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      Save lumber cost by using thickness planers

      You can save a lot of money when it comes to lumber if you purchase a thickness planer. After you make a few passes through the planer with a piece of wood, you end up with smooth lumber to use for your woodworking project. And it costs a lot less than milled boards. In fact, you'll save enough to pay off the planer you're going to buy today from Sears in no time.

      Of course, you need to start with a piece of board with one true face. So if neither side is true, then use your jointer to smooth one face and use the thickness planer for the opposite side. Note that wood has to be at least 12 inches long to go through a planer. Need to get a small piece through? Put a board of the same thickness through after the first piece. Use the second board to basically push the first one through.

      Planers are easy to use. Since they operate on a household current, there's no worrying about having to change or upgrade the wiring in your workshop. Depending on the model, you can use boards of widths up to 13 inches. You'll appreciate that although a planer is powerful, it's also compact. You can fit it in your workshop, even if yours is on the small side. Make sure the planer is near an outlet. Using an extension cord with a planer or any power tool can be a fire hazard. In addition, if you have the planer near the outlet, you don't have to worry about the cord getting in your way in the work area. Speaking of work area, you need space in front of the planer and behind it. In front of it so you can feed lumber; behind so there's room for the lumber to feed out. Make sure the planer's base is secured to your worktable so it won't move while you're using it.

      Safety is important when working with a thickness planer. Be sure to turn the machine on BEFORE you place the lumber into the feeder. You can set the gauge that determines the amount of material to be removed from 1/32- to 1/8-inch. That means you'll need to put a piece of wood through the planer more than once, slowly shaving away a bit at a time, until the board is the thickness you want. Remember to plane both sides of the piece of wood, to keep it from warping. Also, remember to feed the lumber from the front instead of pulling from behind.

      Check out our website and you'll see we have a number of thickness planers from which you can choose. We carry the brands you trust, too, including DeWalt, Powertec and Craftsman, America's most trusted brand. After you add it to your online shopping cart, also check out some other tools for your workshop, such as various corded power tools and jointers. And don't forget a sander. No matter what project you're working on, you can count on Sears to have the tools and supplies you need.

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