running finish through a planer

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Forum topic by dakremer posted 11-19-2012 05:34 PM 4014 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2672 posts in 3092 days

11-19-2012 05:34 PM

I just salvaged an old baby crib someone was throwing away. Made of all solid wood. I took it apart and cut (to length) all that could be saved. The wood has an old finish on it (starting to flake off) – Can this be run through the planer to get all the finish off, or get down to the bare wood? or will this ruin my blades?

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

27 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17387 posts in 3007 days

#1 posted 11-19-2012 05:44 PM

Personally id run it through. If theyre disposable blades, ya pissed away $30 but got clean wood. You could also flip em over if theyre 2 sided as well. The other option would be belt sand the wood or hand planing. I think id take the risk of running them through. I think the only way it would totally ruin your blades is if it had some sort of aluminum oxide finish on it like prefinished flooring.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3159 days

#2 posted 11-19-2012 05:48 PM

I’d run them through. The alternative usually takes time…which is money…which costs as much as new blades anyway. It’s arguably hard on blades, but it will not ruin them immediately.

-- jay,

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3092 days

#3 posted 11-19-2012 05:55 PM

you can tell its a crib that was manufactured by the 1000’s….it has a very thin finish on it… and some of it is flaking off

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3648 days

#4 posted 11-19-2012 05:56 PM

I do it. I have a sharpener for my planer blades though
so it doesn’t cost me anything but time to fix them up.

Sometimes if I am not sure about what’s underneath the
paint, I’ll hog it off rough with a hand plane to get rid of grit
and check for metal.

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2997 days

#5 posted 11-19-2012 06:10 PM

The finish, “varnish & paints” will dull the blades, a nail or piece of metal will knick the blade.
An option is to have 2 sets of blades , use one set for removing finishing and other set to plane raw wood. Might save you sharpening blades each time.
I have a dedicated 6” jointer that I only use on used lumber, another jointer for RAW ,clean lumber.
I don’t run used lumber through my planer, I use a drum sander if I am not sure.
“Only my little opinion”

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

View Ted's profile


2847 posts in 2211 days

#6 posted 11-19-2012 07:27 PM

You may want to check for lead before planing or sanding that finish.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2515 days

#7 posted 11-19-2012 08:04 PM

If it is a stained finish, it will be lead free. If it is paint, it certainly may have lead, and be risky.
But if a lacquer or varnish finish it will almost always be a one piece spray type finish with color put in for one coat production work. It may even be a water base, being a baby crib and all.
Start planing, I don’t see where it will damage. Lot better edge and more level than sanding it off, and you can vacuum up most of what comes off from your planer.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2485 days

#8 posted 11-19-2012 08:28 PM

As an alternative if you’d like to avoid wear on your planer knives, if you have a card scraper that’s fresh and sharp, it should be able to remove a fair amount of the finish, if not all of it.

-- Brian Timmons -

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3092 days

#9 posted 11-19-2012 09:01 PM

There doesnt seem to be any stain or paint on the wood. Its just a clear finish on top

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2054 days

#10 posted 11-19-2012 09:18 PM

do it!

-- Joel

View DougRog's profile


12 posts in 2055 days

#11 posted 11-19-2012 09:41 PM

I take a strong neo (Neodymium) magnet in my hand (hold it like a pencil) and quickly slide it over each piece of wood. You’ll quickly find if there are any hidden nails when the magnet tries to grab any metal object. You probably don’t need it in this case, but works great for old boards that you are trying to salvage.

The “neos” are the strongest magnets around, last forever, and have the strength to ‘grab’ hidden nails. (It doesn’t pull them out, just shows you where they are).

-- The Higest Art, the Highest Science, and the Highest Religion is the same thing.

View LarryT's profile


17 posts in 2077 days

#12 posted 11-19-2012 09:47 PM

I have used these small magnets to detect hidden metal several times.
It works amazingly well. When the magnet is over a nail or screw it will move
right to the location.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2958 days

#13 posted 11-19-2012 10:08 PM

The potential of metal is definately the thing to worry most. Any finish will tend to build up on a blade (planer, jointer, circular, band, etc), making it seem dull; a quick cleaning with mineral spirits will fix that so if that is your only worry, have at it!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3092 days

#14 posted 11-20-2012 12:25 AM

Yeah those magnets are awesome. I use them frequently. No chance of nails in this wood. Just wondering about the finish affecting my blades. Just got a new planer – don’t want to mess it up already

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View mzimmers's profile


193 posts in 3916 days

#15 posted 11-20-2012 01:38 AM

I take it you’re not a fan of chemical stripper?

-- M. Zimmers

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