A Handheld Planer Success Story

In response to last eZine’s Q&A on “Should I Use a Handheld Power Planer for Thicknessing Stock?” we received this reader tale. – Editor

“A few years ago, I was asked by a church to repurpose some 100(?)-year-old pews into 86″ x 40″ tables supported by pew end pieces lengthened so they could safely be on casters for use in the fellowship hall. They were quality oak pews which varied in thickness over 3/16″. Supports (inserts) on the flat bottom of the pews made it unsuitable for a tabletop.  Further, they wanted the edge of each table to include the rolled corner normally at the top of the pew. I removed all the nails and screws and took the pieces without the rolled edge to my local hardwood supplier to plane on his 36″ machine. I think he got mad and eventually told me, correctly, the finish on the wood would clog up his sawdust removal system (even if I removed the finish).


“Undaunted, I bought an inexpensive power hand planer, put all the stock together with biscuits and glue and began a long task of planing it with the grain walking from end to end. I smiled at the question, agreed with all of your counsel, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.” – Ben Dady

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