The planer is used to produce lumber with two parallel surfaces. However, it will not flatten or straighten lumber by itself. After flattening one side of a board on the jointer, the board is run through the planer with the flat side down on the table. Because the cutterhead is located above the table, the top surface is planed parallel to the bottom surface. Stock must be oriented such that the grain angle runs up for cutting to happen "with the grain." This can be achieved simply by rotating the stock after 180 degrees before jointing it.
The planers in OCW and FBW are similar; however, the Powermatic at OCW is much more powerful and should be used whenever possible for large planing jobs. If you plan to use the planer in FBW, make sure that you use very thin depths of cut. It is better to make several passes then try to hog it all in one pass.
- Do not attempt to remove more than 1/16” per pass (one turn). Do not over load motor. Multiple passes result in less tear-out and are easier on the machine.
- Always determine the thickness of the thickest part of the board and adjust planer to match this thickness.
- Do not attempt to pass stock less than 12” in length through the planer.
- In the planer in OCW has two feed speeds; use the 20 fpm whenever possible. For softwood, the 30 FPM setting can be used, but will result in a low quality planed surface.
- Never put hands or fingers into planer while the cutterhead is moving. Never look into planer. Never open top when machine is running.
- Always open the gate for dust collection to extract chips while using planer.
- Never attempt to force feed the planer; always allow stock to move through under the force of the feed roller only. If stock gets stuck, push slightly on the stock, move the stock to an angle or lower table. Never stop planer while stock is in the planer. If this happens often, wax the tables or ask John or Kent.
- Always plane with the grain, never perpendicular to grain (i.e., feed boards lengthwise not width-wise).
- Never attempt to reverse feed stock.
- Be careful not to let your fingers become pinched between stock and table.