DIY Network

How to Plane Short Boards

Using a power planer for small pieces of wood can be difficult. Here's an easy way to make outriggers for sending short boards through a power planer.

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plane short boards
  • Time

    30 Minutes

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prepare the Outriggers

Screw the two scrap outriggers -- 3/4" x 3/4" pieces of wood, each 4" longer than the board to be planed -- to the sides of the board to be planed. Make sure to countersink the holes so the screws won't get caught inside the planer.

Step 2: Plane the Boards

Send the board and its outriggers through the machine as you would a large piece of wood. Remember that the planer automatically sends the wood to its outfeed table, so there's no need to push the wood through.

send board and its outriggers through machine

Step 3: Remove the Outriggers

Use a screwdriver to remove the outriggers.

Use a jointer or hand-held planer to smooth the rough edges where the outriggers were attached.