Planer not making everything equal

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Forum topic by Gixxerjoe04 posted 09-21-2015 02:25 AM 860 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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829 posts in 995 days

09-21-2015 02:25 AM

The other day I was milling up some wood to make some serving trays. I had two different boards I was using, ran them through my porter cable planer one right after the other until they were cleaned up. Put them together before applying glue and they were off in thickness probably 1/32”. Ran them through again trying to get them the same thickness but just couldn’t get it perfect. The head doesn’t lock like the dewalts, tried holding the lever to see if that would work perhaps but didn’t, not sure what to do or how to fix it. Really want to make a table next but not being able to get the boards the same thickness would make that a no go. Just had a great craft show this weekend, kind of want to just buy a nice new one. Any idea how to fix this problem before I drop money on a new one.

16 replies so far

View Holbs's profile


1346 posts in 1448 days

#1 posted 09-21-2015 03:58 AM

Hmm…. I’ll take a shot at this.
When I bought my Rigid 4331 13” lunchbox planer, I used it right out of the box with no fine tuning. Somehow by luck or ignorance, all thickness came out identical. When I refurbished my 15” Jet planer, I then learned how to fine tune with a dial indicator all parts necessary for the planer to do it’s job down to 0.001 or so.
I have little experience in planer woes, but my guess would be something is out of alignment: The cutter head to the bed, bed to the infeed roller, bed to the outfeed roller, table rollers as well (my Rigid doesnt have these, but my Jet does). Do you have dial indicators to check that everything is in alignment?

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View TheFridge's profile


5675 posts in 905 days

#2 posted 09-21-2015 04:22 AM

Were they ran through the same spot on the planer? Run a piece through the left side and a piece through the right and make sure the cutterhead isn’t off from left to right. About all I have.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View joey502's profile


482 posts in 936 days

#3 posted 09-21-2015 11:00 AM

I would start by checking that the knives are set correctly. One or more knives could be raised from the cutter head a little causing your problem.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


829 posts in 995 days

#4 posted 09-21-2015 12:26 PM

Yea I have a dial indicator. I ran them through right in the middle butting them up end to end. The knives just sit in their spots, not sure if they’re adjustable or not. I bought it used a couple years ago so I didn’t set it up and I don’t have the manual, could always get it online I’d say. I usually don’t do wide glue ups, so not sure if this is a new problem or not.

View rwe2156's profile


2112 posts in 899 days

#5 posted 09-21-2015 02:36 PM

Its possible the whole head unit is out of parallel to the feed table.

Check the manual you may be able to adjust the tables.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 755 days

#6 posted 09-21-2015 03:06 PM

Cutterhead may not be locked and moving up or down during cut?

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


829 posts in 995 days

#7 posted 09-21-2015 03:31 PM

The cutter head doesn’t lock, at least if it’s suppose to I don’t know how to lock it.

View CharlesA's profile


2973 posts in 1216 days

#8 posted 09-21-2015 03:52 PM

Are they uniformly different, that is, 1/32” off the the entire length and width of the boards?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


829 posts in 995 days

#9 posted 09-21-2015 11:54 PM

Didn’t think about checking that at the time. Will need to run some new stuff in and see what happens.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4824 posts in 2232 days

#10 posted 09-22-2015 12:07 AM

Just a baseline question… did you joint all of the lumber for a flat face before planing? I see some guys trying to plane rough cut or warped lumber, without going through the proper steps.

I’m guessing Porter Cable knives are non-adjustable.

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

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


829 posts in 995 days

#11 posted 09-22-2015 12:17 AM

Yea, I’ve got an 8” grizzly with the byrd head for that job. Should just buy the 15” grizzly planer with the helix head, that’d make me happy but not the wife haha.

View lateralus819's profile


2236 posts in 1308 days

#12 posted 09-22-2015 01:41 AM

I had a similar problem. I was trying to make a banding of sorts. So I planed down some maple to about 1/8” and some bloodwood.

Maple on the outsides. The maple was angled when you look at the end. Couldn’t figure it out…

View dschlic1's profile


324 posts in 1388 days

#13 posted 09-22-2015 05:14 PM

You probably have play in the lead screw(s) which control the up/down movement of the cutter head. I had a similar problem on my old Ryobi A-12. There was about 0.025” of play between the lead screws and the frame. One way to check this is to move the cutter head in one direction(up) place your dial indicator between the head and the base and then push down on the cutter head.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


829 posts in 995 days

#14 posted 09-22-2015 05:18 PM

Gonna clean my garage up tonight and might take it apart and look for any problems. If someone had a 15” for sale around here, I’d probably buy it but they’re pretty rare on cl around here.

View evilbadger's profile


8 posts in 396 days

#15 posted 09-22-2015 05:22 PM

Find the manual online to start.

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