Working with a Planer/Sander

      A woodworker reports on his experience with a planer/sander. July 29, 2012

How well do the planer/sanders work? Can you process things on edge to get a final width like you can do with a standard planer? What is the highest grit you can follow the planer head with? Types/brands to look at specifically?

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor G:
After years of searching for the perfect planer, I sprung for a new 36" planer/sander. That was four or five years ago. I couldn't be happier with it. We run tons of glued up panels (we don't even scrape the glue off first), S4S, rough plane and anything else needed through it.

We have a good six head moulder but still prefer to run all face frame and door stile and rail material through the planer/sander. This way we have sanded surfaces instead of machined. Running on edge works fine. Just make sure you run the material through the machine straight. If you run it skewed it will want to tip. We can run multiple pieces through at once, so it is almost as fast as the moulder.

We run 150g on the sander, which I thought would be too fine but it works great and lasts forever. We have tried 80g but the finish on the edges of face frame material was too rough for our liking. 120g works well. The spiral head cuts clean and quiet with very little chip out and what chip out there is, is removed with the sander. We have to be careful when rough planing so as to not take too big of a bite if the board thickness varies. My machine isn't as forgiving as a regular planer in that department. It isn't made for rough planing but as stated, if we are careful, it works.

When I was in the market to buy the machine, another cabinetmaker near me had one for sale and didn't like his because he got a lot of snipe. After looking at his machine I noticed the chip breaker and pressure shoe were way too far away from the cutting action. They should be as close as possible to the cutterhead, but his were inches away. I made sure the machine I bought was designed properly.

I think the rubber feed belt also adds to snipe because the wood seems to rebound off of it when it leaves the chipbreaker and pressure shoe. As with any planer, it needs to be in good adjustment to minimize snipe.

My machine is an SK brand. You are probably not familiar with them. They are better known for moulders. It's made in Taiwan. Might almost sound too good to be true, but I wouldn't want to run my 6 man shop without it. It's a buyer's market, so shop around. Some manufacturers might have leftover models that are 2 or 3 years old and be very willing to deal. I have seen some very good deals on used machines also.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining: General

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article