Thickness Planer Roller Compression Springs

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Forum topic by Paul Pomerleau posted 03-27-2011 05:07 PM 4409 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2688 days

03-27-2011 05:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer spring compression roller craftsman 351275250

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

8 replies so far

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2688 days

#1 posted 03-28-2011 02:44 AM

Ummmm… does anyone have any ideas about this ??

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 2787 days

#2 posted 03-28-2011 04:17 AM

When I read this, this morning, I wanted to reply then. I didn’t reply because I didn’t have much to add. I don’t own and have never had any experience with a craftsman planer. I think you could be on the right track in thinking that the outfeed springs are too stiff. If the springs are lifting the head causing snipe on the leading edge. The only thing I would wonder about is the adjustment on the outfeed roller itself. Is there some kind of height adjustment on it? Maybe it could be out of adjustment?

Like I said, I don’t have much in the way of help. I thought that if I replied it would move it back to the top of the pulse for you though. Good luck on finding the right fix.

-- Mel,

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2688 days

#3 posted 03-28-2011 05:27 PM

The rollers have no adjustments on them at all.
This is strange because usually if one side is tighter, then the stock will travel at an angle instead of straight.
Anyway, I ordered two new infeed springs to try in the outfeed roller to see if that makes any difference.
Sears told me that they will take a month to arrive… figures.
I will let you know how it works when I get them installed.
In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas why the outfeed roller springs are so strong please feel free to let me know.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View Walt M.'s profile

Walt M.

245 posts in 3005 days

#4 posted 03-28-2011 06:12 PM

Just a couple of ideas here. I have Dewalt but it sounds a lot like yours. The manual on mine says the outer edge of the outfeed and infeed tables needs to be 1/16th to 1/8th higher than center table to reduce snipe, might try it. If yours are and still having problems I would say it’s the locking lever not working right. As for the springs I would think they were made that way so you get the board to enter the planner easier. Hope you get figured out. I’ll check back.

View ChuckV's profile


3118 posts in 3522 days

#5 posted 03-29-2011 02:54 AM

I think that what Walt wrote about the springs makes sense. Since the board is thinner when it passes through the outfeed rollers, they do not have to compress as much as the ones on the infeed rollers.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2688 days

#6 posted 04-21-2011 11:17 PM

Sears finally called me back to say that my order is in.
When I got there I noticed there was only one spring in the bag.
I asked them where the other one was.
They said the order only called for one spring.
I told them that I had asked for two.
I remember asking for a copy of my order, they said no, that they will call me when it is in.
If I did get a copy, I would have noticed the error right away.
I have ordered the second spring and will let you know how it works when I get it.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2688 days

#7 posted 05-16-2011 01:33 PM

Well Sears finally delivered the second spring that I had been waiting for so long.
I installed them and the result was terrible.
I now had real bad snipe on both ends of the board.
I don’t exactly know why since this time I don’t see any movement on the head assembly.
Before, I had definite movement, now I don’t, yet the snipe is worse. Weird.
I will have to dig deeper into the mysteries of this phenomenon.
I am going to put things back to the original setup and continue.
I will post my findings as they come along.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 2779 days

#8 posted 05-17-2011 04:09 AM

Paul, is it conceivable that the corner posts are flexing when the rollers engage?
Meaning that they may be bowing in the middle due to the force excerted by the rollers/springs
How would one go abouit checking for that?

-- Website is finally up and

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