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Thickness Planer Question!

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  • Thickness Planer Question!

    hi. I just bought myself a sweet thickness planer. The main reason for this move was my exsisting wood supply. I have rescued old solid wood paneling boards. The boards are about 100 years old 8ft long and 3 inches wide and 3/4" thick. about 30 boards are cherry wood and about 80 are red beech and these are 3 1/2 inches wide and 7/8 inches thick.
    All the boards are varnished and the varnish material is cracked and flaking.
    I want to know if I can run those boards through my planer to remove the layer of varnish with out killing my new machine.
    By good those boards would make pretty nice stock for plenty of projects. The boards are overall in excellent shape and by god- they are air dried by now.

    Any good advice would be great.

  • #2
    You will not have a problem if be sure to keep the cutter blades clean, removing the built up varish etc.


    • #3
      Excellent use for the planer! Saves hours of messy varnish stripping.

      Make sure to use a vacuum!! Wear a mask!!

      Keep a container of denatured alcohol on hand to keep the cutter head clean.

      If you have a compressor and air chuck, blow the debris out of the planer often. You don't want old varnish dust all over your parts.


      • #4
        I've heard from several people that planing off paint is a bad idea- it destroys the blades, but at $30 a set for the Ridgid replacements (2-sides each), it might not be a bad investment??? I guess there's only one way to find out if varnish will do the same- I thought varnish would be harder than paint, so it seemly more likely to eat through blades.

        Another option is to sand it off with a belt sander or to bring the boards to a local wood supplier and have them pass it all through a big old thickness sanding machine.


        • #5
          I have owned my TP13000 for about a year and a half now, and am still very happy with it. The old paint and varnish will dull the blades quickly. But, as was already pointed out, they are not all that expensive. If you want to save the wear on the blades, take a belt sander to the boards to get past the varnish, then finish up with the planer. Either way, enjoy.



          • #6
            You may want to try a carbide scraper,Lowes,HF and Rockler have them to remove the layer or at least reduce it. I find these type do a much better job than steel and do not dull easily. I think there are carbide planer blades but they are expensive.

            [ 12-24-2003, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: Andrew Benedetto ]


            • #7
              Thank you guys for all the input.

              I ran today about 80 ft. of beech through the planer and the result was terriffic. I chose 1/32rd" cutting depth and all the board went plane in one run. The knifes are still fine and I used an airhose every so often to blow out the debris from the planer.
              The varnish is like glass and does not seem to melt or smear on the blades. I cleaned them with Terpntine because I found that this disolves the varnish on the boards pertty effortless.

              I will probably replace my blades after I am done with this pile of boards , just to make sure I have my tools in order for my next project- a library wall out of my cherry stock.


              • #8
                You can sharpen the blades and get more uses out of them! I put a "clean edge" on mine before starting a new project. As long as the leading edge doesn't chip, the blades can be polished to razor sharp in a few minutes.

                The blade set costs approximately $30 and the steel is good. If your blades get nicked and chipped, they can still be shop sharpened and you will get new life out of them.