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Robinson Thicknesser VZ/T
Machine Workshop (Room G24)
Level 03 - Machine Certification


A thicknesser is a woodworking machine to trim boards to a consistent thickness throughout their length and flatten both surfaces. A thicknesser consists of three elements: a cutter head which contains the cutting knives; a set of rollers which draw the board through the machine; and a table which is adjustable relative to the cutter head to control the resultant thickness of the board.

Video of Operation

Health and Safety

  • The thicknesser is a power tool that has the potential to cause serious injury if used incorrectly. Always exercise extreme caution when using the equipment. NEVER touch the blades or other moving parts during use. The blade can easily cut fingers and other body parts.
  • Familiarise yourself with the emergency stop buttons on the machine. Always turn the machine off when not in use. NEVER leave the machine unattended while in use.
  • Ensure the dust extractor gate is opened before use and closed when finished.
  • Use push sticks, fences and safety guards wherever possible.
  • Do not try to machine timber less than 500mm in length.
  • Do not try and remove more than 3mm in each pass.
  • Do not allow hands to pass in front of the table.
  • Stand to one side while the machine is operating.
  • Only feed work that is horizontal and square into the machine.
  • Please see workshop staff if there are any issues with the machines operation. Please do not attempt to make any adjustments without prior approval.

Operation Instructions

  • Turn on dust extractor: Turn on dust extractor and open the dust extractor gate.
  • Prepare the workspace: Ensure the workplace is clear. See a staff member to unlock the machines power supply.
  • Set trimming amount: Measure the materials thickness and subtract no more than 3mm from the dimension. Set the thickness to this dimension using the dial on the machine.
  • Machine material: Feed work into the thickness planer ensuring it is horizontal and square to the machine. Stand to one side of the material when machining. Do not place your hands on top of the material.
  • Shut down and Remove material: Use the mushroom switch to turn off the machine. Remove the material and clear away any dust and offcuts from both the machine and floor. See a workshop staff member to lock the machines power supply.

Workmanship Considerations

  • The thicknesser can create smooth shaped boards with constant thickness. It can be an important tool because it can smooth out an irregular piece of wood and level it to a thickness needed for a project.
  • It is best to reduce the timber in small increments. Taking off too much too quickly is not only dangerous but can damage the material and the machine. Do not try to machine more than 3mm at each pass.
  • The thicknesser requires flat square edges in order to work effectively. This can be achieved by using the planer prior to feeding the material through.