Rigid planer tearout

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Forum topic by jlt posted 12-17-2011 04:27 PM 2253 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 2317 days

12-17-2011 04:27 PM

I picked up a Rigid planer recently. It is a few years old with low use and has the two knife design. I put the new (spare) set of knives on and have tried planing some boards. I have a bunch of rough sawn white oak and butternut that I want to build a pretty big project with but am very concerned about using this planer to get to the finished board thicknesses. Everytime I’ve used it so far (cherry, oak (red and white), butternut, walnut, maple), I’ve gotten bad chipout randomly on the boards. It is quite deep, making the board useless. I have checked and do not see any damage/chipping on the knives. I’m about ready to pull the plug and look for another planer but am wondering if I could be doing anything wrong or different to eliminate this problem. Any thoughts?

11 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4902 posts in 3925 days

#1 posted 12-17-2011 06:20 PM

How much are ya trying to remove at a time (cut depth), blades set right, cutting against the grain, moisture content of the wood (though that would not be a really big concern)?
I ALWAYS take very light cuts with my DeWalt 733.


View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3033 days

#2 posted 12-17-2011 06:25 PM

Try taking shallower cuts (less than 1/8”)

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3138 days

#3 posted 12-17-2011 06:29 PM

With my Ridgid planer … I bite at 1/16ths…. No issues.

-- -- Neil

View PaddyBoy's profile


4 posts in 3344 days

#4 posted 12-17-2011 06:32 PM

I would check to see if the blades are set correctly. Since you have used it on different species and had the same results, it seems as though it may be the blades.

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2319 days

#5 posted 12-17-2011 08:10 PM

I could write a book on machine planing, the dos and don’ts, but it’d be such a boring book, where I would seem to conflict myself so many times it wouldn’t be funny.

First though, make sure your blades are set correctly, and are still sharp. 32 dollars or whatever a shot is not cheap, but dull blades will creat alot of chatter (what we refer to tear out as).

Second for finer finishes with this type of planer reduce the cut depth, on some materials using a rigid as a finish planer I would take only a 64th, because the nature of the grain and the tear out factor.

Third if neither of these help you we need to look at how the chip breakers are set. I don’t like playing with those on these machines, but they are an important part of reducing tear out.

Looking at what types of woods you have run through this planer I can tell you, that most likely you’re trying to take too much per pass. Pay close attention to the way the grain in the board runs. You will notice you are running the grain the wrong way when you get chatter. IF you are still having trouble, take a damp rag, and wipe down the side you are about to cut. I don’t really like this method but it has reduced chatter for me a bit in the past.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View jlt's profile


30 posts in 2317 days

#6 posted 12-17-2011 10:31 PM

OK, I should have also said that I am taking VERY light cuts. I believe, one revolution of the wheel is 1/64 and I am turning it a 1/4 turn or less on each pass. The cut does seem uniform, as I have checked both visually across the board and with calipers. So, I don’t think taking to much per cut is the problem. I am most interested in the comments about the blades being set ‘correctly’ and chip breakers. There wasn’t really any ‘adjustment’ in putting in the new set of blades, that I could tell. Then go into a pocket. What/where are chip breakers on this planer? Are they adjustable?


View ChuckV's profile


3110 posts in 3492 days

#7 posted 12-17-2011 10:49 PM

Have you searched for the manual? If you are talking about the model R4330, you can see it here.

It says there that each “Each full revolution of the handle will raise or lower the cutterhead 1/16 in.”

Good luck.

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

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2778 days

#8 posted 12-18-2011 12:29 AM

Are you “petting the cat” the right way? Grain has a smooth direction, and a rough direction just like fur on a cat. Feed the grain so it feels smooth running from the infeed side back toward the operator. This will cleanly shear the grain, and minimize any tearout.
Also, were the “spare” knives new? I keep several sets of used blades around, but they may never go back on the machine because it causes tearout and feed problems. Planers are like bandsaws, 80% of problems will be fixed by new blades.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2878 days

#9 posted 12-18-2011 02:19 AM

10-4 on what TCCcabinetmaker says. After messing up when I first got into planers, I now ONLY take 1/64 to 1/32in per pass on my 13in Ridgid. I have MUCH BETTER results now that I know this little secret. ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2319 days

#10 posted 12-18-2011 05:45 AM

yeah, but it’s been a while since I’ve used that particular planer, see there was this guy, who thought it was ok to run teak through it at 3/16ths cut depth, because he was too impatient to do 1/16th, and well he warped the bed and the feed rollers with that stuff, not to mention the contracter that borrowed it and tried to force old dock boards through at 1/4..

But I do remember you gotta turn the power off before changing the blades :X, oh wait there’s a safety on those, unplug it anyways.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View a1Jim's profile


117062 posts in 3542 days

#11 posted 12-18-2011 05:56 AM

Are your blades in back words? With the bevel facing the wrong way.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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