Unlike a static, surface-planing machine or jointer, where timber is passed over the cutters, a power planer enables you to take the tool to the work. This makes it ideal for trimming long boards and the edges of doors and panels, and for reducing stock quickly before final-finishing by hand. You can use it vertically as well as horizontally.
Motors are rated between 650 and 850 w, with cutter block speeds of up to 20,000 rpm. You must press a lock-off button before you can activate the on/off trigger. You adjust cutting by rotating a knob at the front of the tool. This raises or lowers the front part of the alloy base in relation to the cutter-block knives. Maximum cutting depth varies between about 1.5 and 4 mm (1/32 and 1/8 in) in one pass. Planing width is generally 82 mm (3¼ in), although heavy industrial tools capable of planing up to 312 mm (12¼ in) are available. The carbide knives are normally reversible. Fitting a side fence enables you to cut rebates, typically to a depth of 25 mm (1 in) on professional tools.
Some planers have a detachable dust bag or collection box. These fill rapidly, so for extended working it is better to connect a vacuum extractor. Other tools have a chip deflector that you can set to eject from either the left or right side.
Most planers have a hinged shoe at the end of the base, which flips down at the end of a cut. This makes it safer to place the tool down on a surface before the cutters have reached a standstill.
It is possible to fit some planers into an aluminium stand, available as an extra. Mounted upside down the tool becomes a small jointer. You pass timber over the knives just like a surface planer machine, with the fence fixed at 90 degrees or tilted. Mounted the right way up, the tool becomes a small thicknesser. Depth adjustment is possible by raising or lowering the planer. Unlike a thicknessing machine there is no power feed, so you must feed timber through the jig manually. Always use a pushstick to do this.
• It is better to take several shallow cuts rather than make one deep cut.
• Most planers have a hinged shoe at the end of the base, which flips down at the end of a cut. This makes it safer to place the tool down before the cutters have reached a standstill.
Word Discription :
Cutter block A cylindrical steel or aluminium block into which cutting blades are inserted. Knives The removable cutters or blades on a planer or spindle moulder; usually two on a power planer, although some tools have just one spiral. Pushstick A wooden safety device. Prevents fingers getting too close to the moving blade. rpm revolutions per minute
Stock Prepared timber, planed all round and ready to be worked.