Buying a Planer? Here’s What You Need to Know!

What is a Planer? A planer is a tool that woodworkers and carpenters usually use to smoothen out the wooden surface and shave off the unnecessary areas. It is quite handy and can be found useful in all kinds of wood work projects. Although it can be a little tricky to choose the correct Planer for yourself as there are many types of Planers available in the market with different features and construction so one must look at all the planer’s features before buying one.

This guide will tell you all about the important features and functions that one must look at while buying a planer.

Planer Types

The first thing to learn about planers is that there are different types of planers available in the market:

Thickness Planer – This type of planer is used to give a consistent thickness to a board and shave off the unnecessary uneven sides from it. This is particularly useful when you need to join two wood boards and you need their edge to be completely even and smooth.

Hand Planer – This is another type of planer in which universal motors is used which makes it lighter and easier to carry around. This portable planer is powerful and is good at smoothing smaller pieces of wood.

Motor

The major difference between planers is the motor, and usually, there are two types of motors: induction motors and universal motors. An induction motor is more long-lasting and powerful than a universal motor but it is also heavier than the universal motor. A universal motor is good for portable and hand planers while an induction motor is good for stationary workshops and industrial settings.

Features to look out for:

Workspace

One of the most important things to consider when buying a Planer is to determine the area available for your planer. You don’t want to cramp up your workshop space and leave no space for the extra wood to dangle about. Make sure you have enough space for your planer and a little extra space left for your move around.

Thickness Capacity

The next thing to consider is the thickness which your planer would accommodate when working on a wood. If you are going to work with thick blocks of woods, you would need an industrial planer and else a hand planer is good for dealing with smaller pieces of wood. A lot of planers also come with adjustable thickness feature which allows a user to choose the desired thickness by adjusting the ‘depth stop’ of the planer.

Width Capacity

Another important feature to consider is the width capacity of your planer which basically means the width of the wood that the planer can cut. For this, you would need to determine your project types and then buy a planer accordingly.

Blade types and speed

Some planers come with adjustable speed while many come with a single speed too so decide the usage of your planer and then choose accordingly. Another thing to consider would be the blade type. There are many types of blade types ranging from two to five blades. As the number of blade increases, the faster and smoother the planer will cut. So, make sure you choose a planer with an adequate stroke rate.


A Little Brittle

Every Christmas when I was growing up my Mom, “Nanni” made peanut brittle. It was shiny, almost like glass and filled with Spanish peanuts. She used the 1970′s Better Homes and Gardens red and white checkered cookbook recipe. One of Naini’s secrets was to use Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup in lieu of light kayro syrup. I have used the same trick every time I make it and it always turns out divine. It tastes rich and buttery, more so than any other brittle I have ever had. The funny thing is, it doesn’t ever taste like maple? This season I decided to use a mixture of whole nuts instead of peanuts. It is not only pretty, but delicious and so festive! Here is the recipe.

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Mixed Nut Brittle

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup (I use Mrs. Buttersworth as does my Mom)
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 3-4 Cups Raw Mixed Nuts (I used whole almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and macadamia)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda

Combine sugar, syrup, and water in a heavy pot. (Oh wouldn’t a Le Cruset be lovely right about now) Cook to soft ball stage (test a few drops in a glass of cold water). Add nuts and salt and cook to hard crack stage stirring constantly. (Always remove candy from heat while testing) Add butter and soda and stir to blend, candy will bubble and kinda foam. Pour onto a standard size cookie sheet/sheet pan that is lightly buttered. Cool slightly by lifting edges with a spatula, keep spatula moving under mixture so it won’t stick. When cool enough turn it over and take off of pan… pull on edges to make thinner and more glass-like. Break into large pieces when completely cooled. If you don’t mind having a thicker more substantial looking brittle these last few steps aren’t necessary. Simply pour into pan and let cool. Then break the end.