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Planer knives vs bits of metal

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Forum topic by Scott45 posted 08-01-2017 07:21 PM 484 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Scott45

5 posts in 419 days


08-01-2017 07:21 PM

I know, it’s a bad idea to run dirty wood through a tool. That said, I have a Dewalt 735X and am on my last set of their cheapo knives they included with the planer. I need to buy new knives shortly and I want to know if there’s a flavor of knife out there that will handle bits of metal in the wood better than the cheapo stock knives.

What sort of metal you ask? It’s little 1/4” long pieces of the collating wire from the nails used to assemble pallets. Yes, I’m running pallet wood through my planer.

So after I remove all the nails and as much of those little bits of metal there always seems to be a few pieces here and there that get missed and take a chunk out of my knives and the hard wood dulls them very quickly. I don’t mind the lines in the wood, in fact I like them because the wood is flooring and looks better when it’s not perfectly smooth.

Would carbide tipped knives be better able to handle the little metal bits or would they be too brittle and fall apart worse than the HSS? Is there another type of planer knife out there that would be less impacted by the super hard wood and metal pieces?

Again, I know metal + knife edge = bad so no need to flame me there. Just looking for the best product to handle what I’m doing here.

Thanks guys!


9 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5054 posts in 4081 days


#1 posted 08-01-2017 07:40 PM

You’re are in a big expenditure program.
No matter what knives you install, you will have fracturing. Not a pretty picture, but pallets are scrap wood. Not allowed in my shop.
Sorry.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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MrUnix

6893 posts in 2320 days


#2 posted 08-01-2017 07:45 PM

Do you have/are you using a metal detector? Those cheap handheld ones at HF work great, even for finding really small bits of metal.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Scott45's profile

Scott45

5 posts in 419 days


#3 posted 08-01-2017 08:11 PM

Thanks Bill and Brad for the input. The pallet wood is free and even after buying a few sets of new knives every few hundred feet total expense is cheaper than paying someone to lay down hardwood floors in my place. You’re right about them being scrap wood but there’s often very nice looking oak up under 95% of what I ‘m running through my planer.

I’m not using a metal detector but did think about it. Will a detector you listed, Brad, pick up something as small as what I’m dealing with?

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MrUnix

6893 posts in 2320 days


#4 posted 08-01-2017 08:20 PM

I’m not using a metal detector but did think about it. Will a detector you listed, Brad, pick up something as small as what I m dealing with?
- Scott45

I use it on all my pallet wood and it hasn’t let me down yet… however, don’t hold me to that in the event you run into something so super small that it misses it :) Some others have mentioned they use the HF wand type as well, but I have no experience with that one.

I also use that detector as a pin-pointer when out in the field metal detecting, which sometimes involves rooting around in 6 inches of dirt for something the size of a BB :)

Cheers,
Brad

PS: If you wait for them to go on sale, and then use a 20% off coupon, you can pick up those little detectors for right around $10.

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

489 posts in 503 days


#5 posted 08-01-2017 08:28 PM

Scott that looks pretty good. How are you fastening it down to your subfloor?

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Scott45

5 posts in 419 days


#6 posted 08-01-2017 08:32 PM

I’ll try the detector then and see how it goes.

Is it possible the pallet wood is overly hard and therefore dulling the knives more quickly than say a 2×4 from a big box store? If yes, would I benefit from using a carbide tipped knife set or perhaps shelix hardware? In other words, if I got all the metal out of the wood is there a better type of knife I could buy that would last longer than the standad DeWalt HSS?

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Scott45

5 posts in 419 days


#7 posted 08-01-2017 08:35 PM

Gilley23 – I thought about using those T type cleat nails or something fancy but I ended up just using standard 2” finish nails. So far they’re working really well. My sub-floor is pretty beefy though – 3/4” planks under at least 5/8” plywood so there’s plenty for the nail to hold onto.

Since the faces of the planks have nail holes from their previous lives I have no problem with face nailing these guys down. No tongue and groove or glue either so it’ll be easy to replace a plank down the road if needed.

Lucky for me the wife wants the rustic, worn out look. :)

View eflanders's profile

eflanders

310 posts in 1971 days


#8 posted 08-02-2017 01:25 PM

The metal detector is something I run over all my wood before it goes into my planer. In fact it hangs right on it. Carbide knives will outlast the factory ones by at least a factor of ten but likely a lot more than that. Yes they cost a lot more, but they will pay off with what you are working with. (I used to work for a carbide tool maker).

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Scott45

5 posts in 419 days


#9 posted 08-02-2017 01:27 PM

Great, thanks. I’ll find some carbide knives then. Any suggestions on brand or place to purchase?

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