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Safely planing stock to thin dimensions

Attempting to run thin pieces of stock—less than 12 " thick--through a self-feed planer often fails because the stock breaks up as it passes under the blades.

Select a flat auxiliary board at least as wide as and 1" longer than the thin stock. Pass this board through the planer to make it a uniform thickness. Then, put cloth-backed double-faced tape between the finished side of the workpiece and the thin stock. Press this assembly firmly together in a bench vise for good adhesion. With this technique, you can plane stock down to 116 " or less. Remember to always plane with the grain of thin pieces to avoid tearout. If possible, slow the feed rate as well. Be sure to let one end of the stock exceed the tape's length by 12 " so you can insert a putty knife to gently pry it off the board. If the piece resists prying, dissolve the tape adhesive with lacquer thinner.
—W.M. Fox, DeBary, Fla.

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