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October 22, 2014

Goofproof gauge blocks for thickness planer

Goofproof gauge blocks for thickness planer


I quickly grew tired of trying to reset my thickness planer when going back and forth planing different thicknesses of material. To improve accuracy and speed up the reset-ting process, I made gauge blocks for each thickness from 1/4 to 7/8″.

First, make a gauge-block 3″ wide and at least 1/8″ thicker than the thickness setting you’ll want. Next, plane some scrapwood—not the gauge block—to the exact thickness desired. When it’s perfect, measure the distance from the planer table to the casting. Finally, notch the gauge block so that it has a 2″-long tongue the exact thickness of that table-to-casting measurement.

Repeat the process to make as many gauges as you like. Mark the blocks and store them with your thickness planer. The next time you plane, slip the gauge’s tongue under the casting, then crank the head down until it bumps on the tongue, as shown.
—Kenneth Keen, Boyertown, Pa.

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