Power planers or electric planers are simple tools that are used for shaping and shaving wood and the interesting feature of a planer is it shapes and shaves wood just like a jointer, a belt sander and a hand plane would do.
This is why it is one of the easiest and simplest woodworking tools any woodworker can work with and you can count on this how to make use of a planer article to show you easy steps on how you can get the best out of your planer.
Planers can make doors close with ease, it levels joist and can be used in carrying out several building projects.
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How To Make Use Of A Planer
If you want to make use of a planer for remodeling you can first start by making use of a straight edge to mark out joist irregularities when leveling the floor joists and after that, you can go on to label the low spots.
A stable work platform should be set up and continue shaving the spots till the joists eventually become flat. At this point, it is now ready for a new ceiling and this tool has a feature known as the adjustable chip deflector which makes sure streams of chips do not hit or affect your face.
Just like a hand plane, the electric planer or power planer is designed to ride on a sole plate or on a shoe and just like a jointer, a planer also comes with blades that are already mounted on its cutter head.
It can also end up having a drum that is capable to spin at about 20,000 rpm while its front handgrip can also be used as a form of depth adjustment gauge. This gauge which has an in-built setting is designed to move back and forth, therefore, propelling the front planer shoe to move up and down as well.
You can set the depth of cut that you desire and this is dependent on the actual depth that you want to achieve and it would also interest you to know that a planer tool works in such a way that it gets rid of lots of wood just like in the case of working with a belt sander.
One of the best ways you can get the best performance out of this tool is by figuring out the best way to hold and push the planer while proper balancing of your body also guarantees to obtain the best results.
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Balancing your body here simply means placing your feet in such a way that they are apart and you would feel comfortable while on a full tool pass.
However, each pass of your planer simply talks about a rhythm between the pressure of the hand and balance. Below are some tips that you should know;
- The front shoe of the planer should rest flat on the wood with its blade not coming in contact with the work
- Startup your planer tool and ensure that it gets to its full speed then you start working with this tool is a simple and steady forward motion
- Your front grip should maintain an initial pressure as your planer goes into the material it is working on
- There should be a balanced pressure between the front knob and the tool handle just as your planer comes in contact with the material that is being worked on
- When you push your planer off work, make sure that greater control is applied to be able to grab its rear handle. You should also ensure that you do not overreach at the end of a pass as it would cause the front shoe to drop off the wood which would eventually cause the blade to make an uneven cut on the wood.
However, there are some safety tips that you need to put into place when working with a planer and this is quite common when working with most power tools.
Just like in every power tool, you should make sure that your ears and eyes are well protected and this is done by wearing the ears and eyes protective gear when working.
When you turn off your planer, ensure that the tool, its blade and yourself stay protected by facing the planer’s front shoe upwards while its spin cutting head eventually stops spinning.
Placing walk planks in between two ladders is also very necessary as it is also another means of working safe but the ladders should be placed in a way that it would align with the direction where the cuts are being made.
If you are able to put all of these in place and you are able to work with this tool with great speed and ease then you should be ready to put up with lending your planer to your neighbors and friends.
Power planers are also considered to be life-saving tools and this is because they can be used in not just one but various tasks.
You can make use of planers in chamfering handrails, leveling frames and also for making sure that edges are smooth. Furthermore, if you have the right type of accessory and skills then you can also make use of your planer for more serious tasks like scribbling cabinets, beveling door edges, tapering and shaping wood trim and many more.
This is why you have this interesting article at your fingertips so you can get familiar with most of the applications you can make use of a planer, how to use a planer and also the safety measures you should have in place when working.
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One thing that you should know when working with a planer is that the depth setting selected and the way you push this tool has the final say on how smooth your work would be. Another issue however lies with the blades of a planer because when they become nicked or dull then it means they need to be changed.
When planer blades turn dull, they tend to smoke up the entire room and instead of having shavings come out as wood debris, you would end up seeing sawdust. Nicked blades also cause grooving of the wood being worked on.
Most power planers come with two full-sized blades that can be sharpened again using a whetstone but there are also planers that make use of carbide, double-edged, mini disposable blades. Other planers also come with plastic gauge bases which can be used in correcting the position of the mini blades and also ensuring that the set plate for the mounting drum is well positioned as well. Below are some other tips to carefully consider when changing dull blades for your planer;
- Before changing blades, making repairs, or any form of adjustments on your planer, first make sure that your planer is unplugged
- Makes sure that the blades are changed before they turn too dull or they would end up creating fine powder or smoke which could harm the motor of the planer
- Both blades should be replaced or resharpened at the same time because it helps in maintaining cutter head balance and obtaining high-quality cuts
- Your planer would vibrate when working and this is as a result of its blades not properly mounted squarely on its cutter head. Check how tight your mounting bolts are before you start running your planer
In addition to the safety precaution and methods that we talked about earlier, there are some other items that you need to have while working with a planer and these tools are dustpan, dust masks, extension cord, eye protection and of course hearing protection.
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