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R4330 Planer Problem? I'm making hourglasses!!!!

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Forum topic by Cory posted 1332 days ago 1057 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cory

722 posts in 2025 days


1332 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: 4330 planer hourglass problem

I’ve had the 4330 for about a year now. I really haven’t had any problems with it at all. In fact, I’ve been really happy with the planer handling all types and sizes of lumber. Last night I was planing some boards for an end grain cutting board as a Christmas gift. I planed the glued up boards, laid my straight edge across the boards and thought they were flat. i didn’t see any light under the straightedge. I cut the boards into strips and got ready to glue everything up. While dry fitting and checking I noticed a gap in the middle of the board.

I thought maybe I didn’t have enough clamp pressure in the middle so I cranked it down a little more. All of a sudden I had an hourglass shaped cutting board (middle is lower than outside edges). I pulled a piece from the middle and inspected it. After getting out my calipers here’s what I saw:

End

Middle

End

WTF??!!!! Three different measurements?!!! These boards were dead flat and square before glue up. There was a very slight bow after the first glue up which I thought the planer would remove. Did I screw up or do I have a planer problem?

What in the heck do I do with all the pieces now?

Thanks in advance.

Cory

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.


14 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15672 posts in 2824 days


#1 posted 1332 days ago

I’m no expert, but it seems to me if you run a slightly bowed board through a planer, with the bow facing the knives, you are going to get exactly what you’ve got…. the center slightly thinner than the edges.

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

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Cory

722 posts in 2025 days


#2 posted 1332 days ago

Charlie: Thanks for the reply. I’ve had success in the past flattening a slightly bowed board through the planer by taking very light passes and making sure the board doesn’t rock when it comes in contact with the rollers. That said, I’m confused by the fact that I’ve got three different readings across the glue up.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1720 days


#3 posted 1332 days ago

Charlie has a point there but you shuold check your caliber on the staight edge just to be sure :-)

Dennis

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Cory

722 posts in 2025 days


#4 posted 1332 days ago

Dennis: I can clearly see the bow when it’s multiplied by several pieces during the dry fit before glue up. The caliper verified my guess that the pieces were thinner in the middle.

Any suggestions on what I should do next? Please don’t say burn these and start over!

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15672 posts in 2824 days


#5 posted 1332 days ago

If you can deal with the boards being slightly thinner, I would try re-planing them, taking passes on both sides.

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

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CharlieM1958

15672 posts in 2824 days


#6 posted 1332 days ago

Another point to consider is that wood isn’t metal. Talking about a difference of 1/100th of an inch or so is pretty much splitting hairs, IMO. You could probably make that much of a difference by applying more or less pressure to the thumbwheel of the caliper.

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

View Cory's profile

Cory

722 posts in 2025 days


#7 posted 1332 days ago

Thanks, Charlie. You’re absolutely right: 1/100th of an inch isn’t really worth fussing over. I’m going to go ahead and glue it up tonight and see what happens. Worst case scenario I’ve made a really nice piece of firewood….which is a skill I’ve perfected.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View syenefarmer's profile

syenefarmer

388 posts in 1686 days


#8 posted 1332 days ago

As most woodworkers tend to be a little on the perfectionist side, which is a good thing, most gift receivers are not. I seriously doubt if the people you are making the cutting board for will even notice or care for that matter that there is a 1/100th difference in the thickness of the cutting board.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2482 posts in 1382 days


#9 posted 1332 days ago

Check the in and out feed trays and check the bearings/bushings on the rollers that feed the wood through. Something may be worn or out of alignment.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Cory's profile

Cory

722 posts in 2025 days


#10 posted 1332 days ago

Barry and syenefarmer: This is going to be an end grain board and the difference in thickness is on the face grain. So when I go to glue up the pieces they are noticeably thinner in the middle than the edges. The fact that there are a bunch of pieces compounds the problem. If it were in the top/bottom it would be no big deal.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1720 days


#11 posted 1332 days ago

one way to save them is using a jointerhandplane and plane the bords two edges at the same time
and flip them together like you open a book upside down when you glue

then you haver time to find out whats wrong with the planer ; jointer opr technic

Dennis

View jm82435's profile

jm82435

1228 posts in 2347 days


#12 posted 1331 days ago

You have probably already glued it up, but if not, I would build a fixture for your Rigid Belt sander so you could run the pieces between the fixture and the belt to end up with strips that were a consistent thickness. (Clamp a piece of 2×4 across the table ~.64” away from the tangent radius on the large drum end of the belt) Running them through cross-grained would get them back the the same thickness again. Although some would argue sanding doesn’t make for a good glue surface – I have never experienced a problem with it…
.025” wouldn’t be that bad but, as you pointed out, compounded ~20 times and 1/2” is a little more obvious…
Maybe give the board a convex radius on the end after final glue-up so it looked more like an optical illusion??
Else, just tell anyone who notices, you were trying to give it little more character… yeah, yeah that’s the ticket!

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Cory's profile

Cory

722 posts in 2025 days


#13 posted 1331 days ago

Quick update: Last night I glued up all the pieces in sections of 4-5 strips. The gap in the middle was easy to eliminate in that small a size with light clamp pressure. This morning I took them out of the clamps to see what I had. There was a small bow in the middle of the pieces. After a general flattening with a handplane, I took each piece to the jointer and ran them through a few times. I was careful to run each mating piece the same number of times and they came out great. They’re very flat and in another glue up for the end grain boards.

The problem, I think, with my planer was the setting for the infeed and outfeed tables. I did a little experiment this morning and noticed that as a board was passing through the infeed and outfeed tables were forcing the ends of the board up. (To eliminate snipe I had raised the ends of the tables.) Apparently, they’re too high and when the board wasn’t fully supported the cutterhead was taking less of a bite from the ends than the middle. I adjusted the table to nearly flat and the thickness was consistent along the board. I guess I’ll have to live with a little snipe.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2254 days


#14 posted 1331 days ago

glad to hear you found the culprit Cory. Sometimes ignorance is bliss – but definitely not in this case.

You may be also able to counter that snipe with a little technique. I personally usually will guide the board on the infeed as it goes in to make sure the rollers don’t ‘pick it up’ and raise it, and same for the outfeed (when it’s shorter boards) which helps with snipe

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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