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Is it me or the planer?

by lumberjoe
posted 06-13-2012 02:41 PM


40 replies so far

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4138 posts in 1609 days


#1 posted 06-13-2012 03:01 PM

If you’re planing a 1/2 off of the original (5/4 down to 3/4) on a nine-foot board, that’s gonna cause a lot of shavings. I’d try to resaw it closer to 3/4 myself before planing it. Or sometimes I’ll get a lot of the material out with a scrub plane first as well.

So what happens when you try to plane off more stock at a time?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10858 posts in 1664 days


#2 posted 06-13-2012 03:02 PM

It does take a while to shave off that much lumber especially if you’re taking light passes, say 1/64 or 1/32, but that seems kinda long. When you think about it you’re probably making 36 passes through the planer to get to 3/4 so it not really that far out of the realm of reality. I dont think youre doing anything wrong the lumber is just thick. Best bet would be to let someone elses machine do the heavy lifting and plane down one side to save wear and tear.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Don W's profile

Don W

15045 posts in 1225 days


#3 posted 06-13-2012 03:28 PM

So I have saw milled my own lumber for a while. I just upgraded from a chainsaw mill to a bandsaw mill. Since I’m never sure I usually cut a little large as well. I only have a ryobi lunchbox planer. Its on my want list to upgrade. That said, I can plane enough lumber for a reasonable size project in a few hours with a little left over.

Your times are long. It should take less than a minute to take 1/16” through the planer(one pass). Even counting a minute to get it off the planer, look at it, admire your work, grab a drink and run it back through, your at 30/16” (or almost 2”) in an hour.

If your planer is that slow, there is something wrong other than its a craftsman.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View jmos's profile

jmos

681 posts in 1027 days


#4 posted 06-13-2012 03:39 PM

Those times do seem excessively long. My 735 has two settings, rough and fine, which sets the speed of the feed rollers. Any chance yours has something similar?

Have you located a manual; might list the feed speed. At least you would know if it was working up to spec.

Does the wood feed smoothly? Could the feed rollers be slipping on the stock? Or the drive belt/chain slipping and not driving the feed rollers properly? I’d start taking it apart and poking around for something strange.

-- John

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#5 posted 06-13-2012 03:41 PM

I’d like to resaw, but I don’t have a bandsaw, and I don’t think I can afford a bandsaw that could slice a 9 foot long 9” wide hardwood board.
Don W, that’s kind of what I was getting at. A 16th would stall out the planer about 3/4 of the way through a 9 foot board. I usually take about a 64th off each side.When I get impatient, I do 1/32”, but the planer isn’t happy about it. As I mentioned, my only other planer experience is a gigantic one at the mill that the owner lets me use to plane my purchased wood. I take off 1/4 on each side on the first passes at high speed, then 1/8th (or whatever gets me to 3/4) off each side after. So a total of 4 trips through the planer, and I can usually do 3 boards at a time. Total planing time is about 5 minutes

I know I am not going to get anywhere near that level of speed with any planer that would fit in my garage, but taking of 1/16 or even better – 3/32 at a time would be awesome! That would cut my time down to about 20 passes and about 35 to 45 minutes.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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CharlieM1958

15698 posts in 2876 days


#6 posted 06-13-2012 03:45 PM

Also make sure the bed is perfectly clean. As soon as mine gets the slightest bit dusty, the feed wheels start to slip and lumber feeds slowly.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#7 posted 06-13-2012 03:53 PM

The feed rate is consistent (listed at 26 FPM) and smooth. I just have to take shallow passes or it trips the internal breaker. I do need to use an extension cord, but it’s beefy and short (12 feet long, 8 AWG) which is well within the spec according to the manual.

I originally bought this planer because I plan on building some mission style tables and need 3/8” stock for the slats. I figured since I had a planer it would save me .50/bf at the mill. That savings evaporates in the form of time and electricity. This planer has some miles on it too, it’s manufacture date was 2007. I picked it up at the owners shop and judging by the shop he has and the amount of stock laying around, I’d say it was used regularly. I’ll have a quick look to make sure everything is tight.

Also, I wax the bed and the tables before each use.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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CharlieM1958

15698 posts in 2876 days


#8 posted 06-13-2012 03:57 PM

What type of wood? I notice a huge difference in the performance of my lunchbox planer depending on the hardness of what I’m running through it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#9 posted 06-13-2012 04:00 PM

Red Oak

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 922 days


#10 posted 06-13-2012 04:12 PM

Hmm… I fed 12” wide green red oak 5/4 rough through the DW735 and it tripped the breaker a few times as well anytime I tried to go much beyond 1/16-1/32” (that’s a small range in my opinion).

Your extension cord seems to be well within spec like you said, but does your outlet allow for enough amps? Once I changed outlets on mine to a higher amp’d one, the problem seemed to go away for me.

Also, how sharp are the knives? Dull knives tend to drag the motor a lot.

Are both ends of the board well-supported?

Personally, I’d get a bandsaw if I were you and slice it down closer to 3/4”. You seem to be wasting a lot of wood just planing it down. And, in doing so, you’re probably wasting a lot of time too. Just a thought.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#11 posted 06-13-2012 04:22 PM

Doss, great questions:
1 – it’s a dedicated 110v outlet on a 30amp breaker. Nothing is running on that circuit except the planer (even the lights are on a separate circuit). I recently redid the electrical in my shop and put in quite a few dedicated outlets.

2 – knives are right out of the package. The package looks to be several years old, but it is sealed.

I am wasting a lot of time and wood for sure. My only “consolation” if you want to call it that, is I am playing for 4/4. And red oak runs me 2.00/bf. I do plan on getting a band saw, and may already have one lined up, but I’m sure it would also need to be pretty beefy as I like to keep my boards wide. I’ve been burned before with ripping before planing. Once planed I saw a few knots that I would definitely have cut around, but now have no choice.

Also, My trash guys would appreciate it a lot more. That’s 2 less contractor bags of chips they would have to throw in the truck.

3 – Edit – yes, I have roller stands supporting the board, both infeed and outfeed

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1078 days


#12 posted 06-13-2012 04:25 PM

A 12” wide requires a minimum cut depth in a lunchbox.

If this were a 3” to 4” wide board you’d get away with up to 1/8” per pass.
That poor motor just can’t pull that much load.

Often, if I know I have thicker stock, I’ll adjust my plans to use 1” boards instead of 3/4”. Saves time, looks beefier. If it doesn’t make any difference functionally or asthetically, why bother with all the wood chips?

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View jmos's profile

jmos

681 posts in 1027 days


#13 posted 06-13-2012 04:30 PM

Joe, have you done the math on the feed rate? Does it feed at, or close to, the spec’d 26fpm? If yes, I think you’re probably getting all this little guy can give you. If not, something is slowing it up which you can work on
(wax the bed, clean the feed rollers, check the drive chain…)

-- John

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#14 posted 06-13-2012 04:42 PM

It’s pretty close. I get about 24fpm out of it. As I mentioned I wax the bed a lot. I will check the v belt and the drive chain later on, but I think you are right, that I am at capacity with this little trooper. What I was really curious about is if I drop 500$ ( I could easily get 100$ for this one) on a Dewalt or similar lunchbox, am I going to see a marked improvement? In order to be worth it for me to plane at home and save the extra change, I would expect the entire process (9’ long, 8” wide red oak) to take about 35 to 45 minutes.

If I am still looking at an hour and a half + for something like that, I will invest in another tool I need and bring my lumber home S2S

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Don W's profile

Don W

15045 posts in 1225 days


#15 posted 06-13-2012 04:45 PM

Something like a dewalt 735 would certainly show an improvement.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#16 posted 06-13-2012 04:54 PM

I would think so dw, but in order to make it worth my investment, it would need to be a drastic (75%) improvement. The “little craftsman that could” actually serves it’s intended purpose quite well, it’s just cleaning rough cut lumber that I am having gripes with. Since I can get it done very quickly and very inexpensively, replacing my planer with a new one would require the new one to be at least 75% faster, otherwise it is not worth my time.

can any DW735 owners comment on how long it takes to get get rough sawn 4/4 hardwoods down to 3/4? I realize this time varies due to species and overall dimensions, but any basic info would help.

And DS251, I like to keep things at 3/4. I am building furniture for the same room now, so aesthetically it is important. Matching aside, I often prefer delicate to beefy when it comes to household furniture. Plus I would have to do a lot of retooling to work at an inch as I have already built a lot of jigs that take the 3/4 thickness into account

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1012 days


#17 posted 06-13-2012 05:06 PM

Well it’s mostly that you are running oak and probably hard maple through it, with other woods such as poplar you’d probably have different results, you’d be able to take a 1/16th easy. But none of the lunch box planers regardless of brand are designed to take more than a 1/16th in a pass, if you try this, you may warp the feed rollers and outfeed rollers which I have seen done, along with shattered sprockets (which sent shrapnel flying past my head)....

It’s mostly just that you are starting out with 5/4 lumber, you are taking off 1/2 inch in 64th inch passes. Just takes a long time. However, the blades they make for this kind of planer…. they aren’t a nice industrial carbide blade, they are a cheap steel blade and believe it or not they wear out pretty quick. If you’ve spent several hours running on red oak, you need to check these blades they may be dull, and need replacing or sharpening if you can pull that off.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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CharlieM1958

15698 posts in 2876 days


#18 posted 06-13-2012 05:07 PM

Joe, all you had to say was red oak for me to start nodding my head.

My Ridgid planer really struggles on red oak. I’ve planed sizable amounts of walnut and padauk without an issue, but the oak has always been extremely slow going.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View jmos's profile

jmos

681 posts in 1027 days


#19 posted 06-13-2012 05:18 PM

The manual for the 735 says its feed speeds are 14fpm and 26fpm (finish and rough cuts). It’s a 15amp motor with a max cut of 1/8”.

As the feed speeds are the same, I’d look at the motor for you craftsman; if its a lot less than 15amp, the 735 might be a lot faster as you could take heavier cuts. If they’re close, I’d want to try out the deWalt before dropping the money on it.

I’d offer to let you try mine, but it’s a long drive the Jersey.

-- John

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jmos

681 posts in 1027 days


#20 posted 06-13-2012 05:20 PM

Another thought, if the specs are close to the rest of the lunchbox planers out there you could consider a segmented cutter head upgrade. Those carbide teeth stay sharp a lot longer.

-- John

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2925 posts in 1145 days


#21 posted 06-13-2012 05:23 PM

It’s used. It’s Old, It’s tired.

Clean the armature and replace the brushes. While you are at it, clean and grease the bearings.

Come’on, this isn’t rocket surgery…. If your 15amp motor isn’t running to spec, it’s got a problem as evidenced by the internal breaker tripping.

(edit)

Then quit trying to make the planer do the job of a band saw or a table saw. You don’t have an industrial unit that will take off 1/4” at a time. You have a hobbyist/homeowner unit built for light use.

From 5/4 to 3/4 is a loss of a 1/2” of wood and for what your buying, you are losing a bunch of your money to waste.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1012 days


#22 posted 06-13-2012 05:23 PM

I wouldn’t try it though, not on some woods Jmos, it’s just not always the best thing to do.

Oh and the guy who blew up the drive sprocket… was planing an eighth off of TEAK! But as “master carpenter” as he claimed to be, he sure sent alot of shrapenel and debris flying past my head on many an occasion now that I think about it.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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jmos

681 posts in 1027 days


#23 posted 06-13-2012 05:28 PM

I was quoting specs, not making recommendations. Sounds to me like the planers are similar spec.

I agree the motor doesn’t sound like it’s working properly.

-- John

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#24 posted 06-13-2012 05:29 PM

Thanks guys and I think you answered my question. TCCaminetmaker kind of confirmed my suspicions. Even with a really good lunchbox planer, it’s going to take me a while to surface rough cut lumber. I primarily work with Oak (red and white) and hard maple. My projects usually require between 20 and 50 bf at a time, so it makes sense to pay the .50/bf change at the mill.

Even if something like the DW735 cuts me down to an hour, that is still not worth my time. The board in question is about 6.25 BF. getting that planed would cost me about 3$ and save me 55 minutes. 3 dollars is definitively worth 55 minutes of my time, plus wear and tear on someone elses blades, and someone elses electric bill.

I’ll keep my planer for thicknessing wood down past 3/4 and evening out glue-ups.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#25 posted 06-13-2012 05:34 PM

Dallas, I believe the machine is up to spec, just not up to my expectations and I am pushing it a little hard. Spending half a day at the planer is never something I want to do. It sounds like even if I get a really good lunchbox, I am still limited to less than 1/6th per pass.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1012 days


#26 posted 06-13-2012 05:35 PM

No, oak you should be getting at like 3 for a bf, I don’t even pay 3 for 4/4 red oak…. which is whatever times 50bf. Now, If you are doing this full time, and making tables and what not to sell a smaller 12 powermatic industrial style would probably be alot better, and at say if you’re just saving 50$ a project milling your own it wouldn’t take too long to pay the planer off.

But 6.25 for 4/4 red oak ??? I just got some of the red oak for my last project at 6/4 and it only cost 2.89 a board foot, the 4/4 cost me like 2.39…. and it’s kiln dried…

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#27 posted 06-13-2012 05:46 PM

No, I think you misread. I pay 2.00/bf for red oak (kd), 2.10 for white oak (kd), and 3.00 for hard maple (kd). Let me break it down a little and see if it makes more sense:

1 board = 9 feet long x 8 inches wide x 1 inch thick (nominal) is 6 board feet
The planing change is .25 per bf per face, so that is 50. per board foot (S2S)
Planing changes in this case would total 3 dollars

That 6 board feet currently takes me 3 to 4 hours to plane.
Even if that 6 board feet took me an hour to plane, it’s still not worth it to me. I would rather pay 3 dollars and have it done in 5 minutes. Plus at the mill, I can plane 3 of those, or 18 board feet in 5 minutes.

Again, as you mentioned, 18 BF of oak through a planer is probably going to warrant a blade change. Currently a set of blades is 32$. They are not sharpenable but 2 sided, so let’s call it 16 dollars a set.

My planing change at the mill is 9 dollars for all 18 board feet. Even without the cost of the planer and several hours of my time, I am already 7$ ahead of the game on half the cost of a set of knives, not to mention the electricity cost of having a planer and 2hp DC going for several hours.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#28 posted 06-13-2012 05:50 PM

Dallas, again no doubt I am wasting a lot of wood. As I mentioned I am only paying for 4/4 and actually getting close to or over 5/4, but don’t have the luxury of being able to resaw it. If you can tell me how i can resaw an 8” wide board on my table saw, I am all for it. Additionally if you could recommend a bandsaw under 700.00 that can resaw wide, long hardwoods, I am very open to suggestions.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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Dallas

2925 posts in 1145 days


#29 posted 06-13-2012 05:53 PM

Joe, to find out if it’s up to spec get yourself a Kill-a-watt

You’ll be able to see in reall time how hard your machine is working.

As you said previously, the internal breaker trips and to me that means that the motor is drawing more amperage than it’s designed for.

(Edit)
Even though you may not agree, HF sells a nice 14” bandsaw for $400 and the Rikon riser fits like it was built for it.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#30 posted 06-13-2012 05:56 PM

I have a few of those actually, I throw it on, good idea! I trip the breaker because I get impatient and try to take a 3/32’s bite out of the wood. That is the max depth of cut this planer is rated for, but after about 6 or 7 feet, it starts to get REALLY angry. I do still plan on taking our advice and cleaning everything up and inspecting belts and chains.

I just saw your edit. I’ve often considered that saw, but I was not aware there are riser blocks available for it. If the riser blocks give it over 10” of resaw capacity, I think I found my fathers day present :)

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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Doss

779 posts in 922 days


#31 posted 06-13-2012 06:14 PM

Remember the 20% coupons that they (HF) normally stick in truck magazines and wood magazines.

I must be lucky. I just ordered 1000 bf of rough cut Western Red cedar. I told him I needed S4S and asked how much he’d charge… 8 cents a foot. He said, “I know that’s a little pricey, but you know it’ll save you some time.”

Good thing because I was about to rip and plane all those boards on the 735 and tablesaw which would have no taken me hours no doubt about it.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Dusty2004's profile

Dusty2004

22 posts in 833 days


#32 posted 06-13-2012 06:23 PM

Depending on where you are you can get Red Oak for about 1.69 bf. I live in west central PA.

Dusty

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#33 posted 06-13-2012 07:01 PM

Wow, that’s a good price Dusty. I am pretty happy paying 2.00 per bf for the red oak I get. It really is FAS quality and I can use more than 90% of the board after I plane it. In fact 2 of the boards I just got were about 100% usable after I took a blade kerf off of each end. I know red oak has really fallen out of favor lately with most woodworkers, but I love working with it.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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Mainiac Matt

4014 posts in 986 days


#34 posted 06-13-2012 08:32 PM

I have an older Delta 12” lunch box and I limit my cuts to 1/16”, as the planer is working pretty darn hard (based on the noise it makes) to do that.

I enjoy working with red oak too… and just processed 75 BF for my latest project.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1311 posts in 1467 days


#35 posted 06-13-2012 09:01 PM

Joe, red oak is probably my most used species. Your paying a fair price. As for your planer situation: I t is not designed for that type use. It will do it somewhat but it will cry along the way. One problem I see with the small planers (lunchbox type) is they do not have adjustible bed rollers which are a big benefit while planing rough sawn lumber. Your dragging the bed for the duration of your planing. They are designed for short runs of somewhat smooth lumber. It would be well worth the extra money to buy surfaced unless you handle lots of lumber. Enjoy the journey !

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#36 posted 06-19-2012 05:18 PM

I found the problem with the stalling/tripping breaker, and it’s annoying enough for me to replace this if I can’t fix it. The crank on the top of the planer has a tendency to vibrate and lower itself when it is anywhere in the 12:00 to 4:00 position. It travels quite a bit too, which:

1: leaves a nasty snipe in the work piece and planes unevenly
2: takes way too big of a bite out of the wood

I’ve taken it apart, tightened everything down, still no improvement. If I hold it in position, it operates well but that’s not something I want to keep doing and with really long boards it’s not really possible while still supporting the work piece. Is this indicative of any planer without a cutter head lock?

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 944 days


#37 posted 06-19-2012 06:08 PM

I have a DW734 and I’ve been planing hard maple and walnut. The widest boards are about 9 and a half inches. But most are 7 or 8 inches wide. A 7 or 8 foot board with very light cuts takes me about 20 minutes to go from a heavy 5/4 to 3/4.

Pass, flip, pass… I keep taking a little off each side. Sometimes feels like I’m doing more walking than planing, but it gets done. Mostly taking just a quarter turn on the wheel which if memory serves is 1/64th. I can tell the difference between a 7 inch board and a 9 and a half inch wide board. Haven’t done a 12 yet :)

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#38 posted 06-19-2012 06:24 PM

Charlie, I wish I could take a quarter turn each pass! I do about 1/8 of a turn then flip, so it takes me 8 turns to get a 16th. I can take a half turn on a piece 2 to 3” wide – and that is my problem with the planer tripping the breaker. The adjustment knob will drift a bit and instead of 1/8 of a turn, it ends up being 3/4 turn and that happens halfway through the board.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

399 posts in 1852 days


#39 posted 06-19-2012 06:38 PM

Sounds like you’ve found one of your problems. I hate to mention it but it happens more often than we’d like to admit. When you put the new blades in did you put them in in the right direction?

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 906 days


#40 posted 06-19-2012 06:46 PM

Jeff, I did. They are disposable blades and they are indexed and reversible, so it is impossible to install them wrong.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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