The Thickness planer is similar to a jointer in that it removes material from the surface of a board. It can be distinguished from a jointer as the cutter head is mounted above the feed table, which is shorter and wider compared to a jointer. Also, a jointer's job is to make one side straight - the planer's is to make one surface parallel to the other. In general, you would use a jointer to straighten the edge of a plank (such as in preparation to "joint" them), and a planer to surface the face of a plank. To avoid accidents, the following operational safety rules must be observed by everyone working on the planer. Failure to follow the safety rules will result in a loss of shop privileges.
Planer Safety Rules:
1. Follow the 3” rule for your hands & fingers at the opening of the infeed and outfeed tables.
2. Stand to the side of the machine to avoid kickback or shattering of the wood from the planer that can occur even with feed roller pressure.
3. Place boards on the bed of the machine so your fingers do not get pinched.
4. Do not wear gloves while operating the machine.
5. Only plane clear boards or boards with solid knots to avoid kickback.
6. The shortest board should be the distance between the infeed and outfeed roller, plus 2 inches .
Start with a Risk Assessment to ensure a safe work area:
1. A minimum of a two foot perimeter in the back and front of the planer should be kept
clear of people, due to possible kickback that could be thrown out of the machine.
2. Safety glasses with side shields or a face shield must be worn. Hearing protection must be worn.
3. Remove loose fitting clothing, jewelry, and tie back long hair.
4. Give the work your undivided attention.