How to Plane Wood Without a Planer

Do you want to know how to plane wood without a planer? You don’t need a power tool in order to get the perfect, smooth surface on your wood. All you have to do is use your hands! To do this, first, remove any bumps and ridges on the wood’s surface with either a knife or chisel. Then sand it down until it’s equal all around. Finally, give it one last coat of paint or varnish for that professional finish.

It doesn’t matter if you’re new at this or an old pro- these tips will help anyone who wants their project done right! And best of all, there are no expensive tools required- just some elbow grease and a little bit of patience.

Planer is an expensive tool that most people will not buy just for occasional use. So if you need to plane down a piece of wood and do not have a planer available, here are some alternatives on how to plane wood without a planer.

5 Ways On How to Plane Wood Without a Planer

Plane surface wood is most important when you are making furniture. Having a plane and smooth wood surface is not only easy to work with, but it looks much better after you are finished. Of course, you can always get a planer, but if you are in need of one and don’t have it or do not want to purchase it, here are five alternatives.

1. Using Sandpaper:


Planing wood with sandpaper is the first alternative to using a power surface planer. It is also one of the easiest and most effective alternatives. When planing wood using sandpaper you must follow this step.

You will need: When you plane a wood surface with sandpaper, you will need sandpaper and a small wooden box.

Step 1: Get Ready

Flatten the wood and sand it with a piece of sandpaper. Do this until there are no bumps or ridges on the surface.

Step 2: Get Your Box Ready

Take the cover off, remove any nails in the box, and take off any hinges that hold its lid to the bottom part of the box. Once you have done that, you should be able to turn it into a plane by putting your sandpaper in between the lid and bottom part of the box.

Step 3: Start to Plane With Your Box

Press down lightly on both ends of your box while holding it securely in your hands. You should notice that all bumps are gone from your wood when you are finished planing.

2. Using a Drum Sander:

Drum Sander

A drum sander is a great tool for anyone who does woodworking as a hobby or as a part of their job. It can be used for large or small projects. If you already have a drum sander, you can use it instead of purchasing an expensive planer. It will work just as well, and you won’t have to worry about splinters or ridges.

You will need: A drum sander, Jig, and an extension cord are all you will need to get the job done.

Step 1: Prepare the Jig

The Jig is the easiest way to use a drum sander. It allows you to have more control over where you are planing and will give your project a smoother finish.

To prepare the Jig, remove the sanding belt and put it in between two pieces of wood. Hold the Jig up to the drum sander and screw it together. Make sure to use a lot of screws so that the Jig will be secure.

Step 2: Get Ready to Use the Drum Sander

With the sanding belt in place, plug in your drum sander. You will know that it is ready to go when the on and off buttons light up.

Step 3: Start Sanding Your Project

Place your project flat against the drum and start to sand. Keep the belt flat across the wood and use a light touch. Light pressure will help you get more control over your project and will make it easier to keep the belt flat.

3. Using a Miter Saw:

Miter Saw

A miter saw looks a lot as a table saw, but its blade is much smaller and it can be used to make different kinds of cuts other than crosscuts. This tool works great for making wood boards flat, though you should wear safety glasses while doing so as pieces might fly up into the air! Make sure to use the push stick that comes with your miter saw or another one before using it! You will also need sandpaper to make the board smooth once you are done cutting it down if needed.

You will need Miter Saw, Jig, Push Stick, and sandpaper for the finishing touch.

Step 1: Prepare Your Jig

The Jig for this project is very simple. Make sure the board fits securely in the Jig so you won’t have to worry about it falling out or sliding around.

Step 2: Cut Your Board Down to Size

Place your board against the cutting guide and start to cut your wood down to size. Make sure that both sides of the wood are facing up before making your cuts!

4. Using a Jointer:


A jointer looks similar to an wood planer, but it works differently since its blades run alongside each other rather than one blade cutting into another like what happens with an electric planer. It has six blades total, which makes it great for creating panels made out of different kinds of wood all stuck together nicely (with the help of wood glue). You will need to make sure that you are using a wood jointer designed for straight edges – otherwise, it won’t work!

A jointer is another great alternative to an electric surface planer. It can be used on many different kinds of boards with any excess wood shaved off.

You will need: Jointer, Jig, and a clamp or two to hold your board in place.

Step 1: Prepare Your Jig

The Jig for this project is very simple as well. Make sure it is wide enough for your board to fit into and that the clamps are attached securely enough that they don’t move when you try pulling the board out. If it doesn’t stay in place while being pulled, there won’t be any way to get your board flat.

Step 2: Place the Board in the Jig and Run it Through

Place your wood inside of the Jig and use a clamp or two to hold it into place if needed. Ensure that you have a firm grip on the handle before turning on the machine! Once everything is set, pull down firmly on the handle until you have reached your desired thickness. Be careful when removing your board from the Jig as well since it might not come out easily!

ALSO READ: How to Fix an Exhaust Leak without Welding: Exhaust Maintenance

You can always check to see if it’s done by running a finger along one side – if its rough, keep going! If it’s smooth, stop shaving off wood but don’t remove too much at once, or else the board might warp.

5. Using a Router:


A router is the most versatile of all the tools you can use when it comes to making your board flat. You can adjust so many different parts of this tool and they all work in conjunction with one another. It requires a good understanding of wood and how it works since there are multiple steps involved and every option has its own purpose for helping you get rid of excess wood. You will need sandpaper once again in order to make the surface smooth after you have used a wood router on it.

You will need: The Jig, router (with at least two blades), wood fences (to place under panels), push stick, clamps or bar-lock, sandpaper, straight edge, and router bit.

Step 1: Prepare Your Fences and Jig

For this project, we will need two wood fences. They should be placed underneath your board to help it stay in place while being worked on. You can use clamps to hold the board in place as well before routing it if needed. It’s important that these pieces are attached securely enough so nothing slips out of place while getting rid of excess wood!

Step 2: Measure and Mark Out Your Board

To get started properly with routing, mark out how much excess wood needs to be removed from each side. This is where having a planer comes in handy because it will make the process a lot easier! Once you have your markings set, clamp down both fences and a straight edge to the side of your board. Use one hand to push your push stick firmly against the fence as well as on top of the board so that everything is secure.

Step 3: Rout Your Board With the Bit That You Want

Remember that putting a router bit with a very small blade on may result in less accurate cuts. Start off slowly with an all-purpose route bit, then switch to smaller ones if needed. Make sure that you have control over where you are cutting since it’s easy for this tool to go astray! It’s also important to remember not to put any pressure on the bit to ensure that your cuts are consistent.

If you don’t plan on using clamps, just make sure you have a firm grip on the Workmate or whatever else you might be using for stability before turning it on! Once everything is set up, turn the router on and let it do its job.

Keep in mind that if you are not making flat boards but need to flatten an entire board, this method will be time-consuming! If you only need to remove excess wood from one part of your board, use an electric planer instead.


If you want a smooth surface, planers are the best tool to use. It’s not impossible to find a second option, but it may take a little extra effort. You can eventually substitute the above-mentioned guide for helpful alternatives, even if they take some time. Remember that your patience will be rewarding in the end!

Create the perfect wood surface with this ultimate guide to planning. This handbook covers how to plane wood without a planer, using a Jig and regular router!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *