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Is it possible to completely eliminate snipe?

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Forum topic by roha2236 posted 01-02-2016 12:08 AM 1169 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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roha2236

28 posts in 427 days


01-02-2016 12:08 AM

Hello fellow lumberjocks…after fiddling with my planer (I calibrated the bed roller height) in an effort to minimize the snipe I got the last time I used the machine the result was a big improvement. When I got the piece to my thickness the snipe was barely visible. To be honest, I’m very pleased…but just curious as to whether it’s actually possible to have zero snipe (not just in theory). Thoughts?

The piece of walnut I planed had a difference of just under 0.020” between the actual thickness and the snipe, which is a bit more than 1/64”. Not bad I’d say, and good enough for me (but of course I still chopped it off).

Do most of you simply live with the reality of snipe? If it’s a foregone conclusion, does it really matter how close both thicknesses are?

-- Roman


25 replies so far

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2593 days


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

It really depends on your particular planer. Some will allow you to adjust out the snipe, and some won’t.

I just add 4” to my boards, and cut 2” off of each end to remove the snipe.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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Redoak49

1944 posts in 1450 days


#2 posted 01-02-2016 12:24 AM

My opinion….you can minimize so it is barely noticeable. I did some experiments on two planers and really reduced but still could measure with a digital micrometer a couple thousandths. Some will claim you can get it to zero but I do not have that much time to get rid of a couple thousandths.

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Sarit

514 posts in 2601 days


#3 posted 01-02-2016 12:27 AM

Have you tried lifting the board as it comes out the planer? I think you always have to put some pressure as the board comes out because the infeed roller exerts a lot of force on the board and the moment the wood clears it, it wants to spring into cutterhead.

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TiggerWood

271 posts in 1068 days


#4 posted 01-02-2016 12:33 AM

If the board is flat on the bottom, you shouldn’t get snipe.

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roha2236

28 posts in 427 days


#5 posted 01-02-2016 12:41 AM

Of course I always leave an extra 4” to account for the snipe… but I’m the type who could get carried away from time to time chasing that last thousandth.

I guess I’m just curious if anyone here has managed to do it. Although, I don’t really see the payoff in time spent over chopping a few inches off.

The main adjustment I came across regarding snipe was to the infeed and outfeed tables/rollers. I get why the outfeed table/rollers would benefit from being raised a hair (to reduce or eliminate snipe at the tail end of the piece), but I would guess raising the infeed table/rollers would function to reduce the snipe at the leading end of the piece (if present). Is that correct?

-- Roman

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roha2236

28 posts in 427 days


#6 posted 01-02-2016 12:45 AM



If the board is flat on the bottom, you shouldn t get snipe.

- TiggerWood

I think this is oversimplifying the solution. And, to be clear, the boards are always jointed flat prior to planing. It’s not the flatness, but rather the machine calibration and infeed/outfeed tables/rollers it seems. I highly doubt that everyone who gets snipe on here skipped the step of flattening the board first.

-- Roman

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patcollins

1420 posts in 2327 days


#7 posted 01-02-2016 12:51 AM

Here are some real good pages about snipe and getting rid of it that I have bookmarked over the years.

https://woodgears.ca/jointer/planer_snipe.html

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/dealing-with-planer-snipe/

http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/planer_setup.pdf

Personally I like the sacrificial piece method in front of my board, I haven’t ever found the need to do one after it.

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TiggerWood

271 posts in 1068 days


#8 posted 01-02-2016 12:57 AM

Sorry for the oversimplification. I’m not a man of many words so my comments tend to be short. The only time I have problems with snipe is when the board isn’t flat. My infeed and outfeed roller tops are perfectly parallel to the the bed, basically they are an extension of the bed. I would think that if the rollers were higher of lower, it would cause snipe.

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roha2236

28 posts in 427 days


#9 posted 01-02-2016 12:59 AM



Here are some real good pages about snipe and getting rid of it that I have bookmarked over the years.

https://woodgears.ca/jointer/planer_snipe.html

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/dealing-with-planer-snipe/

http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/planer_setup.pdf

Personally I like the sacrificial piece method in front of my board, I haven t ever found the need to do one after it.

- patcollins

Thanks for the links…I’ll check them out later.

I haven’t actually tried the sacrificial board method, although I’ve seen videos and it does seem to be an excellent work-around to the inevitable. I’d much rather try that over seemingly endless adjustments to the machine and rollers.

-- Roman

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MadMark

977 posts in 914 days


#10 posted 01-02-2016 01:08 AM

You get rid of snipe with a crosscut saw, and plane when things are still long. It occurs when there is downward pressure on the far end of the board causing the board to press hard against the cutter. Slight upwards pressure will help. Railroading (feeding consecutively) can help, but in a one man shop the crosscut method always works perfectly. Snipe ends work well in hidden locations.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View roha2236's profile

roha2236

28 posts in 427 days


#11 posted 01-02-2016 01:16 AM


You get rid of snipe with a crosscut saw, and plane when things are still long. It occurs when there is downward pressure on the far end of the board causing the board to press hard against the cutter. Slight upwards pressure will help. Railroading (feeding consecutively) can help, but in a one man shop the crosscut method always works perfectly. Snipe ends work well in hidden locations.

M

- MadMark

Crosscut method = cut the snipe off with a crosscut sled or chop saw, right?

I suppose it’ll depend on the condition of the boards I’m planing. If it’s pretty and expensive wood I’d opt for the sacrificial board method. If there’s checking at the ends I’d just plane and chop off the snipe.

And FYI, love your secret greeting for woodworkers!

wiggles all ten fingers =)

-- Roman

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MrUnix

4211 posts in 1660 days


#12 posted 01-02-2016 02:31 AM

My infeed and outfeed roller tops are perfectly parallel to the the bed, basically they are an extension of the bed. I would think that if the rollers were higher of lower, it would cause snipe.
- TiggerWood

The manual for my planer specifies setting the bed rollers between 0.1mm to 0.3mm above the table (0.0039” to 0.0118”), or “about the thickness of a postcard”. I do not have any snipe problems except on very thin stock that is somewhat flexible, in which case, I use an aux. sled on the bed. With them set correctly, I do not get any snipe and can’t remember the last time I did. But as mentioned, it depends on the planer – some are more prone (eg: lunchbox types with short beds) than others.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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roha2236

28 posts in 427 days


#13 posted 01-02-2016 02:37 AM



My infeed and outfeed roller tops are perfectly parallel to the the bed, basically they are an extension of the bed. I would think that if the rollers were higher of lower, it would cause snipe.
- TiggerWood

The manual for my planer specifies setting the bed rollers between 0.1mm to 0.3mm above the table (0.0039” to 0.0118”), or “about the thickness of a postcard”. I do not have any snipe problems except on very thin stock that is somewhat flexible, in which case, I use an aux. sled on the bed. With them set correctly, I do not get any snipe and can t remember the last time I did. But as mentioned, it depends on the planer – some are more prone (eg: lunchbox types with short beds) than others.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

May I ask what kind of planer you have? I have a Delta DC380, and at the moment the rollers are 1-1.5 thou above the bed itself. The manual suggests a higher setting when planing rough stock.

-- Roman

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MrUnix

4211 posts in 1660 days


#14 posted 01-02-2016 02:41 AM

May I ask what kind of planer you have?
- roha2236

Makita 2030

(I actually have two… one can be seen here)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View sawdustdad's profile

sawdustdad

131 posts in 347 days


#15 posted 01-02-2016 03:21 AM

I’ve eliminated snipe completely using the only foolproof method. cut it off the end of the board with a crosscut.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Any board cut to length has a 50% probability of being too short.

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