The Wilhelm Guide: How to Use a Thickness Planer

Are you thinking of getting into a woodwork project? A lot of people these days are interesting in more do-it-yourself projects and are not keen to hire a contractor to do the job for them. This way they can not only save money but learn a new skill too. Are you one of those people?

If yes, then you need to own a Thickness Planer and know how to use it too. A thickness planer is a great way to shape your wood the way you want without needing to pay a high price for it. You can make shelves with the help of it or give a nice finish to your furniture, you can also create uniform boards with finished edges that can be used a multitude of projects. Just follow these step to use your tool effectively and safely:

1. Choosing the Right Planer

The first step in using a thickness planer requires you to own a planer first. You will find that there is a variety of planers available in the market, both for home users and builders.

You can easily purchase a top of the line thickness planer for about $400 which will not only operate on your house current but will also accept boards that are 13 inches wide.

Most of the planers these days are cheap and easy to use and can take in different wood materials with ease. You can also go for an electric handheld planer but it cannot provide as smooth a finish as a thickness planer.

2. Position your Equipment correctly

Most of the planers are compact in size which makes it easier to store them in a workshop. Once you have bought a planer, make sure that you keep it near an electrical outlet so that the power cord doesn’t interfere when you are working with the planer.

Make sure that you avoid using an extension cord as it can become overheated can cause an accidental fire. Make sure that you have enough space around your planer to feed in the lumber and secure its base to the table or stand where you are keeping it so that it doesn’t shift while work.

3. Selecting your Material

A thickness planer can turn a cheap, regular sized lumber into a more finished and polished version which can be used for intricate woodworking. Make sure that you choose wood which is 14 inches in length and at least ¾ inches wide.


You will have to consider the space around your planer before you consider the board length. You can use cedar which will give off a nice pine scent and beautiful color streaks or you can use mahogany. You can also use redwood as it has a rich tint.

4. Feed the Machine

Once you have selected the wood, you just need to properly place it on the planer stand and adjust it so that it goes straight inside the planer. You will need to plane both the sides for a smooth surface. Now switch on your machine and then adjust the planer depth and feed your material from the front of the planer. Don’t pull on it and keep the height uniform on both sides of the planer. Be sure to wear safety mask and ear protection to escape the sawdust.