I have a new Ridgid 13" planner...not having used one before...I have a
question. Can I "gang plane" the edge of a number of identical boards
on the planner ? I have about 200 42"L x 3/4"W x 3"H soft wood
(Alder) slats that I need to edge plane/joint before I glue them
together in 24" wide panels.
They have been pre-cut on a good table saw and are prretty uniform in
Is it safe to plane the edge of more than one board at a time...and are
planners used for this type of operation?
It can be done and there are numerous magazine articles that address planing
the edge with a thickness planer. I would not however depend on the planer
giving you a straight edge if one edge is not perfectly straight to begin
with. Reasonably straight is probably not good enough for a panel glue up.
first off, your machine is a planer. a planner is a person who creates
plans for things.
second, it will do what you want, probably.
alder is pliable enough that a 3" wide piece that is 1/2" or so out of
straight in 42" will probably pull tight in the clamps- but if it was
oak I wouldn't be so sure. get them as straight as you can and as close
to the same width as each other as you can before you send them through
the planer- it'll save you some hassle with the planing process.
Think of your new planer as a "paralleler". It will leave the top
surface absolutely parallel to the bottom surface - except for a couple
of inches at each end which will snipe. It does a wonderful job of
making narrow boards ready to glue up IF the bottom edge was straight
and square to the sides to begin with. The only problem I've had with
"gang planing" is that if some of your boards are a little shy in spots
or a little too crooked, the rollers will not make sufficient contact
with each and every board and some will get left behind until the high
boards get through. You may start out with them all together and end
up with them coming out the other end sort of staggered. This
shouldn't be too much of a problem except you get pretty busy trying to
catch them all as they exit. Have fun with your new toy - er - tool.
"Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas
Safe enough if the boards are clamped or otherwise attached together
for the operation, and this method is sometimes recommended as a way
to ensure all pieces are the same width. However, it does not joint
the edges. OTOH, for your stated purpose and with the materials you
are using it is likely good enough.
Often wrong, never in doubt.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
As mentioned by others, if the opposite side is off square, than the
freshly planed side will be off square by the same amount. That doesn't
matter if you flip the boards during glue-up so that the error is
cancelled. That is a produre that should also be used, even when using
a proper jointer. All of which are moot points if your table saw is set
up properly with the right blade, in which case, you won't need a
planer (as a jointer) or a jointer *G*
It is also a good idea to make sure the grain direction alternates from
board to board when doing a panel glue-up. Also try to make sure that
the grain runs up from the direction of feed so that the cutterhead
doesn't try to 'lift' the grain, but rather 'pushes' down on it.
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