Before using a wood planer, make sure the faces of the wood are 90 percent flat to ensure a parallel and flat result. Set the cutter depth before feeding wood into the planer with help from a custom furniture maker in this free video on woodworking tools.
Hi, I'm Dave Trull at the Trull Gallery, a custom furniture shop in St. Petersburg, Florida, and I'm going to show you today how to use wood planer. What I have here is a twelve and a half-inch planer, it's a maximum width of cut. What I'm going to show you, is going to be true for a twelve inch planer to a twenty-inch planer, a twenty-four-inch planer, the theory is all the same. They all work pretty much the same, there are pressure rollers, there's a cutter head, it's just different variations of the machine but they all operate the same. And what I've got here is a piece of Red Oak, roughs on and I've already taken this over to my jointer and I've cleaned up one face. And if you look right here, you can see that there's still some roughs on portions, that's fine, it doesn't need to be perfect coming off the jointer. What we need is about ninety percent flat surface. Why do we need that? Because if we don't have a flat surface and we run it through our planer, what we'll have is two faces that are parallel but not flat. So if you put in a curved piece, you're going to get a curved piece coming out, that is curved yet parallel, which isn't going to do you any good. So you always want to start with a flat face. The next thing we want to do, is set our cutter depth. In this case, there is a small gage on the front and I can adjust that down, till I can see just where I'm touching. And as we can see right here, there is, we're just not making contact, so I probably want to back that down a little. So now that we've got everything set, I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to turn on my dust collector, because I've got mine set up to a dust collecting unit. If you don't have a dust collector, you just want to make sure you have plenty of room and wide open space behind you, because these can blow a lot of, a lot of shavings really quickly. But if you do have your dust hood available and a dust, Dust Vac system, it works for you in keeping your shop clean. So we're going to go ahead and turn that on, then we're going to turn the planer and I'm going to make one cut, show you what we're looking at. And then make a series of cuts until I get my face nice and clean, and we fire up. So this board was pretty flat to begin with, so it cleaned up in one pass. Now we have, is a board with two flat faces that are parallel to each other, and that's what we want. You really can't get good quality work done, if you don't have true, flat faces that are parallel. We can now take this back to the jointer and get a square edge and keep working from there. If the stalk is thicker than you need it to be, then you can keep planing it down to the thickness that you want. It's just a series of passes, short, like I said, you want to keep your passes fairly shallow. I prefer to go about a thirty second, it doesn't stress the machine, may take a little bit longer. But in the long run, it's better for your machine, it's better for your blades. I've had this guy for over twelve years now, still running like a champ because I take of it and I kind of, baby it. So again, that's how to operate a wood planer, I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, the fine art for furniture making.