This study was carried out to determine the planing properties and surface roughness of naturally grown Oriental beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky.), Anatolian chestnut (Castenea sativa Mill), Black alder (Alnus glutinosa subsp. Barbata (CA. Mey.) Yalt.), Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), and Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis (L.) Link.) grown in the eastern Black sea region of Turkey. The tests were conducted according to ASTM 1666 and DIN 4768. Test specimens were prepared from the lumber cut tangentially from logs. The machining process was carried out on a cabinet planer machine. Mainly, the effects of the rake angle and the feed speed were investigated. The cutting depth was constant with 1.6 mm. The Oriental spruce resulted in the lowest machining performance among the samples. The machining performance of the specimen increased as the feed speed or the rake angle decreased. All of the samples except the Anatolian chestnut showed lower surface roughness values. The surface roughness is found not to be affected by the feed speed, but by the rake angle. In addition, lower surface roughness values were observed for the latewood than the earlywood. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.