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I've read where someone was badly injured when an end grain chunk tore loose and caused catastrophic failure of the planer sending shrapnel into the user.
I've read somewhere that this story was made up.

In fact, 67.3% of internet claims are unsupported.
 

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Here's the first link that comes up googling among end grain, injuries. I didn't bother going further. http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/end-grain-through-the-planer/

Yes, "tablesaw; injuries" turns up a lot, too. So does "chisel; injuries".

The thing that caught my attention about the claim was its sensational tone: "...catastrophic failure of the planer...", "...shrapnel...". It smacks of everyday Internet scare hyperbole. I didn't read every post at the link, but didn't see anything that seemed to match the claim.

The link did have a number of anecdotes from people who had bad results when doing endgrain planing. Some of these included clues to the reasons: The piece was too short or too thin, or wasn't flat on the underside. The stories often mention these lightweight benchtop planers. One guy even described trying endgrain on a jointer!

Also sprinkled in among the other posts in the link is the voice of reason, saying it is possible to do this safely. They all agree with my experience. To do this right, you need:

A flat-bottomed workpiece not too short or too thin,
Sharp knives,
Light cuts,
A sturdy machine,
A long-grain piece attached to the trailing edge of the work piece,
Some experience, and
Good judgement.

The last two go hand-in-hand, of course. If you don't feel sure you can do it safely, then don't do it.

And no one should be standing in line with the infeed or outfeed of a planer regardless of what's going through it.
 
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