Graphical Construction Glossary >> Tools. >> Power Tools >> Thicknesser Planer
Top of the range models now often use helical cutter heads. This means that instead of the cutters hitting the timber square on, the cutters have a more slicing motion that reduces shudder and tear out around knots and grain reversals. I equate it using a hand smoothing plane with an angled slightly sideways action when dressing off knotty timber. The shavings come of in a spiral.
When dressing rough saw timber it is common to give it a straight face side and face edge on a jointer planer and then the thicknesser takes over to get the final width and thickness.
Quick Tip It is almost never that the full width of the planer head is used on one piece of wood, so to maintain an even wear on the cutters it is normal to plane a series of narrower pieces staggered through the machine, one left, one right, one centre, that sort of thing. Never just use one side, that dulls the blade unevenly, but also then the top pressure and feed rollers will take on a lean and the feed will be uneven. If only one piece is being worked on then use the middle of the machine.
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