A planer is an invaluable machine when it comes to woodworking, and if you’ve been around the lumber industry for a while, you can happily corroborate this assertion. Granted, you can use a saw to cut your lumbers and use jointer to smoothen the surfaces as well as the sides of the wood to make them equal in length and breadth based on what you want. But the planer is more like a robot in woodworking. Instead of zapping your energy while sawing through lumbers with custom thickness, and going through another energy zapping exercise to smoothen them with a jointer; the planer does all that in minutes. The only job you can do is to guide the wood as it goes in and out of the planer to bring you a fine smoothened and shaped wood on all sides ready for use. As handy and valuable as this machine can be, it can also be very risky and dangerous enough to claim your dear life if you don’t apply precautions while using it.
These safety tips are often overlooked by woodworkers which subsequently lead to dire consequences and regrets in the long run. You could be using the best choice of planer, that doesn’t guarantee your safety. You have to be cautious to stay alive. Even the best machines go haywire sometimes. So, Here Are 7 Planer Tips You Should Consider When Using It.
Your eyes are the most important and yet vulnerable part of your body. They should be protected. One straying wood bit can just fly right in and cause severe damages to your eyeballs, worst case scenario – your woodwork journey ends right there. Before getting your hands on the machine to begin anything whatsoever, ensure your eyes are well protected with goggles. An extra tip here: not just in the course of using planers for woodwork should you protect your eyes, anytime you are involved with machinery, protecting your eyes should be a priority.
Be Careful What You Feed The Planer With
The wood planer is meant for woods alone, don’t try to play smart or enter into discovery mode by trying to use a metal or any other material on the planer. You might not survive to tell tales about your discovery. Stick to the rules. Wood planers are meant for woods and until they cease to be, never use any material other than woods on them.
Keep Your Work Environment Uncluttered
When working with a planer, ensure your surrounding is void of too many unnecessary items. Get rid of objects that might pose as obstacles. You need all the space you can get and with proper ventilation. You will be moving about in the course of using the planer and the last thing you want at that moment is kicking your foot against trash, bottles, bins, cans and other little metallic equipment that may be on the floor.
Always Use the Planer Fence
The fence is responsible for keeping the wood in an accurate linear position as it goes in and out of the planer while you move it along. This way you only focus on pushing the wood through the planer and leave the accuracy of the wood’s position to the fence. Trying to work without the fence is dangerous, do avoid such.
Ensure Proper Scrutiny
Your planer is a machine, and it uses electricity. Make sure every electrical button is working optimally, make sure no electrical wires are dangling anywhere or in the wrong places. Scrutinize every part properly. As a rule of thumb when dealing with machines, you should periodically call on a technician to service the machines and be certain everything is working pretty fine after he’s done.
Always Use Hand Gloves
As common as this might sound, shunning gloves and using your bare hands can actually mar your fingers. Most of the lumbers you are trying to shape might come embedded with some whet tiny woods sticking out of the main lumber. They are very tiny and barely noticeable. It takes only a mild contact with them for your fingers to start bleeding profusely just by bypassing a little precaution. Knowing the end part of such a story is an easy guess.
Scrutinize The Wood Before Filling It In
Always ensure the wood is devoid of nails and other sharp objects before you send it into the planer. Any metal object in the wood when it goes into planer could lead to devastating consequences, so check the wood thoroughly and make sure it is safe to go in.