|Planing an Edge
One tool that you might not think of that can
do the job of two is the thickness planer. Even though a planer is used
primarily for thicknessing stock, it can also be used to joint a smooth, square
edge that's parallel to the opposite edge. This comes in handy when I have
several workpieces that need to be trimmed to the same width.
this work, the edge that rides on the bed of the planer needs to be straight
and square to the face of the workpiece. So start by jointing (or hand planing)
this edge first. Now, depending on the size and number of workpieces, I use
several different approaches.
If the workpiece is thick (roughly
square-shaped), planing an edge is like planing the surface of a board, see the
drawing at right. The extra thickness provides a stable platform as you run the
piece through the planer.
the edge of a piece is narrow, there's not as much support. So the workpiece
may tip over as it passes through the planer.
The solution I've found
that works best is to carpet tape a support to each side of the workpiece, as
shown in the drawing at right. Just be sure that the supports are flush with
the bottom of the workpiece.
Finally, if you're planing the edges on a number of pieces that are the same
width (a set of stiles and rails for example), the workpieces can act as their
own supports. Simply gang them together with carpet tape to form an oversized
blank, see the drawing at right.