Get better cuts with your planer
Eliminate tearout, banish snipe, and get smooth results every time
Synopsis: Quality woodworking requires stock that’s been milled flat, smooth, and of a consistent thickness. Your planer is essential to that process. Its job is to work in tandem with the jointer: The jointer surfaces one face flat; the planer creates an opposite face smooth and parallel to it. Here are some tips on how to use your planer effectively to eliminate tearout and minimize snipe, along with advice on planing narrow or short stock and stock that’s too wide for your jointer.
Precisely prepared stock, with a smooth surface and consistent thickness, is the foundation of quality woodworking. The planer is essential to that process. It’s important to understand that a planer does not flatten wood. Instead, the planer works in tandem with the jointer to flatten and square stock; neither can do the job of the other. The jointer is used first to surface one face flat, and the planer creates an opposite face smooth and parallel to it.
Set up your planer for success
Like other woodworking machines and tools, a planer must be well-tuned to do its job properly. keep the knives clean and sharp, and change them when the planed stock’s surface becomes irregular or grooved, when chipout becomes significant, and when the feed rate becomes noticeably more sluggish. The infeed and outfeed tables must be flat and in the same plane as the bed, and they must be smooth, clean, and treated with wax or dry, silicone-free lubricant for a low-friction surface. dust collection is critical for personal health protection and ease of cleanup. It also can affect the quality of the cut, because unevacuated chips can dimple the face of the workpiece or get under the piece and cause an irregular cut.
Back to basics
While the planer seems…