What is the Difference Between a Thicknesser and a Planer?

You have probably heard of a Planer Thicknesser tool but many people get confused when they start searching their manual. Upon inspection, a manual can state that your woodworking tool is a “combination of a planer and a thicknesser.” While many people think they are the same, there are some differences.

What is the Difference Between a Thicknesser and a Planer

Simply put, a planer primarily just smooths out a piece of wood by removing small amounts. A planer thicknesser is capable of removing large amounts of wood in one swift process. They have rotating knives in their bed with a fixed outfeed table and an infeed table. These can be adjusted to cut bigger chunks out of a board that you are surfacing. These also include a fence which is used when planing an edge of a board. It is also used as a guide when you need to plane the face of a board.

A planer should be used to square up the timber before a thicknesser is implemented to convert its size into an accurate and consistent shape. If you pass square timber through a thicknesser, it will usually end up very smooth but out of shape. This is why many people opt for a machine that combines both. Check out the best planer thicknessers via this link so you can shape the wood and get your desired thickness in one go.

A planer thicknesser can only make boards a uniform thickness. This includes making boards thinner. What it can not do is true up a board’s edge unless an edge has been jointed first.

What’s the difference between a planer thicknesser and a jointer?

If you have some woodworking tasks coming up, you’re probably wondering whether you will require a planer thicknesser or a jointer. Firstly, these are two different tools. While some may believe that they go hand in hand, this simply is not true. A jointer gets a board ready to plane or to be glued up while a planer thicknesser is used to bring a piece of lumber to its final, desired thickness.

A jointer works by creating a flat surface on the wood and can be used to successfully correct bow and warps on one side of the board at a time.

A planer thicknesser’s main goal is to make a thick board thinner. This is achieved by placing the smooth side of the board on the planer bed. Then, the thicknesser cuts slices off the top of the unsmoothed side. You should only place a board in a planer thicknesser once you have established that one flat side has been used on a joiner. A plane thicknesser then works to make the rough side smooth, parallel to the other side.

To use a board on a jointer, the face of the lumber should be planed until it is flat. The straightest edge of the board should be planed until it is flat and straight. Then, cut the other edge on the table saw that is parallel to the jointed edge. Then, cut the wood on the joiner to make it smooth and ready for glueing. Only when all of these steps have been taken can you run it through a planer thicknesser to get the board to its final thickness.

How does a planer thicknesser work?

A planer thicknesser only thickens out and does not flatten wood. It works by shaving off surfaces from boards so both ends run parallel to each either with equal thickness.

Knowing how a planer thicknesser works will limit your chances of encountering any problems and confusion. You should be able to avoid wasting pieces of wood and end up saving you money. As you know, lumber is expensive so it is criminal to waste any good pieces.

Most planer thicknessers trim boards up to a depth between 3/32 and ⅛-inches with every pass. Planers will give you the option to set the desired depth of the wood.

When in operation, a thicknesser’s table is set to a chosen height and then the machine is switched on. The board is then fed into the machine until it makes contact with its in-feed roller. This grips the board and draws it in and then past the rotating cutter head.

Its knives remove the material as it moves through the machine and the out-feed roller pulls the board before it exits from the machine at the end of the pass.

When finishing a board that is flat and has a uniform thickness along its length, you should start with a board that has one flat reference face. The board must be fed with this reference face on the table. The cutter head removes a certain amount of material from the opposite face in order to make it parallel to the reference face.

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