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Thickness Planer Upgrade

By: Erich Lage
Shop-made extensions make it easy to tackle long boards.

I wanted to extend the short tables on my thickness planer, but I don’t have room in my shop for a large, permanent setup. My space-saving solution this set of fold-away tables. Here’s how the tables work. Whenever I need them, I lift the hinged table and pull out a support frame that slides on a set of metal full-extension drawer slides. Next, I level the table and frame and hold it in place while tightening a pair of star knobs.

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This drawing shows how the tables are assembled. There are a couple of things that I should point out. First, the tables are built out of 3/4" melamine, which provides a smooth surface for the workpieces to slide along easily. Second, the tables are bolted to the planer level with the bed, but aren’t attached to the frames. And, third, the assembly is attached to a frame that mounts to the underside of the planer stand.

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Now, I have plenty of support while stock is being planed. And when the planer is not in use, I just slide the frames back and the tables can be lowered out of the way.

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Published: Nov. 13, 2014
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