Portable Power Plane
The portable electric power plane (figure 3-23) is
widely used for trimming panels, doors, frames, and
so forth. It is a precision tool capable of exact depth
of cut up to 3/16 inch on some of the heavier models.
However, the maximum safe depth of cut on any
model is 3/32 inch in any one pass.
The power plane is essentially a high-speed motor
that drives a cutter bar, containing either straight or
spiral blades, at high speed.
Operating the power plane is simply a matter of
setting the depth of cut and passing the plane over the
work. First, make careful measurements of the piece,
where it is to fit, and determine how much material
has to be removed. Then, the stock being planed
should be held in a vise, clamped to the edge of a
bench, or otherwise firmly held. Check the
smoothness and straightness of all the edges.
If a smoothing cut is desired, make that cut first
and then recheck the dimensions. Make as many
passes as necessary with the plane to reach the desired
dimensions, checking frequently so as not to remove
too much material. The greater the depth of the cut,
the slower you must feed the tool into the work. Feed
pressure should be enough to keep the tool cutting,
but not so much as to slow it down excessively. Keep
wood chips off the work because they can mar the
surface of the stock as the tool passes over them.
Keep your hands away from the butterhead or blades
when a cut is finished.
The L-shaped base, or fence, of the plane should
be pressed snugly against the work when planing,
assuring that the edge will be cut square. For bevel
cuts, loosen the setscrew on the base, set the base at
the desired bevel, and then retighten the setscrew.
Figure 3-23.-Portable electric power plane.