Hand Planer vs lunchbox planer

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Forum topic by ShopWench posted 06-07-2012 09:25 AM 3700 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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71 posts in 2276 days

06-07-2012 09:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer plane

Seems like there is no easy solution to the planeing issue….so if I am mainly doing cutting boards and boxes etc what do you think is the best solution to getting it all nice and smooth?

-- Nancy

7 replies so far

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3072 days

#1 posted 06-07-2012 09:43 AM

Hand planes I like to use when jointing. I don’t have the space for a jointer and hand planing for flatness on one side and planing an edge is not bad. Thickness planing, however, is a whole different story. Some might view it differently, but I am glad to have a thickness planer to make the board uniform.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3304 days

#2 posted 06-07-2012 09:46 AM

after reading davids comment
i realize mine below
is about an electric hand planer
not a traditional handplane

they both have different purposes
even though they do basically the same thing
if used properly

the hand planer is much harder to control
as it can gouge and skitter around
and can leave a rustic surface

the machine planer
just pulls wood thru
and replicates what is on the table
the wood rides on
why a jointer is good first
as it gives you a straight flat side
to ride on the table
and follows that so it comes out parallel
and even thickness

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

18685 posts in 2531 days

#3 posted 06-07-2012 10:39 AM

It really depends. I’ve restored over 200 hand planes in the last few years, so its easy to say hand planes is the way to go. But it really depends on your goal. If you need to be productive and profitable, you’ll want a planer. If it pure enjoyment and quiet satisfaction, its going to be hand planes. I’m of the opinion a good mix is the best approach. If you know how to work with both of them, you will know when each is appropriate.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2451 days

#4 posted 06-07-2012 12:15 PM

If you are refering to making the top and bottom of the cutting boards smooth I would suggest a thickness sander.

Running a end grain cutting board through a thickness planer is a formula for disaster. Kickback, chip out, tearing of wood grain and damage to the planer blades will happen.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View ShaneA's profile


6909 posts in 2562 days

#5 posted 06-07-2012 12:53 PM

Drum sander for final sanding would be most helpful. Hand planing for final finish on endgrain can be difficult. Lunchbox planer is possible, but the board already needs to be pretty flat, and like Dallas said, it is tough on the machine and kickback is possible.

View bondogaposis's profile


4682 posts in 2315 days

#6 posted 06-07-2012 12:58 PM

Lunch box style planers are generally used for thicknessing wood to different dimensions. For instance small boxes can require wood as thin as 3/8” or 1/4”. You can take standard 4/4 stock and resaw on a bandsaw to get some thinner stock then run them through to final dimension. It works on cutting boards too, if they are not endgrain cutting boards. I like to make cutting boards by ripping 8/4 stock into 1 1/8” pieces, edge glue them and then plane to 1” final thickness. Also a lot of furniture projects require pieces of wood that vary in thickness. From 1/2” for drawer sides and even thinner for decorative accents. I have an old Ryobi 10”, one of the first lunch box style planers made, from the ‘80’s, it is still going strong and I wouldn’t be with out one.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Philzoel's profile


302 posts in 2307 days

#7 posted 06-07-2012 10:25 PM

Drum sander.

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

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