I have a Craftsman thickness planer (351.275250) that has constantly produced snipe only on the leading edge of the stock since I bought it several years ago.
Of course the first thing I checked was the level of the tables.
I assure you, this is not the problem.
I can actually see the entire head drop a few thousands when the stock leaves the outfeed roller.
I would engage the locking mechanism and snipe would still be at the leading edge.
I thought it was something loose at first, so I took it apart, but found nothing loose.
I decided to put a piece of wood through it with the casing apart so I can see what is going on inside.
As I put the stock in, I noticed the infeed roller lifting up against the compression springs and start feeding the stock into the blades, this is normal.
The blades would cut the stock as it approached the outfeed roller, again, normal.
Once the stock hit the outfeed roller, the roller would not compress into the springs, instead it would lift the entire head up a couple of thousands of an inch, thus causing the snipe.
The stock would continue through the planer until the end would pass through the outfeed roller, then the entire head would quickly drop down to where it originally was.
So I would end up with snipe a couple of thousands deep and extending a couple of inches back from the leading edge (distance from the cutting head to the outfeed roller) and perfectly flat the rest of the way to the end of the stock.
So I thought I found the problem. The roller springs are not compressing due to possible clogging.
I took the outfeed roller off but found no clogging, instead I noticed that the two springs (one at each end of the roller) were very tough springs to compress.
They are 1/2” in diameter and 1” long. The wire diameter of the spring is 0.0875” thick.
Using both hands, I could barely compress them to 3/4 of an inch. These are tough springs.
So, I decided to compare them with the infeed roller springs.
I took the infeed roller apart and removed the springs.
They are the same dimensions, except the wire diameter is only 0.073” thick.
With only one hand, I could almost compress it fully.
I thought, maybe this is a manufacturing flaw, so I checked the parts list in my manual and found that the sets of springs do have different part numbers, so I assume, this is the way it should be.
Why would the outfeed roller springs be so heavy duty that they would lift the entire head rather than compress?
The weaker springs of the infeed roller are quite capable of feeding the stock into the blades and into the outfeed roller, so the same springs should suffice on the outfeed roller.
I am thinking of ordering two more infeed roller springs and replacing the outfeed ones with them.
Obviously, every Craftsman thickness planer out there that has the same model as mine, has the same problem.
Of course, they don’t sell this model anymore, so I can’t compare the two.
Any thoughts on this?
-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada