Wood sideways through planer

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Forum topic by Erik07 posted 10-22-2021 04:41 PM 436 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 284 days

10-22-2021 04:41 PM

Hey all, occasionally I see a video where someone puts a board sideways through a planer. Sometimes they’re somewhat wide, like 8” or so. Any idea why someone would do this?

11 replies so far

View controlfreak's profile


3046 posts in 882 days

#1 posted 10-22-2021 04:49 PM

Just to hear the loud BANG?

View Erik07's profile


20 posts in 284 days

#2 posted 10-22-2021 04:57 PM

Haha maybe I was unclear. I mean instead of ripping to width on the tablesaw, they put the board on its edge through the planer.

View Steve's profile


2638 posts in 1863 days

#3 posted 10-22-2021 05:01 PM

they might feel that the planer will give them a more consistent width. a lot will depend on how thick the piece is.

View MarkCh's profile


76 posts in 508 days

#4 posted 10-22-2021 05:09 PM

I’ve done this on narrower pieces to clean up the sides, but also don’t feel it is stable. What are the guidelines for doing this safely? I put a bunch of pieces in at once, with one long trailer for snipe.

View controlfreak's profile


3046 posts in 882 days

#5 posted 10-22-2021 05:20 PM

Ahh, I thought you meant cross grain. As long as it is stable (wide enough) I don’t see a problem and if the piece exceeds the the saw bale depth on the TS why not. Even if it were band sawed it would likely need a clean up pass.

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Fred Hargis

7286 posts in 3774 days

#6 posted 10-22-2021 05:23 PM

I’ve done this quite a bit, but if the boards are not that thick I always gang them up. Doing this insures the boards are all the exact width.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View DS's profile


3985 posts in 3701 days

#7 posted 10-22-2021 05:37 PM

I can think of two reasons.
1) If your saw is leaving marks it will clean them up.
2) If you need good S4S stock for face frames, etc. you can get a pretty consistent dimension and clean looking parts.

In the early days with an elcheapo table saw, I would do this to get cleaner looking parts.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS

View Sgoldsmith90's profile


10 posts in 110 days

#8 posted 10-22-2021 05:45 PM

I’ve done this as well a few times, before I had my tablesaw. I’d join one edge, rip close on the bandsaw, then send all of the boards through. I have a benchtop planer so I could do up to 6 1/4” wide and have all boards a consistant width with a nice square edge as long as the jointed edge was properly square. It worked well for me for glueing up table tops and such, no fussing with handplaning an edge for glue up, or passing the other edge over the jointer a few times to clean up the marks and ending up with a tapered board. Even small tapers would add up when glueing up 6 or 8 boards. Plus, with a little math you can easily end up with an exactly 36” wide top or whatever width you need.

Only downside I had, and this may be just a benchtop planer issue, is occasionally the rollers would engage with the fed end of the board, tip the back end up a little then bring it back down (not exactly gently) when it got to the blade. Nothing dangerous, but just a little more abuse than I’d like to put my planer through on a regular basis. It was more prone on shorter boards. I have a tablesaw now and prefer that method.

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4946 posts in 1186 days

#9 posted 10-22-2021 05:46 PM

My guess is they don’t have a hand plane

View JAAune's profile


2056 posts in 3598 days

#10 posted 10-22-2021 05:49 PM

I’ve done it many times but not on wide boards. An older cabinetmaker taught me the trick and so far, it’s the quickest way I know to get a lot of perfectly dimensioned faceframe stock since I can gang 6 – 8 boards together and run them in one pass through the planer.

6 3/4” boards pinched together act like a single 4.5” wide board and this stack is run in the center of the planer so the rollers aren’t putting more pressure on one side than the other.

One might ask how ripping oversized on the bandsaw then planing to dimension is faster than ripping to exact width on the tablesaw? I almost always rip oversized to find out how straight the boards will be and allow for jointing if necessary. So it’s rare for me to rip a wide board into narrow, finished parts.

-- See my work at

View Robert's profile


4782 posts in 2762 days

#11 posted 10-22-2021 05:53 PM

Some feel they get more consistent width than table saw. . I haven’t found that to be true.

As for cleaning edges I use a hand plane or edge sanding disc.

A good quality glue line rip blade will leave a good edge.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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