As we are, we look with distrust at those we don’t know, even though we get tired of seeing them in front of us every day. Sometimes you just have to let yourself be surprised. I already told you in the homemade benchtop jointer project that I had made peace with the electric hand planer by being able to use it as a table jointer. But being able to use it also as a thickness planer … I think I’m almost as fond of it as I am of my milling machines. And I was thinking about where to get the minimum 300€ that a thicknesser is worth. Being able to plane and thickness the wood will save us money when buying the wood, since planed wood usually costs more than sawn. In addition, we will be able to adjust it to the measurements we need better than with the table saw and we will save a lot of sanding time.
For this homemade thicknesser we need the electric planer for wood attached to the table, as we saw in the post how to make a jointer with the electric planer. And we also need a sliding side fence.
The idea is to put our wood between the planer and the guide and make the necessary number of passes until we get the size we want.
We may think that this could also be done with the table planer, but if the two opposite faces of the wood are not parallel, with the table planer we will not be able to leave them parallel, while with the thicknesser we will be able to do it.
If we have one side perfectly flat and the other side we want to leave parallel to it, we put the flat side against the guide and plane. The planer knives will push the wood against the guide so that the planed side will be parallel to the guide and therefore to the other side of the wood. But for this to work the planer base and guide must be perfectly at 90° to the table surface and the guide and planer base must be perfectly parallel, so if you make both, try to make the necessary adjustments.
In the video we see how the process works. However, I don’t think we can rely on the depth of planig that the depth guide gives us. On my electric hand planer it seems to be half of what it marks. In any case, the trick is not to over-plane.
And finally recommend that you connect the suction. The electric wood planer produces little sawdust but a lot of shavings. Failure to remove them can clog the machine’s suction tube, causing chips to remain between the blades and the wood. Having the guide will certainly increase the pressure on the blade and make it more difficult to push the wood. When planig wood by hand this causes the planer to bounce and instead of leaving a smooth surface we are left with small undulations.