To use your electric planer well, here are some basic tips that will help you, especially if you are new to the DIY world and never have, or rarely, operated an electric planer in your life.
For optimal comfort and safety, we recommend that you equip yourself:
- protective gloves
- a dust mask
- protective glasses
- and noise-canceling headphones
Ensure the stability of the piece of wood
Before starting any operation, we advise you to make sure that your piece of wood is stable, ideally using a table provided for this purpose (you can find some here), which will allow you to fix the piece (s) of wood securely. That you want to plan.
Remove from the piece of wood anything that could interfere with planing
It is necessary to check that the pieces of wood (especially if it is reclaimed wood) that you are going to work on are free of any materials that could interfere with or prevent planing:
- the screws
- any other foreign body
In this case, you risk outright scratching your planer at the level of the blades, your part itself, but also take serious risks for your safety.
Adjusting the cutting depth
Adjust the chip thickness, i.e., the depth of cut. Depending on the amount you want to plan, the fineness should be more or less thin. You can carry out tests on wooden jigs to ensure that the level of planning announced by the machine corresponds to the reality you see. We recommend that you make several passes for precision planing. For example, if you want to plan with a depth of 4mm, we advise you to make a passage to 2, to 3, then finally to 4mm for more precision.
Select the chip discharge side
Chip evacuation will then take place on one side or the other. Depending on your planing position, you can on most models on which side you want the chips to escape. Also, if you have a workshop vacuum cleaner and your electric planer is equipped with a vacuum cleaner reception nozzle (which will often be the case), do not hesitate to connect it. You can also find good workshop vacuum cleaners by clicking on this link. If you do not have a vacuum cleaner, your electric planer’s manufacturer may have thought of accompanying the machine with a dust bag of suitable dimensions.
Maintaining electric planer.
When using the planer, it is essential not to put your weight on it, at the risk of forcing it in its use and overloading it. Planing is always carried out with two hands using two handles:
- a first handle at the back of the electric planer will have the task of pushing the device. It is often circular in shape and includes the planing engagement button, with, for some models, the possibility of having continuous planing and a safety switch to avoid turning on the device unintentionally (like the Bosch PHO model 1500,2000 & 3100).
- a second handle, further forward, will be used to guide the electric planer. Also, through this handle, you will be able to adjust the depth of the cut. You will most often have to adjust using a dial that will be graduated to the nearest millimeter.
Lay the planer’s front on the piece of wood, making sure that the blades do not touch the latter before starting the planer. Once correctly positioned in the direction you want to plan, you can turn on the electric planer by applying slight pressure in the direction you want to plan; that is to say, on the front.
Once again, it is important not to put your weight on the electric plane but to make a smooth passage, slowly taking your time. Once you reach the end of the pass, you can reorient the center of pressure to finish the planning. You will then need to finish by gently lifting the plane and releasing the ignition trigger.
Once your operation is complete, most planers have a safety cover to raise the machine, which helps prevent the blades from coming into contact with the piece of wood, preventing potential damage to the piece.
If your electric planer is of good quality about its blades or is not too worn, you will not need to do any touch-up or finishes like sanding. If you have an electric planer model with reversible blades, be aware that you can turn them over, which will double their lives.
If this guide has you more, you may have more information on how to change blades on an electric planer safely.
The various uses of an electric planer
To know how to use an electric planer, it helps to know the possibilities. This machine has the ability to plan thin boards and hardwoods. However, it is better to find a quality brand to be sure not to make the wrong choice. Among the manufacturers who have the coast are Bosh, Makita, and RYOBI. Also, an electric planer is multi-purpose. It is used on any surface to make it flatter and smoother. It consists of planing pieces of wood with more precision in shapes and sizes. We can then obtain a planed part that meets our expectations. On the other hand, such a device can also erect an edge and is also used in chamfering edges, planing, and lamination. Depending on the desired returns, a comparative electric planer.
Most common mistakes when planing
- wrong working posture or lack of momentum
- blurred, broken or rusty knife
- incorrect handling of the corresponding type of wood (see end grain)
- insufficient securing of the workpiece
- depth of cut too great
- Work in the opposite direction to the grain
- no re-measuring with an angle and spirit level
- Apply pressure with the electric planer
Here is a video as a guide to sharpen the planer knife: