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First time using planer

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Forum topic by Willie1031 posted 06-17-2011 02:57 AM 1212 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Willie1031

141 posts in 1233 days


06-17-2011 02:57 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip

I have never used a planer before but I’m planning on making a new cutting board. I am not sure if a planer will be needed or not. Is it mainly used to make the wood nice and level? Thank you.

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain


19 replies so far

View EvilNuff's profile

EvilNuff

59 posts in 1324 days


#1 posted 06-17-2011 02:59 AM

A thickness planer is used to make wood thinner by a controlled amount as well as to make one side flat and parallel to the opposite side. You don’t need it for a cutting board but as with most tools it will help.

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Willie1031

141 posts in 1233 days


#2 posted 06-17-2011 03:01 AM

Thank you. I am really amazed by the friendly people on this site. Guess I’ll have to buy one this weekend. Where would one go for exotic wood? There’s a few lumber stores here. Is that a start?

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain

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EvilNuff

59 posts in 1324 days


#3 posted 06-17-2011 03:06 AM

My advice would be either find a local hardwood dealer or an online seller. Bellforestproducts.com for example has cutting board kits, a friend bought one and was quite pleased. If you buy locally ask if they will plane it for you then you wouldn’t need a buy a planer. I made my first cutting board just fine with nothing but a circle saw and sanders and clamps.

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Willie1031

141 posts in 1233 days


#4 posted 06-17-2011 03:08 AM

Thank you again, then that’s what I’ll do.

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain

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jusfine

2280 posts in 1622 days


#5 posted 06-17-2011 04:45 AM

Are you talking about a (thickness) planer or a jointer?

For someone getting serious about woodworking, a jointer is invaluable. In my thinking, it would be the purchase before a thickness planer.

A jointer will allow you to flatten rough or cupped or warped stock, while you need that done first before using the thickness planer.

All the best!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11270 posts in 1386 days


#6 posted 06-17-2011 04:49 AM

I wouldnt run an end grain piece through a planer.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View EvilNuff's profile

EvilNuff

59 posts in 1324 days


#7 posted 06-17-2011 05:14 AM

I disagree jusfine, IMO thickness planer before jointer. There’s nothing you can do on a jointer that you cannot do with other tools (and jigs) but you cannot replace what a thickness planer does without a (much more expensive) drum sander, hand planes, etc. You can edge joint with a saw of any kind and a jig. You can support a cupped or warped piece of wood with a jig and plane one side flat.

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Willie1031

141 posts in 1233 days


#8 posted 06-17-2011 04:01 PM

Thanks guys. I really appreciate all of the advice.

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain

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jusfine

2280 posts in 1622 days


#9 posted 06-17-2011 07:58 PM

Evil, you make a strong case against my recommendation, you may be right.

It has been so many years that I have had both commercial grade machines (30+), and well before the portable thickness planers were available, plus I did have a jointer long before a thickness planer, so that would slant my opinion.

A thickness planer may be in your best interest! :)

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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HerbC

1191 posts in 1556 days


#10 posted 06-17-2011 10:21 PM

Willie,

Just to reinterate the warning: Do NOT use a power thickness planer to plane surface of end grain cutting boards. You may get lucky but if you don’t the consequences can include damage or distruction to the cutting board and planer and also the possiblity of injury to yourself.

Good Luck and

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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Willie1031

141 posts in 1233 days


#11 posted 06-17-2011 10:46 PM

Thank you Herb…that’s helpful. I lived in P.C. for about 9 years. I miss it so bad.

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain

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EvilNuff

59 posts in 1324 days


#12 posted 06-18-2011 02:10 AM

jusfine, clearly both is the best option…they work well together. :) And doing without a jointer is possible but its not fun…I know. :(

Willie Herb is correct don’t plane end grain…where I said it would be useful i meant on the first glue up the long grains…

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Willie1031

141 posts in 1233 days


#13 posted 06-18-2011 02:35 AM

I really hate to sound like the novice I am, but end grain?

-- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -- Mark Twain

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2518 days


#14 posted 06-18-2011 02:42 AM

Willie, even the most seasoned veterans of the group have been where you are at right now at some point in their woodworking journey. Here is a reference that explains end, face and edge grains pretty well. End grain tends to be very hard on the tools and knives as opposed to edge/face grains which are also long grains.

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

View stevenmadden's profile

stevenmadden

174 posts in 1785 days


#15 posted 06-18-2011 02:46 AM

Willie1031: I just wanted to chime in and make sure that the purpose for the two machines mentioned are clear. A jointer is used to straighten and/or flatten wood, this would include edge and face jointing. A thickness planer is used to thickness wood, for this to be effective you need to start with one flat surface. If a board is bowed and you send it through the thickness planer, you will end up with a slightly thinner board that is bowed. As mentioned before, there are jigs that can be used in conjunction with a thickness planer to help flatten a board, like this one:

http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=5245

An example of how to dimension wood would go like this:

Start by making one face flat, then use that face to reference against to joint one edge square. Next, bring the wood to the desired thickness, then rip to desired width. Finally, cross cut to desired length.

There are tons of variations of that process. For example, I don’t have a jointer. With a rough piece of wood, I use my low angle jack plane to rough out one face and then my #7 or #8 jointer plane to joint that face flat. Then I use my #7 or #8 jointer plane to square one edge to that face. Once that is done, I use my thickness planer to bring the board to my desired thickness, then the table saw to rip the board to desired width. Finally, I use my sliding compound miter saw or crosscut sled on my table saw to cut the board to length (I will follow that up with a trip to the shooting board, if necessary). A smoothing plane (#4 or #4 1/2) works great to prep the surfaces for finishing, sanding through the grits works too.

I hope this helped.

Steven

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