So I said to myself, "Christmas gifts!" I went on YouTube, looked at the process and decided it's time to buy a planer.
Then I stumbled across this Wood Whisperer thread:
Now I'm shaking in my boots. However, I also read about techniques like adding runners to make it safer.
If I decide to move forward, it seems like I will be learning to use a power planer on a somewhat advanced/dangerous project. Obviously I would practice on some flat boards to get a feel for the machine before I fed something that could hurt me badly into it, but I'd like some encouragement/tips (or warnings/"Don't do it!") from you guys before I proceed.