Planing Across Grain

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Forum topic by patcollins posted 01-29-2011 02:10 AM 10504 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1685 posts in 2893 days

01-29-2011 02:10 AM

I have glued up a panel and made it just a bit too big to fit through my planer with the grain. I was wondering if I can send it through at 90 degrees across the grain because it will fit in that direction. It is red oak btw.

6 replies so far

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3025 days

#1 posted 01-29-2011 02:24 AM

Try a sample piece of oak first. You will need super sharp knives.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3069 days

#2 posted 01-29-2011 04:53 AM

What planer do you have. I would be skeptical about doing it. First it sounds like the board isn’t that long nor wide, I never put pieces in my planer that isn’t twice the length of the planer. I never put a piece of lumber in the plane cross the grain. I would use a hand plane. Just my opinion.

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3316 days

#3 posted 01-29-2011 05:25 AM

i agree with the hand plane idea. or a belt sander.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2865 days

#4 posted 01-29-2011 06:38 AM

I third the motion… I would never plane a piece cross grain. Even with a very sharp hand plane, I angle the tool to at least 45 as to avoid serious damage. If your problem is to make the whole piece thinner, use a hand plane. If you need to even up the glued pieces, try a hand held cabinet scraper ($10 item at a real woodworking store and ask for a quick lesson on it’s use). But scrapers are only good until they become dull and require a different sharpening procedure then most tools. If your only option to make the piece work is with a planner, hunt down a woodworking shop in your area that has a wider planner. Avoid the cross grain machine planner method!

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10543 posts in 3456 days

#5 posted 01-29-2011 02:30 PM

Wide drum sander or wider planer!
Another option would be a router planer like this one. Planer Jig

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2870 days

#6 posted 01-29-2011 04:29 PM

I have unfortunately had to do this, I think for the same reason you’re referring to. It was too wide to go through the planer with the grain. It would go across the grain. I don’t even own a handplane, so I couldn’t go that route. It can be done, but here’s a few notes.
Have sharp blade.
Take light passes. Take too deep of a cut at one time and it will tear the wood all to #&*^% and back!
Be careful to support the wood on the infeed and outfeed side. Too much snipe across the gain equals tearout that looks like sledgehammer damage.
You can plane it for smoothness, but do not (DO NOT) try to plane it down too thin. Anything thinner than about a half inch thich can get dangerous. If you get it thin enough, the blades catch the cross grain, tears the board to pieces and shoot splinters along with some pieces with a little size to them across your shop like wooden projectiles out the end of a cannon. YES! I do know this from experience.


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