The planer is used to plane solid wood to a defined thickness and is a helpful machine for adjusting the size of laths. When using the planer, be sure only to plane the faces that are side- or flat-grain and avoid end-grain altogether. Use the disc sander to remove small amounts of material from the end grain.
Model builders use the planer to bring the stock to a specific dimension before cutting it to length on the bandsaw or with other machines and techniques. This order of operation is essential because the planer can only handle pieces longer than 250mm due to its construction with the infeed-, cutter head, and outfeed roll. 

Machine Overview

Planer Overview

#1 Power switch
#2 Feed rate shift handle
#3 In/out feed table
#4 Table raising/lowring handwheel
#5 Debth of cut scale

Machine Handling


The planer is strictly made for processing clean, dry, solid timber without any fasteners or nails inside. Other materials can damage the machine or result in injury and must not be used on this machine. The workpieces to be planed have to be flat on at least one side and can not be shorter than 250mm.

Only the surfaces of long grain (#1) can be planed with a planer. Never try to plane the end-grain part of the wood (#2). You risk damaging the machine and seriously injuring yourself.

As a first step, measure the thickness of your stock precisely to dial in the machine table correctly. To obtain a good result, set the machine between 0.5 and a maximum of 1mm less than the thickness of your workpiece by adjusting the table height with the handwheel (#4). 

Turn the machine on and feed your workpiece into the machine with the side to be planed facing upwards. When the feed roller pulls the piece in, let it go, and do not guide or push the workpiece anymore. If your material gets stuck in the planer, turn the machine off, lower the table with the handwheel and remove the material carefully. Never reach inside the planer; there is a severe risk of injury if you do so!

How To

The Inca automatic planer available at Raplab works best for smaller jobs. Thicknesses of approx. 5-100mm can be processed. The wider your workpiece is, the less material you can remove per pass. An indication of removing too much material is that the motor loses speed, characterized by an audible drop in machine noise.

The picture shows two pine laths. One is in a raw state coming directly from a sawmill, and the other is fresh from the planer. Guess which is which?

Acceptable Materials

Available Machines

  • Max. width: 260mm
  • Max. depth: 160mm


  • Injuries from pinching or bruising your hands
  • Injuries from kick-back
  • Cuts from getting in contact with the cutter head 

Work Safety

  • This machine can only be used under the supervision of a staff member
  • Use only clean solid timber, free of metal pieces (nails, screws, …)
  • The workpiece must be flat on at least one side
  • Never reach inside the planer to remove stock
  • Respect the minimal dimensions that the machine can handle
  • Pay attention to the order of operation; planing before sawing 
  • Do not remove more than 1mm at a time
  • Never put your hand into the machine
  • If your workpiece is stuck in the machine, turn off the machine and lower the table before getting it out.


The planer or thicknesser creates parallel and smooth surfaces on a piece of wood. It is ideal for adjusting the dimensions of a workpiece before cutting it to size and using it in a model of a timber frame building, for spatial grids, or trusses. 
The machines at the Raplab are for precise work on elements for model building and require clean and well-prepared stock to begin with. Rough and uneven timber can not be used, and material of unknown origin should be shown to the staff before use. Safe operation of the machine is unproblematic as long as you comply with the essential work safety rules.