How to get repeat thickness

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Forum topic by lazyoakfarm posted 02-20-2012 12:04 AM 1359 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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144 posts in 2821 days

02-20-2012 12:04 AM

I finally wired up my Grizzly G0453PX 15” planer today. This was the first use of a planer ever. It produced a lot better finish than i ever expected, but I really dont know how to uset it…
Today, I needed to make a repair to a cabinet and needed a plane a piece of wood down to a certain thickness. it was difficult for me to get the exact thickness. is there an easy way to do this other than a lot of trial and error?

Im used to my Incra table saw fence where I can just set it and rip it and its perfect every time…


14 replies so far

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2993 days

#1 posted 02-20-2012 12:20 AM

There must be a scale on it somewhere… with an indicator on the table telling you what thickness its set at.

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144 posts in 2821 days

#2 posted 02-20-2012 12:34 AM

yes it has a scale, but i wanted it to be more accurate than eyeing the scale. I dont think its possible to eyeball the scale and get it within a 64th? and really want it to be a lot closer than that. Maybe a Wixey digital scale is the answer?

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13606 posts in 3365 days

#3 posted 02-20-2012 12:35 AM

when i am doing repeat work

i find which setting is closest
and keep track of the handle position
some planers are 1/8” full turn
some 1/16”
i keep the handle to the same place
(if on top then towards me or away)

if on the side
then up or down
each 1/4 turn is for fine settings
(or 1/8 turn)

that way i can come back to the same place
if i need to move it for other stock

for custom you have to go by measure
till you get it right

i use a block that is the one i want to replicate
and lay them together and feel the differences

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

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51457 posts in 3505 days

#4 posted 02-20-2012 12:42 AM

If I am planing a piece down to 3/4”, I would set my planer scale to 3/4 and plane all of the pieces at one time to the scaled 3/4 inch and accept the scale. I have a stop on my planer for various thicknesses. If I am trying to match it to something else, and as I get close to that dimension I start to use a calipers to verify the accuracy. If the piece I am comparing it to is a free piece and not glued to something I will lay the two pieces next to each other on a flat surface to compare thickness after each pass as I carefully plane it to the final thickness.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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144 posts in 2821 days

#5 posted 02-20-2012 12:49 AM

At least I see that I was not totally going abou it wrong. I was having to take a little at a time until I got to the right thickness. I did figure out that turn is about a perfect 1/16 and this helps a lot. I guess the first pass I just need to make sure I am too big rather than too small. DAH…
Has anyone installed a Wixey scale on their planer? I have to use technology to make up for the lack of skill.

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47 posts in 2453 days

#6 posted 02-20-2012 12:50 AM

I know there are some digital scales available for some planers. Might be Wixey. I’ve never used one, but they should get within the tolerance you want.

-- My Boss was a carpenter

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2993 days

#7 posted 02-20-2012 12:53 AM

Don’t know if it will work on your planer but if I know if I have to return to a setting later on in a project, I just draw a line in the dust on the cutter hood to index the position of the handle.
Best thing you can do though is plane all your timber that’s required to be a certain thickness at the same time.
Get a feel for your machine, If one rotation of the handle is an 1/8 inch of a cut, a quarter turn will be 1/32, an 1/8th of a turn will be 1/64 etc.

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2131 posts in 3769 days

#8 posted 02-20-2012 03:23 AM

I have a Wixey on my 0453. You have to manufacture your own mounting. I think they were originally made for the table top planers. Mine works very well, but I will usually back it up with a set of digital calipers, if I’m trying to repeat or duplicate a thickness.

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233 posts in 3365 days

#9 posted 02-20-2012 03:34 AM

When planing I always have my 6 inch calipers in my back pocket when planing. Just keep checking. Snowy River has it right.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

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701 posts in 3337 days

#10 posted 02-20-2012 12:07 PM

I have the Wixey on my DW745 planer and it works very well.

There have been several times when I had to plane another board to exact thickness. It has a caliper setting that allows you to measure the thickness of a board and then I just plane down to that thickness.

Otherwise I do as Wayne and plane all my boards at the same time. With the Wixey I often don’t have to turn the planer off between boards as I can just watch the digital display as I crank down for each pass on the boards. Saves a bit of time.

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4541 posts in 3099 days

#11 posted 02-20-2012 03:08 PM

I also have a Wixey on my DeWalt 733. 95% of the time I do not use it. However, when I do need it, it is great to have. If I think I may need to come back and repeat a particular thickness on a piece, but I need to set the planner at other thicknesses in the interim, the Wixey is great.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2717 days

#12 posted 02-20-2012 03:40 PM

^I’ve done what Patron and the others do. I’ll put a piece of blue painter’s tape on my depth gauge as a “target”, then ease up to it. I’ve got a digital meter too and I’ll usually zero it on the desired cut, then sneak up on it. Why? It’s because I’ve forgotten the target thickness before, lol. I can’t rightly forget zero:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View DS's profile


2925 posts in 2445 days

#13 posted 02-20-2012 04:32 PM

Take the time to calibrate the index scale on your planer. That will get you into the ballpark. Mine is surprisingly accurate, but I rarely can cut directly to the finished thickness. It usually take several passes.

I do like others do and note the handle position for the depth adjustment. I almost always stop the handle at the quarter turns, which handily stops every 1/32” of thickness.

If you need to be VERY precise, you should sneek up to your line on a test piece then run your entire batch of boards.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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144 posts in 2821 days

#14 posted 02-20-2012 04:46 PM

Many thanks for all the help. I don’t think its going to be as difficult as I first thought as long as I go about it the right way. I cannot believe how good the finished product looks. The spiral cutter makes a great finish. The only thing I noticed is that on the softer wood you can see the pattern of the outfeed roller. I was going to loosen the tension on the outfeed roller, but a little sanding is all it took to make it disappear.

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