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What Is a Planer Molder?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A planer molder is a woodworking tool that is motorized and used for cutting boards to specific thicknesses. The board is fed through one side of the machine, and guided by guide wheels through the machine as it passes under a cutting cylinder. The cylinder will ensure the face of the board is even and flat along its length and across its face. The molder feature of the planer molder allows the user to create cuts along the edge of the board. This is done by changing out the bits or knives used to do the cutting.

Most models of the planer molder tend to be quite heavy and large. This machine will very often be quite difficult to move around a shop, so many feature casters or wheels to make movement easier. The machine must be locked in place prior to use, however, for safety and accuracy of the cuts. The table on which the board will rest when being fed through the planer molder will be adjustable to allow the user to adjust the overall thickness of the planed board. The table is often adjusted using a lever or adjustment wheel.


The size of the planer molder will often dictate how large of a piece of wood can be planed. Industrial-sized planer molder models tend to be quite large to accommodate wide pieces of wood, while machines meant for the home workshop will be much smaller, more affordable, and often much lighter. Home models will not be able to handle larger pieces of wood, and they may not be designed for constant, regular use. A carpenter using the machine every day should invest in an industrial-sized machine that will be able to handle the workload of a functioning commercial wood shop.

As with any motorized tools, using a planer molder can be dangerous and the user will need to take safety precautions when operating the machine. The knives within the machine move at an exceptionally high rate of speed, and the knives are very sharp. This means a user can potentially become injured if any part of the body comes in contact with the blades. To prevent such an accident, it is recommended that users keep loose materials such as shirt sleeves away from the machine. Gloves should be worn whenever possible, and eye protection as well as ear protection can help prevent injury to those areas of the body.

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