Jigs For The Thickness Planer

Back in 2004, WoodEzine ran a short piece on avoiding snipe when planing boards. Since then we have added a few new jigs to the shop. The first one (on the left in the image) helps speed up the thicknessing process and also stops the setting from moving due to vibration. It’s a stand with a circular top that lets the operator lock in the planer handle at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock without having to loosen and tighten the locking knobs. The arrangement allows for a 1/4 turn all the way up to several full turns. The next jig is a very flat board with non-slip tape (available at any hardware store) on one face. This is used to run short parts safely through the thickness planer. The entire jig makes the trip with the part on board. The third jig is for running very thin stock for dry bending. It is held in place by the front of the in-feed table, using a simple screwed-on stop. There’s a 30″ long platform with plastic laminate on the surface that sits under the feed rollers and knives, and we occasionally sand this with very fine wet/dry paper to keep in slick. Our planer, like most, won’t mill below about 3/16″ thickness so this jig gets around that problem. (We’d much prefer to accidentally cut into a plastic and MDF table than a cast iron one.) The only reason the platform is only 30″ long is because that’s what we happened to have on hand. A woodworker could make the jig a lot longer, but if it extends too far past the iron table it might tip.