Ask WWGOA: How to Plane Small Pieces of Wood

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I’d like to plane some short pieces of 3/4″ x 1.515″ (approx) x 3.5″ long poplar. I am afraid the rollers won’t keep feeding the wood and I will get a large dwell mark, and I may possibly damage my new DV735 machine.

Submitted by Jcoleman001


You’re right. The limiting factor in board length you can safely plane is the distance from infeed roller to outfeed roller. Anything shorter than that will simply get past the infeed roller and then bounce around under the cutter head, since the outfeed roller can’t grab it and feed it.

You need to leave these pieces long and plane them first, then do your final length cuts to reduce them to the short lengths your project requires.


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23 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: How to Plane Small Pieces of Wood”

  1. Ron Knickrehm

    I have a 6" Grizzly joiner that had a wheel break and it fell onto the corner of the feed table. The plate itself appears to be OK. Is there a place to find out how to adjust the feed be level?

  2. Joe McMahon

    As long as the part count is not to high, a couple of passes with a block plane should get you where you want to go. If the part count is high, taping your parts to a sacrificial board may be the least-cost, least effort solution.

  3. Harold Wamsley

    You can also use a 3/4" ply wood 12" wide and long enough for you short pieces and use hot glue to hold them done on the ply wood. I have done this several times and is works great.

  4. Jim Berglund

    Why not fasten it to another, appropriately shaped piece of wood with 2-sided tape and run them through the planer?

  5. J

    Or... take two pieces of the requisite length, and glue them on either side of your desired piece(s), (all parts being of the same thickness), and run the whole shebang through, then cut (or split) off the extraneous material.

  6. Ewell

    An additional way is to put longer pieces ahead and behind the main pieces. All need to be the same depth so the will each be reached by the planer blades.

  7. Dave Ussell

    George, Though giving good advice, you are ignoring the obvious. The fact the inquirer is aware of the problem and yet still asks the question, says the pieces are already cut and so your "solution" is not of much use. They are probably dealing with an existing problem or they would have done what you advise in the first place.

  8. Stephen Hooper

    Umm... do it by hand! Build a very simple jig, buy a Japanese plane and enjoy working the wood. :)

  9. kenneth jay schwartz

    A simple sled the width of the planer will do. Simply use double-stick tape to affix the small piece to the sled and safely run it through the planer

  10. Little Jack

    Mr. George is very correct...write this off to the cost of education and get another piece of poplar..faster, safer and easier.