How to Use a Wood Planer

Planing wood image by Argo Building Company


There are several types of wood planers. All are used to create a smooth, level surface on a piece of wood and work out any imperfections by shaving off a thin piece at a time using a very sharp blade. There are handheld power planers, large power planers that entire boards are pushed through, and hand planers. Power planers require less technique. This is how to use a hand planer, the original and more personal way to work with wood.

Step 1

Affix your board with clamps or a vise on your workbench so that it's stable and you can push full force against it.

Step 2

Check to make sure the blade in your plane is sharp and clean. A dull blade can make for a rugged cut and can ruin your wood.

Step 3

Hold the front knob with your leading hand and the rear handle with your other.

Step 4

Push down into the wood while guiding the plane forward in a long stroke over the surface of the wood. A thin shaving of wood will curl out of the mouth of the plane. You need to use a good amount of strength for this.

Step 5

Run the plane over the surface of the wood several times in long strokes until you get the smooth, even surface you desire. Finish with sandpaper.

Keywords: planer, wood, plane, use, hand

About this Author

Naomi Judd, CIG, has been a writer for six years and been published in Tidal Echoes, Centripetal, The Capital City Weekly and She has a self-designed Bachelor of Arts degree in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is currently earning an Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from University of Southern Maine.

Photo by: Argo Building Company

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