Electric planers are handy devices for woodworking projects. Typically, there are two types of power planers available: hand planer and stationary planer. The hand planers are best suited for flattening wide and narrow surfaces. But handheld planers are suggested for full boards to maneuver the hard-to-reach edges. On the other hand, stationary planers are perfect for narrow boards.
The electric hand planers are more likely to the jointer. They can do several chores such as chamfering, leveling, or smoothing. However, the veteran carpenters can use these tools for complicated jobs like belting door edges using this. As a newbie carpenter or DIY enthusiast, you may be wondering how to use a power hand planer on wide boards.
In the next section, we’ll explain the fact in depth. Let’s jump into it so that you can tackle such projects.
Step by step discussion on how to use a power hand planer on wide boards
A handheld power planer is a portable wood smoothing tool. Its working principle is almost the same as the manual hand planers. But the blade and motor make the difference. The power planer is fixed with a cutter head. You can easily run the planer by moving your handgrip.
To shave off wide boards using the power hand planer, you have to carry out the following steps.
1. Necessary things
First of all, you need several tools and accessories to flatten the wide boards. These include:
- A wide board
- Power hand planer
- Pencil or marking gauge
- Sandpaper or sanding machine
- Winding stick
- Safety accessories
Make sure the planer blade is sharp enough. If needed, you can sharpen the blade before starting wood board smoothing. The bench width and length must be larger than the woods. Let’s, start the process!
2. Setting the board
After organizing all the vital things, now your task is to set up the board on the flat surface of the workbench.
Place the board, where it gets maximum support. When it’s time to deal with the cupped board, you should keep the convex side upward so that you can work comfortably. This also prevents rocking movement and ease your overall task.
3. Marking all edges
Now, begin marking all the four edges with a pencil or marking gauge. This will help you to spot the high and low portions. You can use also a winding stick to find out the up and down spots. The winding stick will greatly help to measure the flatness of each edge.
After, completing marking, it’s time to use the electric hand planer on the wood surface. It’s all about hiding the marking spots and makes the surface finish.
4. Running Power Planer
How much smoothness is needed, measure it first? Then set up the blade accordingly. Be sure, you are running the motor at full speed. Every edge needs several strokes to get a pleasant finish. Always apply the same pressure to get satisfactory results.
Begin to flatten any of the surfaces with the handheld power planer and continue until you are satisfied with its finish. For fine-tuning, you can also use a winding stick. When one side is completed, do the same tasks for the other edges.
After removing approximately 70 to 80% of the chips of your marking, check whether it’s okay or not. If you need more, do it carefully.
5. Waiting time
Now, give a break to the lumber for 1 or 2 days before going for the next step. In the interim time, the board will take a break and will come in a steady state. Sometimes, the wood surface cracks or bends after shaving. So, this rest time is important for observing the wood’s condition. It will help you to understand either you can use the board or not for future processes.
Sometimes we become impatient and want to skip the step. Skipping this step may impact the wood in the future. So be patient for getting a better result in long run. However, if you can’t wait for long, then go for the next step.
6. Sanding for fine-tuning
After leveling the surface with a planer, you can use sandpaper for making the surface ultra-finish. You may think, this is an extra hassle to polish the large board. It’s not exactly right, that you are thinking.
The wide-belt sanding machine gives an excellent sanding to the surface. This is time-saving as well as easy. Alternatively, you can use the usual sandpaper.
While smoothing the wide board, you should take several safety precautions to avoid unwanted injuries as well as damages.
- While shaving the surface, chips may enter into your eyes. So, wear a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes.
- For ear protection from noise, use ear muffs.
- Small chips may enter your nose, so use a dust mask for ensuring respiratory system safety. This will also prevent inhaling harmful wood chemicals.
- Never keep your hands near the blade. It may be dangerous.
- Wear shoes to prevent unusual electric shock. If possible, wear gloves also.
- Ensure there are plenty of lights so that you can see everything.
- Don’t forget to power off the machine before changing the blade.
Tools and board safety
- Never place the boards on an uneven bench.
- Secure the blade in the right position with screws.
- Don’t keep the planer idle on wood boards at the power-on condition.
- Always apply the same level of pressure.
- Use both hands while operating the planer for better output.
It’s not a big deal to run an electric hand planer. But it’s important to do that safely and nicely. Don’t ignore these safety instructions in any way. Moreover, you should learn how to operate the power hand planer before using matter-of-factly.
This is the way on how to use a power hand planer on wide boards. While doing this, concentrate on work and be calm at all times. A little bit of unconsciousness and hurry may be a reason for a serious accident and may end up the surface. You can also use a stationary machine. But the processes are quite different and it may be risky for newbies.
Hopefully, you can complete the project successfully by following our guidelines and safety tips. Surely, this skill will aid you in becoming a pro carpenter. Have a great woodworking task!