Kreg Owners' Community

Do most members have a surface planer?

If so how do you dry your boards?

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Gary, I have a big jet surface planner of which I use to prep my lumber for building.  I usually buy the rough sawn lumber and prep it just a few days before I build, making my final cuts when I begin building.  I seldom dry my own lumber unless I come across some tree that I am fond of and I get it milled. Usually I have a friend whom has a chain saw mill.  I haul it home and stack it outside in a dry covered place where it can get air using stickers between each piece.  Normally I get it milled to 1 to 1and 1/4" slabs.  occassionally I find a fine grained piece of which I desire as special project lumber and have it milled to as much as  5 to 6 inch thick'  I always use either a wax or a latex paint to seal the end grains.  I never store more that I can bring inside during the winter months but will tarp it once weather begins to turn damp.  It is a tough job to take care of it and is the main reason I buy the rough sawn from mills and lumber brokers. 
I do same as Jay I will purchase enough wood from a friend of ours who has a mill and has 360 acres of his White Ash forest. I usually plane it all at one time and cover it for as much as 1 year ,I no that the last trailer load I got it only cost me 75.00.Mostly 6-8 inch wide 10 foot long an d some shorter. I went to HD and priced out same amount of board feet  Oak and it was about 430.00 but that of course in s4s. So it is cheaper but there is lots of work involved .
I agree with Jens, it is alot of work so you spend the savings you earned by the amount of the work you put into it.  I think of it this way: If everything goes wrong,  at  least you got some cheap firewood.  The big advantage is you get to select how you want to prepare it and select the boards you want.  It is also good to know what you have on hand as it helps you plan on how you wish to construct it.

I sometimes buy lumber rough from the lumber yard, I don'y have a planer so I cut tit down to a width that I can run across my joiner about 3 or 4 inches and i smooth them that way, after gluing them up for panels or what ever I use a belt sander to make everything match, But I do beleive my next major purchase will be a ridgid planer. If for no other reason so I won't have to deal with those stupid little barcode stickers



I have the lumber yard knock the "cobb" or saw marks off and if I'm planning on using 3/4 stock, I have them take it down to 7/8 and I finish it on mine.

Probably my next purchase. I do have good source for hardwoods here only things I buy is red oak poplar and maple. Prices range between 2.75 to 3.75 per bd ft 6 to 8 " stock this is planed 2 sides and jointed 2 1/4 inch over nominal for ripping.  How ever there are several lumber mills in the area. May be able to buy unplaned from

same guy ibuy my lumber this is dryed.

Thanks as always from all for your thoughts.  I made a mistake jointed 1 side.


I have a DeWalt 13 inch portable planer.  If you are in the market for a portable unit I highly recomend the DeWalt.  It has plenty of power and is easy to operate right out of the box.

I cut a great deal of my own lumber and have it milled at a local saw mill.  I have a barn that I no longer use to store hay so, I now use it to store and dry my lumber.  If you plan to air dry lumber I would highly recommend that you let it dry for a minimum of 1 year before using it for projects.  If you use it before it is dry the wood will begin to warp and crack.  You may want to purchase a moisture checking device to make sure the wood is at the correct moisture content before using it.

I hope this helps.


This is funny. I kept seeing this thread title, and thinking to myself . . . of course I plan my lumber. Why would I buy more than I need for a project. Then I decided to actually read the thread. Duh! Plane. Now I get it.


I plan, I don't plane.  :-)


Interesting post as I’m in the market for a planner! I could never find myself using rough sawn from mills or a lumber broker but I can see many uses for a planner as I increase my level of expertise.

hi gary, yea i have a ridgid 13 inch planer. i got it to plane stock down form 3/4 but then i started using it to plane rough lumber. no i dont dry my own lumber, dont have the room to store the wood.
I had a Delta planer and got rid of it.  It had no dust collection port on it. I got the Rigid 13" with the dust port. The best feature that I like about it is the exact thickness gauge that I can set for 1/2, 3/4, etc.  It is also easy to clean and is much quieter than the Delta.  I try to get my rough cut boards from barns that are about to be torn down.  Of course I use a metal detector of them.  Even on wood that one gets from the lumber yard, must be checked for metals like bullets, nails and screws that hunters and others put there.  I have shaved out lead shot from a few boards of oak in the past.

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