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What Is a Planer Table?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A planer table is any heavy duty surface specifically designed to work in conjunction with a planer. A planer is a power tool that is used to create a flat surface on a board, or to adjust the thickness of a board by removing material from it. Longer boards will need support as they pass through the machine, so a planer table is often used as this support. Some tables are simply designed to support the weight of the machine itself rather than acting as a support for the wood as it passes through the machine.

Small planer table models are large enough to support the machine only. The point of the table is to provide a stable, sturdy surface for the machine and to allow a woodworker to move the machine easily from one part of the room to another. This is done easily by using the wheels or casters mounted to the bottom of the table. Once the table is in the desired position in the room, the wheels can be locked into place to provide a stable work surface while using the machine. These tables usually feature a thick and sturdy metal frame with a wood or synthetic tabletop to which the machine can be secured or on which it can be rested.

A jointer, also known in some places as a planer.
A jointer, also known in some places as a planer.

Larger planer table models are meant to support both the planer and the boards being passed through the planer. These tables can be prefabricated or custom made. A planer table of this variety will tend to take up a significant amount of space in a workshop, so building a custom table may be the best option for some woodworkers who need a table of specific dimensions. The tabletop is often made of wood, though sometimes the planer table can feature a metal tabletop for durability. The frame can also be made of either wood or metal; most woodworkers who make the table from scratch prefer wood because it is easier to cut to length and build to specifications.

The table may or may not include a jig system that will help both the machine and the board stay in place while the planing is occurring. If the machine features such jigs, they are likely to be adjustable to accommodate different sizes and thicknesses of wood. The size of the wood being planed will be dictated by the size of the machine, so the jigs will often be adjustable only to the widest board accepted by the machine.

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    • A jointer, also known in some places as a planer.
      A jointer, also known in some places as a planer.