wood planer

What is a wood planer and how to use it

What is a wood planer?

A wood planer is one of the best woodworking tools that woodworkers might need when doing different projects. In this article, you’re going to learn what a wood planer is and how to use it correctly.

wood planer

The history of the wood planer

The use of the wood planer goes back to centuries ago when Egyptian sculptures and tombs were flat and perfectly planed which showed actual evidence of using hand planers to make rough wooden surfaces smoother. There was some Roman wooden furniture showing that this tool is being used for thousands of years.

There was only a blade covered by a wooden handle in the past, and people used those to plane different surfaces. After years of working with those handy tools which needed a lot of muscle power, in the nineteenth century, a man called Leonard Bailey began making wood planers with iron bodies. He was a pioneer in the field of designing and producing hand planers and after that different companies started making beautifully designed wood planers with wooden bodies.

 

A wood planer is what you need!

A wood planer (also known as “thickness planer”) is a woodworking tool that is capable of trimming wood to a specific thickness to produce a consistent finish.

What a wood planer actually does!

Have you ever had the experience to scrape a knife across the top of a knob of butter?

If you did, that’s what exactly a planer does to a piece of wood.

Simply, a planer is used to shave the surface of the wood, make a rough wooden surface much smoother, and reduce the thickness of it so that it’s prepared for finishing and making wooden furniture.

That might come in handy for woodworkers who cannot align two pieces of wood. Sometimes cabinet doors can’t be closed and opened smoothly and a planer can solve the problem easily. Once you have a thickness planer, you’ll never regret the expenditure, because you’ll be in control of the thickness like never before. By the way, you can use a table saw to have control over the thickness of different wood lumbers you order from wood suppliers but having a compact and handy wood planer which you can carry everywhere sounds much better.

 

If you have two edges to be adjoined to each other and the edges are not flat and even, a wood planer can help you because it can level the thickness of irregular wood lumbers with different thicknesses.

 

Different types of wood planers

Hand planers

Handheld versions work with the power of the human body and muscles like the ones Leonard Bailey designed in the 19th century.

hand planer

Bench planer

A bench planer is the simplest handheld planer. It’s an ideal tool for those who are beginners and new to the process of woodworking and planing.

here is the link to buy STANLEY Hand Planer, Black/Red (12-220)

Rabbet planer

If you’re wondering how you can cut rebates in wood, a rabbet planer can be a good choice. There are wooden rabbet planers and metal rabbet planers available in the market that you can buy each, depending on the project you are working on.

 

Electric planers

Fortunately, after years of working with hand planers, tool designers and producers came to the idea of designing electric planers which can flatten the surface more precisely and they need less physical energy and time to do the same thing. Some power planers are as easy as handheld versions to work with. You only have to hold the planer on the top of the wood and guide it along the grain direction.

Bench-top planer

If you’d like to make rough wood ready for the project, a bench-top planer could be a good option. While smoothing the sides, bench-top is capable of reducing the thickness of a piece of wood.

here is the link to buy WEN PL1326 15-Amp 13-Inch Spiral Benchtop Thickness Planer

Molding planer

Some woodworkers want to have complex shapes and designs on pieces of wood to make them look better. You can use a molding planer to shape hardwood and make uneven surfaces even.

Thickness planer

In a woodworking operation, woodworkers use a thickness planer to cut boards with the same thickness for both sides. It can only plane one side of the lumber at the time of planing.

 

How to use an electric wood planer?

The planer has a set of two rotating blades that cut into the wood. A fence sticks to one side of the planer to keep it at a consistent height from the surface. After that, you can change the distance between the planer and the surface by changing the level of the depth adjustment knob then place the front part on the top of the workpiece and apply downward pressure and push forward steadily to get a flat surface.

Is a wood planer easy to work with?

As we have mentioned before, a wood planer is a handy tool for woodworkers. That’s not something you can start working with the day you buy it. Due to being a handheld tool, using a wood planer can cause tear-outs because it needs muscle power. So if you do the process of planing a surface wrongly it increases the time you spend on the project.

Take your time and understand how a wood planer works properly and efficiently. Here are some key points to have in mind when working with a planer.

Always make sure you are working in the same direction as the wood grain. If you don’t work with the planer in the grain direction, the blade will get stuck in the wood and it causes lots of problems for the wood and the blade itself. However, some types of wood have different grain directions and you have to find the best direction to do the process of planing.

 

Secondly, buy a planer with a sharp blade to get the best out of doing the process.

Finally, working with sharp objects is dangerous. You’ll need to take care when it comes to working with a planer, especially a hand planer.

Conclusion

To make different kinds of furniture, a woodworker needs a planer to complete the process of cutting and designing. No matter if you are a pro woodworker or a beginner, you’ll need a planer in your set of tools. However, if you are a beginner, make sure to know the way to work with the planer. It can cause serious injuries. Always wear a dust mask, safety glasses, and ear muffs when working with a planer.

If you enjoyed reading this article about planer, you can read another cool article about different types of power saws.

 

7 best wood for shelves

Which is the best wood for shelves?

wood for shelves

Before starting your woodworking project and make different kinds of bookshelves, wall shelves, and other types of shelves, there are some key factors to consider. So read until the end of this article to find out which is the best type of wood for shelves.

 

To make your bedroom, living room, office, or any other area inside your house look way more beautiful and well designed, you will probably need to have some shelves installed on the walls. Wooden shelves can make your room look fresher and also hold objects such as books, home appliances, toys, and other things.

 

Choosing the right type of wood for shelves is not a difficult thing to do. You have to keep some factors in mind. Note that the wood you use to make a shelf has to be

 

  • Durable

  • Inexpensive

  • Easy to cut

  • Easy to paint

 

If the cost of materials and wood does not matter to you, Mahogany, Walnut, Koa, and African Padauk are the best wood for shelves as long as they offer high durability and strength so that they can easily hold heavy loads and objects.

 

Mahogany

Good workability, moderate durability, and a reddish color make this type of wood pretty suitable for making shelves that can be subjected to heavy loads. Expensive boards which run from $5 to $30 per board foot might be considered as a downside for Mahogany when it comes to choosing this type of wood for shelves.

 

Walnut

The unique color and high durability make Walnut the second expensive choice for making wooden shelves after Mahogany. You don’t need to paint this type of wood as long as it has a perfect color. You may only need to apply a finish to make your shelf and décor in absolute harmony.

 

African Padauk

Despite being heavy, African Padauk is a good type of wood for shelves because it’s easy to work with. Thanks to its high durability, you can put heavy objects and loads on it. African Padauk holds screws and nails well. By the way, its gluing properties are acceptable for making shelves.

 

Koa

Koa trees are rarely found in the world. With that being said, the cost of lumber is a bit high. Because of having greater strength and stiffness than Walnut, Koa wood is highly appreciated by woodworkers for making bookshelves. It has a unique color and can be used without applying any paints to it.

 

Pine

The thing that makes Pinewood very popular for making shelves is being inexpensive and readily available. Another winner option is that it has a good finish and because of being soft, you can cut it easily. You can also apply paint to Pine easily, but to be honest, the wood itself looks great! You can find more properties and features about Pine in our article.

Pinewood won’t give you good durability because of being soft, so you have to beware of the load you’re going to subject the shelf to. It can only hold light objects, but if you add additional support or have thicker cuts, it can hold heavier loads.

 

Western Red Cedar

A unique red-colored softwood that can be readily cut and painted. Although red cedar is softwood, carpenters use it a lot to make shelves due to its properties and being moderately durable. On the other hand, red cedar is well-known for being weather-resistant that makes it ideal for making shelves that are used and installed outside the building. The cost for this type of wood can vary from low in the Pacific Northwest region to medium and even high in some countries.

 

Redwood

Redwood has a creamy-white to yellow color. it is capable of a clean finish, capable of being painted, glued, stained. This type of wood has moisture-resistant properties that make it widely used among woodworkers and house designers. It is highly durable but easy to work with.

 

Conclusion

wood for shelves

Shelves play a significant role in our houses. They make rooms look much more beautiful and fresher. Don’t forget that we place objects and our home appliances on shelves. So except for the appearance and the color, there are plenty of options one has to take into account. When choosing a type of wood for shelves features like durability, cost, and being finishable are of paramount importance.

There is no right or wrong option to choose between the above woods mentioned for making shelves. Depending on what a woodworker needs and which is the most important thing, the right type of wood for shelves might be different.

Now that you’ve found out which is the right type of wood for making shelves, you can learn more about different types of wood in another interesting post on our website.

 

 

tree forest wood

Different types of wood

Finding the right type of wood for woodworking projects is not always an easy job to do. Have you ever wondered which wood is the best for your project? Maybe once you wanted to make a piece of furniture, a window frame, chairs, tables, and lots of different things made of wood, but at the end of the day, you realized you don’t know much about different types of wood and were confused. At the end of this article, you will know which types of wood are the best for your project.

When it comes to choosing the right type of wood for a woodworking project there are plenty of things one has to be aware of.

First and foremost:

Types of wood with sustainable sources

As you might know, some types of trees are on the verge of extinction and a huge mass of trees are carelessly cut all over the world which we call this “deforestation”. Mass deforestation has bad effects on our planet and causes the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to rise.

Unfortunately, some human beings don’t take care of their environment and chop down trees to make more money and if we don’t act and the current deforestation rates continue to rise, the world’s rain forests are gone in 78 years. (for more information, click here)

 

Luckily, measures were taken in different parts of the world to stop deforestation and save trees from extinction. The EU has protected almost all of its rain forests and some organizations certified all wood from different European regions. As a result, we can see that forests in Europe are growing in size because more trees are to be planted than being chopped down.

FSC (forestry stewardship council) and PEFC (Program for the endorsement of forest certification) are two types of certifications with million hectares of forests under their conservation standards, which guarantee that the wood is from a sustainable source and can be replaced and planted in a short time.

 

So if ecosystems and forests matter to you, make sure you buy furniture and different wooden products with certifications from these two agencies.

 

Types of sustainable wood

Generally, fast-growing trees are more sustainable because they can be replaced easily, whereas slow-growing trees have fewer capabilities of being replaced. After all, it takes too long for another tree to grow.

 

Fast-growing softwood:

  • Pine

  • European Redwood

  • European Whitewood

  • Yew

  • Siberian Larch

  • Juniper

  • Cedar

  • Douglas Fir

  • Spruce

 

Slow growing hardwood:

  • Oak

  • Alder

  • Balsa

  • Beech

  • Magnolia

  • Poplar

  • Teak Walnut

  • Maple

  • Hickory

 

Woods that are about to become extinct and you should avoid buying or cutting such wood:

  • Brazilian Mahogany

  • Keruing

  • Meranti

  • Ebony

  • Afzelia

  • Sapelee

  • Balau

  • Brown heart

  • Teak

  • Wenge

 

Now let’s cover some natural and engineered woods which DIYers and woodworkers might want to use in their projects. To use these types of wood, woodworkers should know where and how to use them.

Different types of wood for woodworking projects

Pine

Most beginner woodworkers start doing their first project out of wood using Pine. As we mentioned before, pine is a kind of softwood so these types of woods are somehow easy to work with. Carpenters can easily cut, carve, and drill pinewood. The light yellow coloring gives a bright look to your work. The good news is if you like a darker tone of colors, Pine is very easy to stain.

Uses: joinery, flooring, furniture

 

Poplar

Compared to Pine, Poplar gives you a more consistent look on the wood. Poplar stains well and paints a lot better than Pine does. If you’re going to start your first project, you might want to know that Poplar would be a better and easier option to work with rather than Pine.

Uses: furniture

 

Spruce

From general constructions to highly specialized purposes in aircraft, Spruce has a wide range of uses. The first-ever aircraft made in the world (by the Wright brothers) was built of Spruce, but the concept of making aircraft out of Spruce has come to an end because Spruce is not weather resistant. Some species of Spruce have acoustic properties that make them suitable and perfect for making musical instruments such as classical guitars, electric guitars, pianos, etc.

Uses: musical instruments, construction framing projects

 

Cedar

Cedar is one of the most long-lasting types of woods that have warm and red-toned colors. Due to its resistance to deterioration, it’s used for interior and exterior home design. Cedar is light in weight and is easy to carry from one place to another. Because of the low density, Cedar is a good choice for cutting and requires low energy for the process of cutting using a hand saw. By the way, Cedar is among those types of woods which have straight grains and consistent textures and are easy to work with.

Uses: Joinery – exterior, joinery – interior, furniture

 

Alder

Beauty, beauty, and beauty, that’s it all. When you cut Alder, it mostly has a white look but then turns to honey-brown color when exposed to sunlight. This type of wood has a straight grain that makes it easy to work with (saw, carve, finish). It can also be stained and painted readily.

Uses: cabinetry, furniture, decorative, body of the musical instrument

 

Redwood

A giant redwood tree

Creamy-white to red or yellow woods, capable of a clean finish, capable of being painted, glued, stained, and having moisture-resistant properties has made this type of wood widely used among woodworkers and home designers.

Uses: Furniture, decking, molding, flooring, cladding

 

Aspen

The wood can withstand moisture very well. It’s odorless and does not conduct heat. These properties make Aspen perfect for use in saunas and swimming pools. Aspen can be turned, screwed, glued, and stained quite well.

Uses: Sauna, furniture

 

Balsa

A lightweight timber that is strong for its weight and has a high degree of buoyancy that makes it perfect for creating floating wooden objects (floating on water). Because of its softness, it is a good choice for carving.

Uses: joinery

 

Bamboo

Let me tell you something! Bamboo isn’t considered as wood but grass. The Bamboo plant has tall hollow stems. People use Bamboo because it is highly resistant to earthquakes and fire. Bamboo stems may be hollow but very strong. People think Bamboo stems are easy to bend, whereas that is not true.

Uses: garden furniture, cabinets, flooring

 

Maple

Maple wood is considered a hardwood. Due to its strength, stiffness, and durability, it is commonly used for the production of baseball bats, bowling pins, bowling alley lanes, recurve bows, musical instruments, etc. Experts call maple a tonewood which carries sound waves very well so this feature makes it perfect for making some parts of musical instruments such as violins, cellos, violas, etc.

Uses: furniture, flooring, musical instruments

Cherry (American)

Moderately durable, takes polish well, turns well, but harder to work with than Poplar and Pine. The warm red color makes Cherry perfect for combining with light-colored furniture.

Uses: Joinery-interior, furniture

 

Engineered wood products

 

HDF (High-Density Fiberboard)

Have you ever seen chalkboards and wondered what kind of material these boards are made of? Well, the answer is hardboard coated with special color paint.

Highly compressed wood fibers bounding together can form a wood product which is called HDF or hardboard.

Uses: added to furniture for improving the build quality and strength, chalkboards

 

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)

MDF is an engineered wood product similar to HDF with lower density. It is stiff, strong, and heavy, and more suitable than HDF for making furniture and home appliances out of wood because of having a lesser density.

Uses: flooring, furniture

 

Plywood

A wooden board consisting of more than two layers glued and compressed is called plywood. Most of the plywood used in constructions consists of layers made of Spruce, Pine, and Fir.

Uses: creating wardrobes, furniture