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wood thickness

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Blog entry by BigD184321 posted 12-01-2016 12:40 AM 665 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

What can I expect in minimum thickness on a table top planner like a Dewalt, General, Ridgid etc. Can I plane to 3/32nd…..1/16th, 1/8th. Any help will make life much easier. Thanks.



8 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

26317 posts in 2121 days


#1 posted 12-01-2016 12:44 AM

Most claim 1/8”

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5376 posts in 2596 days


#2 posted 12-01-2016 02:22 AM

Mine claims 1/8”, but I would suffer pretty heavy tearout cutting that thin with straight knives. I have since switched to a helical head, and can now get down to 1/8” without issues.

If I want thinner veneers (usually to cover one or more sides of leg stock), I glue on a thicker piece to the leg blank. Then I can plane it to desired thickness after the glue cures. In that case I can get the veneer down to 1/16” or less.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bhuvi's profile

bhuvi

97 posts in 324 days


#3 posted 12-01-2016 01:47 PM

-- Do NOT click links. Spammer in the process of being removed.

View Rich's profile

Rich

1713 posts in 372 days


#4 posted 12-01-2016 02:30 PM

It depends on the wood. I’ve taken smooth-grained wood, like maple, down to 3/32”, but trying to do the same with ash recently resulted in massive tear-out, leaving voids in the board.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

391 posts in 1752 days


#5 posted 12-01-2016 06:13 PM

I think it also has to do with how much material you are removing per pass. Taking shallower cuts should yield less tear out. Another method is to attach you work piece to a backer board with double sided tape.

View Rich's profile

Rich

1713 posts in 372 days


#6 posted 12-01-2016 06:36 PM

It’s interesting that the depth of cut is mentioned. I always thought that taking really shallow cuts as I approached my final thickness would give less tear out, but in a video I just watched on 360 Woodworking, Glen Huey says it’s just the opposite. He says that on shallow cuts, the blades are skimming across the surface and result in more tear out than if you are doing a deeper cut.

Seems counter-intuitive, but I’ll be giving it a shot when I start my next door. Since I have to plane 8/4 lumber down to 1-3/8”, it sure would save me some time if I could do it in fewer passes, cutting deeper on each one. Not to mention the benefit of getting a better surface.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5376 posts in 2596 days


#7 posted 12-02-2016 05:22 AM

Straight blades vs. helical cuttetheads have the biggest impact on tearout.
Much more so than feed direction or depth of cut. Those may have a small effect, but helical cuttetheads flat out fix the problem.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Jon3's profile

Jon3

497 posts in 3888 days


#8 posted 12-02-2016 10:47 PM

Mine says 1/8, but its just a preset stop. I think it can be cranked lower.

But more importantly, beyond that point, you’re going to start to run out of structural integrity on the board itself. Softwoods, for instance, could go from tearout to torn apart.

If you plan on doing a lot of thin cuts, then I’d consider a drum sander or handplanes.

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