planing and thicknessing

Now that my planer/thicknesser is back in service, I thought I’d show you it in action. I’m making the rails and stiles (the pieces that hold the panels in place) for the oak settle.
Once I’ve cut the pieces to a rough length and width the next thing is to make all the faces square with each other. I start by planing a face side (above). I push the piece of oak over the cutting block, which is a rotating steel drum with three sharp blades in it. The in-feed table (at the back) is about half a mm lower than the out-feed table. This means that half a mm of wood is removed on each pass, until it is smooth and flat.

The face side is then used as a reference for planing the face edge (above). The fence is set square to the table surfaces.

I check that the face side and edge are square with an engineers square.

I then mark these faces. This is the datum, from which the rest of the component can be shaped.

Next is to plane the component to width. The opposite edge to the face edge must be parallel to it. I feed it through the thicknesser, raising the bed a few mm each pass, until it’s the width I need. The bed must be parallel to the spinning blades above it to keep everything square.

Finally, I plane the component to the thickness I need. It’s then ready to use. Note the effective extractor behind to remove all the chips. (mmm, chips…)

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