Planer Machine: Definition, Parts, And Types

What is A Planer Machine?

A planer is a type of metalworking machine tool that uses the linear relative motion between the workpiece and a single-point cutting tool to cut the workpiece. A planer is similar to a shaper but larger, and with workpiece moving, whereas in a shaper the cutting tool moves.

Planer, metal-cutting machine in which the workpiece is firmly attached to a horizontal table that moves back and forth under a single-point cutting tool.

The tool-holding device is mounted on a cross rail so that the tool can be fed (moved) across the table in small, discrete, sideward movements at the end of each pass of the table.

Since the cutting tool can be moved at almost any angle, a wide variety of grooves and surfaces can be generated. The length and speed of its table travel also may be adjusted.

Mechanical planers, or surfacers, also are used for smoothing wood to an even thickness. The planer consists of a frame, a bed that can be moved up and down, feed rolls, a feeding mechanism, and a cylindrical cutting head holding three or more knives that pare off the excess wood.

Models range from the single planer, which smooths one surface of a board at a time, to machines that can finish several surfaces simultaneously. Planer sizes are indicated by the width of work that can be accommodated, ranging from 45 to 125 cm (18 to 50 inches).

planer machine

Parts of Planer Machine

The planer machines generally include the following parts: –

  • Bed: It is a box like heavy structure made of cast iron. It consists of slots, generally V-slots, over its surface for the movement of table. It supports the columns and bears all the machining loads; also, it houses the movement mechanism for the table.
  • Table: The table is also a rectangular structure made of high-quality cast iron. Its main function is to support the work piece and reciprocates along with the slots of the bed. The upper surface of table is machined very fane and accurately so to avoid any kind of dimensional error in the work piece during the planning operation.
  • Column (Housing): The column is vertical box like structure which is set perpendicular on both side of the bed. Its main function is to provide the housing for the side tool head and support the cross rail. Apart from this, it also houses the movement mechanisms for the cross rail.
  • Cross Rail: Cross rail is the horizontal structure that fits over the bed by the support of columns. The cross rail houses the vertical tool head and provides additional rigidity to the machine. It can move up or down by the help of lead screw housed in the column.
  • Tool Heads: There are generally three tool heads provided in a planer machine. The top tool head is to fit the tool for the machining of upper surface of work piece whereas the side ones are for the machining of side surface of the work piece.

Types of Planer Machine

1. Double housing planer machine

This is one of the most common types of planer machines used in most workshops. It comprises a long heavy base having accurately machined guideways that allow a table to reciprocates on it. The length is twice the length of the table.

There are two vertical housings mounted close to the middle of the bed one on each side, which is connected at the top by a cross member.

In the horizontal cross rail, two tool heads slide over the vertical faces of the housings. These tool heads can be operated with power or by hand in the crosswise or vertical direction in order to give a feed.

Additionally, there are two other tool heads placed on the vertical face of the housing, it can move in a vertical and horizontal direction to offer the feed.  Driving this planer table, mechanical or hydraulic devices may be used.

2. Open side planer machine

These types of planer machines have only one housing on one side of the base. Unlike the double housing that enables two, three tool heads can be featured in this machine and a single housing takes up the entire. however, it is rigid and robust to resist the forces.

The cross rail carries the tool head which can move vertically and horizontally and it can slide vertically along the guideways of the housing. Another tool head is fitted on the housing and it is also in the same direction as the other.

3. Pit planer machine

A pit type of planer machine has a massive construction in which the table is kept in a pit in a stationary position. The column that carries the cross rail reciprocates on a horizontal rail that is on both sides of the table.

The table of this machine is designed to feature very heavy work as it is made a level with the floor. This helps heavy work to be easily loaded. The cross rail is carrying two tool heads and can be moved both vertically and horizontally to make a cut. A driving screw is used in this machine to drive the column by the means of a motor.

4. Edge planer machine

An edge planer is known as a plate planer. It is used for squaring and beveling the edges of steel plates that are used in shipbuilding works and for different pressure vessels. The table that carries the workpiece remains stationary and the work is clamped by air-operated clamps.

The tool head that is mounted on the carriage moves towards two horizontal guideways on a base front. There is a space for the operator on the carriage in order to moves along with it. The tool on the carriage reciprocates past the edge of the plate.

5. Divided table planer machine

This machine consists of two tables on the bed that can reciprocate separately or together. This feature makes operation must faster, making it suitable for mass production work where identical work is to be performed.

This is achieved by loading the work on one of the tables and the other reciprocates past the cutting tool for the finishing work. The table stopped after the work is done and removed by shifting the table to the end.

For heavy-duty and large jobs, the two tables will be clamp together and the reciprocating movement occurs under the tool for machining.

Advantages of Planer Machine

Here are the advantages of Planer Machine:

  • Provide a better surface finish.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Good Accuracy
  • At a time 2 or 3 tools (Single Point cutting tool) are performed which is very good to get work fast.
  • Here also the main advantage is that we can use one tool at a time.

Disadvantages of Planer Machine

These are some disadvantages of Planner Machine:

  • The price is high.
  • Only one tool Single point cutting tool is used.
  • Skilled worker (Must have knowledge of machines) required for operating machine
  • Power consumption is more.

Application of Planer Machine

Following are the advantages of Planner Machine:

  • Using this machine for generating a good flat surface.
  • A planer machine can remove a good amount of material from the workpiece at a time with good accuracy because here the multiple tools are fitted.
  • More number of cutting slots.
  • It is also used for Cutting at an angle.