How to Plane Wood without a Planer

How to Plane Wood without a Planer | 4 Easy Steps

When you look at a furniture store or a workshop, you will notice the woodwork of different shapes and designs. They are all made to look beautiful and attractive. They are no doubt made to look attractive by the use of a planer, in collaboration with other tools. Planer is one of the most important tools for a carpenter.

There are other ways however of planing the wood without using a planer. So what do we use to plane a wood without a planer? How is the planning done? What is the procedure? This article is going to answer all your questions on the same. Please read on.

Is it necessary to have a planer in order to plane the wood?

A planer is necessary for woodwork. In fact, it is used almost all the works of the carpenter. When the wood is fresh from the forest, the surface is quite rough. When a planer is passed through it, the rough surface instantly turns to a smooth surface. In most cases, the planer works hand in hand with another tool known as a jointer. They are both used to make the wood surface smooth and even design some shapes from the wood.

how to plane wood with a hand planer

What then happens when you do not have a planer? Can you plane the wood without a planer? How to plane wood with a hand planer

When you do not have a planer, and there is some work to do on the wood, you do not have to get stuck. There are several ways that can enable you to plane without a planer. Some methods are discussed below:

  1. By use of the sandpaper.

Probably, this could be one of the oldest methods which have been in use for quite some time now. It requires you to have a strongly coerce sandpaper and probably a small-sized wood which you can wrap it around. This is to enable you to have a firm grip on the sandpaper. Grind the sandpaper in the direction of the grain for fast and efficient work. You will need to apply some amount of force so as to accomplish the task. Planing produces dust which is not so useful to the body. Protect yourself against such by the use of a face mask or a nose mask.

How to Plane Wood without a Planer

If you are lucky enough to have the hand-held electric sander, you can use it to hasten your work. It has a sanding plate which should be gently and lightly pressed against the wood. The use of excessive force on the electric sander will lead to the interference of the plate. This, in turn, leads to the slowing or total stoppage of the work, should the plate jam or be damaged. At all times, plane in the direction of the grain, and put on the protective gear.

  1. By use of a table saw.

For bigger pieces of wood, this method is ideal. It begins by building and setting up the blade. You will also have to construct a jig. This will be used to hold the wood, or board in the right position. Adjust the position of the blade until it fits on a position of 90 degrees. Without this, you will get flaws on the surface of the wood which you are planing.

When everything is set up, you have to switch it on and start planing. Push the wood back and forth against the blade until you achieve a perfect surface. Ensure that you do not stop the wood at any given moment when it is being planed because it will burn. It may require you to do some little bit of practice using old wood to perfect your work. This should be able to make you gain some experience and sharpen your skills.

how to plane wood with a hand planer

  1. By use of a drum sander.

This method combines the characteristic of sandpaper and a power blade. The drum which is covered in sandpaper is put on to rotation and a piece of wood is brought against the motion of the drum. While the power blade uses knives to execute its mandate, this particular one does the planning by the use of the sandpaper. It may, however, take some good amount of time to get the work done. It is quite slow in nature.

You are to first prepare the jig with which the drum will stand. The jig helps in hastening the work because it holds the drum tightly in place. Plane the wood or board in the direction of the grain. This method may not be so effective where you have a lot of work to do. It may also not be ideal when you want to plane large pieces of wood.

  1. By use of a router.

This functions in an almost similar way as the table saw. It, therefore, means that you got to first build a jig table so as to position the wood in the correct position. It is also to bring stability when you plane. After setting up the system, planing can then be done. Put the board or wood in place and push it against the router so that it is cut on the surface. Once done with one side, flip the wood and continue with the second face.

As with other methods, you will need to plane the wood in the direction of the grain. Since this method is less likely to leave you with a smooth surface, you will need to complete the task with sandpaper. The sandpaper gives you the extra smooth surface that you need.

how to plane wood with a hand planer

Other methods

You may not miss one more or two methods of how to plane a wood out there. Where you have totally missed out on the above options, you can take it to the carpenter to do it for you, of course at a fee. However, they are likely to use a planer in order to accomplish this task.


It is possible to plane a wood without the use of a planer. Whatever choice of the method you go for should give you some good work. There are several other methods that can be used to accomplish the task. In all instances, you have to build a jig. This will help you in keeping the board or the wood in the correct position for planing.

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