it.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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