How to Plane Wood Without a Planer? Simple Woodworking Tips

There are times when you don’t have the right tools or machinery for levelling the wood. In such a scenario, the only option is to make do with an existing tool or look the old ways to get the work done. In carpentry or woodwork, you need to get the dimensions right and thickness of the wood is very important. If the wood is too thick than what you require, then you need a planer to level the wood to its optimum size. However, the whole task gets a bit complicated if you don’t have a planer. Well, don’t worry. In this article, we will guide you through ways with the help of which you can level wood without a planer.

What is a wood planer?

A wood planer is a tool that helps you get the right thickness of the wood. There are a variety of different planes for levelling the wood and it is advised to find the ideal one that fits your requirement. A wooden planer is most commonly preferred over the metal ones by the handyman because wood is, of course, lighter and easy to work with. Levelling the wood with a planer helps you save a lot of time and energy, whereas you will find it tiresome and time-consuming if you are looking for ways on how to level wood without a planer.

Well, what if you don’t have a planer to level the wood? Here’s the tutorial on how to plane a wood without a planer comes handy for the handyman.

How to Plane Wood Without a Planer?

Uneven or unplanned wood is not considered as a furniture charm unless and until you are creating some abstract model. Symmetry is the most important aspect of the woodwork and getting the right thickness of wood is crucial in any woodwork assignment. Well, in order to level or plane the wood, a wood planer is essential.

Since you are reading this article today, we can deduce that you don’t have a planer and you are searching for ways on how to level wood without a planer. To plane the wood without a planer, you can use a power sander or switch to the old ways and manually sand the wood to reach the ideal thickness of the wood.

How to Use Sand Paper for Levelling Wood?

Using a power sander is an easy option compared to sanding the wood manually. However, a power sander is too loud, and it is not capable of working on the tight corners. Hence, it is recommended to use a sandpaper and sand wood manually to get the perfect thickness you require.

To use sandpaper, you need to select the ideal grit sizes. Sandpaper with grit sizes from anywhere from 80 to 220 will work. Ensure that the sandpaper isn’t too rough to eliminate the chances of scratches on the wood.

Step 1


  • Take the 80-grit sized sandpaper and get rid of the unwanted parts of the wood.

Step 2

  • In the next step, it’s time to get rid of the scratches, if any, using a 120-grit sized sandpaper.

Step 3

  • It’s time for smoothening the surface of the wood using a 220-grit sized sandpaper.

Things to Consider While Levelling Wood Without a Planer

Sanding the wood can be a tiring job if the wood sheet is huge, especially if you are trying to level wood without a planer. However, you can take a smarter approach to ease the job of sanding the wood. Use a block of wood and place the sandpaper under the block in such a way that you can use the wood block to grip the sandpaper and continue sanding without much effort. For the corners, you can try using a putty blade by wrapping the sandpaper around it to perform the job efficiently.

If you plan to use a power sander to level the wood, then it is recommended to use two power sanders together instead of one. Using the two power sanders side by side will help you cover a larger surface area, save a lot of time, and ensure the wood is levelled evenly.

A smarter approach to sand the wood manually is to press harder and move faster, whereas you need to switch to a slower process when using a power sander. While sanding manually is faster when you move fast and press harder, the same is not advised on a power sander. A faster and harder approach on a power sander can result in some swirling patterns which you need to cater again later. Just use the weight of your arm without pressing hard and move an inch every second to get the work done using a power sander.

Over to you!

Well, we hope the tutorial on how to plane the wood without a planer is helpful. However, sanding the wood can be a tedious job and it is recommended only for taking out a thin layer from the wood. For taking out a thicker layer, the smart and ideal approach is to get a planer.

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