Is it Possible to Plane Wood Without A Planer?

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Yes, there are many ways to to plane wood if you don’t have a planer or power planer by using other tools, and these methods include:
Use a Table Saw
Use A Router
Use A Wide-Belt or Drum Sander
Get Out the Sandpaper
Take it to a Cabinet Maker

So you’re working on a woodworking project and you need a flat board, but you don’t have access to a planer. Don’t give up hope! There are a variety of approaches that may be used to get the desired outcomes.

Use a Table Saw

An electric table saw may be an appropriate tool for planeing a big piece of wood. To hold your board in the proper place, you’ll need to first construct a jig. That may be a very time-consuming task to do. However, if you put in the effort in the beginning, you will see great results quickly when you utilize the saw.

If you see that you are getting defects in the surface, examine the positioning of your blade. It’s possible that the table saw isn’t set at a precise 90 degrees to the table. Make the necessary adjustments using an engineering square, and the issue should be resolved.

The other problem that you may encounter is burn marks. These may occur if you do not maintain the board moving smoothly against the saw during the process.

In order to improve your skill, it is recommended that you practice on a scrap piece of wood. When it comes time to plane the actual board, you will be confidence in your ability to feed it through easily.

Use a Router

In a similar manner to how a table saw may be used to replace a wood planer, a router can be used to replace a planer. Once again, you’ll need to build a jig to ensure that the wood goes through the router at the proper angle.

The jig is essentially a wooden frame that is just the correct size to keep your board firmly in place. Position the board in its proper location, then push the jig through the router so that it cuts the board’s face.. As with a planer, you’ll want to make sure you’re working in the same direction as the grain.

This is similar to the table saw option in that you must put in the effort from the beginning. The whole effort is devoted to the construction of the jig. Once it is completed, the router will quickly cut the board.

You will not, however, achieve the same level of smoothness as you would with a planer or even a table saw. Prepare to spend a significant amount of time sanding in order to get a high-quality finish.

Use a Jack Plane

If you don’t have access to a power planer, you may still utilize manual planers, which are more traditional. The conventional suggestion would be to diversify your portfolio by investing in three separate planners. Begin with a scrub plane, then go to a jointer plane, and finally a smoothing plane to complete the project.

Nevertheless, if you don’t have any of these tools, the task may be completed with only one piece of equipment: the jack plane. It will simply take a little bit longer this time.

You’ll need an aircraft that’s referred to as a number 5 or 6. The numbers relate to the length of the base, with the higher the number indicating a longer base than the lower number. A 5 or a 6 will provide you with adequate length to ride out any flaws in the board’s construction. This will prevent the creation of a wavy surface on the surface.

Start by identifying high points with a straight edge and working your way down from there. Work carefully with the jack plane and keep your straight edge handy for constant inspection.

Placing two shorter sticks across the board and gazing across them will enable you to ensure that the board is level horizontally as well. (“Winding sticks” are the shorter sticks that are used for winding).

Use a Wide-Belt or Drum Sander

Similarly to power planers, wide-belt and drum sanders operate in the same manner, except they utilize sandpaper rather than blades. They are often used after planing in order to get a fine finish. However, this is not the only method of putting them to work.

If you don’t have a planer, you may use a sander with high grit sandpaper instead. You may then pass the board through the machine in the same manner as you would if you were sanding it. Just be aware that it will take a little longer to get your wood to the proper thickness.

It is worthwhile to spend some time building a jig to hold the board, just as it is with the other power tool choices. It will be much simpler to get an even surface as a result of this.

Get Out the Sandpaper

All of the alternatives listed above depend on some kind of replacement tool. Alternatively, if you don’t have access to one of these tools, you may plan using plain old sandpaper instead.

There’s no getting around the fact that this is going to take a significant amount of time. To verify your work, you’ll need something with a long straight edge to compare it to the results of the hand planer option.

Make use of the coarsest sandpaper you can get your hands on to finish the job. It will also enable you to apply greater pressure and gain a better hold on the tool by wrapping it around a sanding block. Rubber sanding blocks are available for purchase, but a piece of wood works nearly as well.

Continue to work in the direction of the grain, and wear a mask to prevent sawdust from entering your lungs.

Of course, if you have access to a hand-held electric sander, it will greatly expedite the process. Just remember not to push down on it like you would if you were using a piece of sandpaper. This will cause interference with the movement of the sanding plate and will actually cause your progress to be slowed down.

Take it to a Cabinet Maker

It is possible to have someone else plane your wood for you if any of these alternatives seem too time-consuming. A professional planer will be owned by a cabinet maker, and the majority of them will be glad to plane your wood for a charge.

Even though you won’t have the pleasure of having completed the task yourself, the alternative of spending many days having your hands scraped raw by sandpaper may be worth making the sacrifice to save time and money.

Ready To Get Planing?

We hope you have found our guide to the variety of various ways to plane wood without using a planer to be helpful. The majority of people depend on having access to some kind of power tool. However, if you do not have access to one of these devices, there are manual alternatives.

A jack planer will perform the job perfectly, and it has been doing so for thousands of years without fail. And if all you have is time, a little sandpaper and a piece of wood will get you there in the end, no matter what you do.

We wish you the best of success with your future carpentry job, regardless of whatever choice you choose to pursue.


This ends our Plane Wood Without a Planer Discussion.

We want you to be sure of what you plan to get, please don’t hesitate to ask for advice. 

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