Having a Thickness Planer or Benchtop Planer is not mandatory in woodworking, and this will all depend on what you do, if you regularly work on trimming boards, then it’s the best investment you will make for woodworking, it simply makes finishing and thicknessing wood with sheer ease and finesse.
Here is a dilemma that we hear often:
“I have a project for which a thickness planner is required but I don’t have money for it. Can I use a sander belt or other equipment familiar to most people?”
I was in your shoes many years ago.
My first woodworking machine was a table saw, a router and eventually more. The thickness planer consisted of multiple purchases.
They are costly at the front — beginning with about 300 dollars for a 12-1/2 or 13-inch capability model.
But to answer your question: no, a sander belt will not replace a stock thickness planer.
And other “ordinary” equipment like as hand planes, without much experience, will not work as well or precisely.
There are three distinct uses of a thickness planer that other instruments do not:
1) The second side of a board is parallel to the opposite side
2) Smoothens raw material; and 3) Reduces the stock to the precise thickness that you require.
Save up for one. Save up for one.
If you truly want to go into woodwork, the expense is worth a thickness planner.
You never regret the expense once you have it, since you’re going to manage your stock thickness as ever.
Pair it one day with a joiner, and each board that you use may be straight, flat and whatever thickness you choose. This is a fantastic step forward!
Chances are that by searching Craigslist (or similar sites) in your region you may get a used thickness planner for a good cost.
Those bedside planners were available for a long time and I’ll bet someone sells one in excellent form for 150$ to 200$ within a fair driving distance.
Perhaps even less. When that’s still expensive, check if your city or city has a woodworking guild and join it.
A fellow member may be willing to spread some stock or nothing for you. And you will also have a social network with which to begin exchanging information.
Things to Consider when buying a thickness planer
Thickness planners need to be set in place very well if we use the simplest and many new users get worried about the technique, and so the knives are killed too long and soldiers utilize the dull blades rather than take them for sharpening.
This will not only lead to an extremely bad end, but a stubborn planing machine is more difficult to operate properly due to wood bouncing, instead of swimming.
A Benchtop Planer or Thickness Planer accomplishes what no other instrument can do. The sander saves you time with a hand tool.
I don’t sure how you can accomplish this without the planner if you adhere to the habit of letting boards rest, then take them to the ultimate size just before creating your project.
It is a wonderful tool that would usually wind down on the burning stack to clean up and repurpose old boards.
Hand planes can create surfaces that cannot be distinguished precisely from thickness planners, but they take a lot of experience.
For bigger projects where panels are bonded to the hands, details like how the grain sinks (but so does a thickness planer). It is possible to glue parts unintentionally backwards, such that a cross with a plane with the grain on one part is opposite the grain on the surrounding piece.
A decent manual plane may also be almost as costly as a thickness planer, and some top ends can cost much more.
This ends our Do I Really Need a Thickness Planer Discussion.
We want you to be sure of what you plan to get, please don’t hesitate to ask for advice.
Love our Do I Really Need a Thickness Planer guide?
You may be interested in our other related articles:
- Hand Planer vs Bench Planer
- Electric vs Hand Planers
- Hand Planer for Thicknessing Stock
- Best Electric Hand Planer
- How Noisy is an Electric Planer?
- Power Planer vs Jointer
- Plane Wood Without A Planer
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Planer
- Corded vs Cordless Planers
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