Planer Class
Lesson 4: Operating the Planer
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Introduction: Operating the Planer

The following outlines basic operation and etiquette when squaring hardwood on the planer.

Area and Machine Preparation

  1. Clean and clear the table.
  2. Make sure there is sufficient room behind the outfeed table for your workpiece.
  3. Measure the thickness of the workpiece in multiple places.
    • Using a digital caliper is easy and gives the answer in decimal inches.
  4. Turn on the main power, and check the front and rear e-stop.
  5. Turn on the dust collection.
  6. Set the table height.
    • Press stop.
    • Enter the thickest dimension you measured.

Making the Cut

  1. Press the blade start button and wait for the planer to come up to speed and table to move.
  2. Slide the board into the machine and support the end if needed.
    • Do not push or pull the board once the power feed has taken over.
  3. Go to the outfeed side (or have a partner help) and support the board as it exits.
  4. Readjust the table height and take another pass if needed.
    • Maximum depth of cut is 0.06" (about 1/16").


  1. Brush off the table.
  2. Clean up the area.
  3. Turn off the dust collector if it's not in use.
  4. Put scraps in the trash and reusable pieces in the storage rack.

Print Out This Guide

This course is available as a PDF that is attached to this step. Happy Planing!