On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 11:46:56 -0700, Jennifer Murphy
A power planer is actually two or more plane blades on a circular
drum, driven by a motor. It does a similar job to a hand plane but
much faster. (You posted a link to one earlier in the thread, though
oddly it's labeled a "hand plane" even though it's obviously a piece
of power equipment. I suppose that's intended to indicate that you
hold it in your hands as opposed to mounting it on a bench.)
It's calibrated to take off a specific thickness on each pass -- I
think 1/16" to 1/64" on mine. That's a big advantage compared with a
The power plane produces a smooth surface, like a hand plane, rather
than the relative rough surface you get with a sander. To get a
similarly smooth surface with a sander and also take off the amount of
wood you need to remove, you'll need to go through probably three
grades of sandpaper. Of course if the surface is on the top or bottom
of the door, the smoothness of the result may not matter.
It also produces a lot less dust than a sander, producing more chips
and less fine dust. Mine collects most of the dust in its attached
dust bag without needing a vacuum attached. It does still leave some
I've adjusted several doors with the same problem yours have, and I
like the results. You do have to make sure to plane in from, or
parallel to, any edge -- planing out is asking for large chips to
If you use a sander, I think you'll need a belt sander. An orbital one
will take a long time to take off 1/16" and you'll get frustrated.
If it's possible to remove the door -- either by removing hinge pins
or, if the pins aren't removable, by taking out screws -- doing so
will make the job a lot easier. You really can't reach all of any
edge, even the edge opposite the hinges, without taking the door down.
And taking the door outside eliminates most of the worries about dust.