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How do you get repeatable planer results?

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Forum topic by rut posted 742 days ago 870 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rut

81 posts in 883 days


742 days ago

I have about 200 bd feet of hard maple to plane down. I have an ‘economical’ porter cable 12” planer that seems to be working fine. My only problem is there is no depth stop so I’m constantly having to take a little off and measure the thickness, repeat. There is a rule on the side but it is difficult to use for exacting results. Maybe I’m being too picky and each board doesn’t have to be exactly 3/4?

Just wondering if anyone has an easy method for making repeatable consistent results or knows a good trick I could use so I don’t have to keep measuring every cut.

Thanks,
Rut


10 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109273 posts in 2078 days


#1 posted 742 days ago

I would just run it all together then all of it will be the same. start with the thickest piece and run all of your wood if it’s close reset your planner and run it all again repeat until you get to what ever thickness you want. If you want to be able
to set each piece to do it one at a time later they woodcraft and other places sell Wixley digital height gauges that connect to you planner for around $65.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View GregD's profile

GregD

570 posts in 1637 days


#2 posted 742 days ago

<edit> what Jim said </edit>

What I do is joint all the stock I’m going to need and plane it close to final thickness. I adjust the planer to final thickness, running test cuts if the thickenss is critical, and run all the stock. For even modest sized projects I spend more time running stock through the planer than setting the planer for a particular thickness.

Often the exact thickness isn’t important, only that everything comes out the same thickness.

Some recommend stickering the stock and letting it sit overnight (maybe even a week) after machining it to rough thickness and size, and then come back and do the final jointing, planing, and other machining.

-- Greg D. -- the price of freedom is tolerance

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1854 days


#3 posted 742 days ago

Yep, I’m with Jim. When I need all the boards to be the same thickness I run them all through at the same time so that the last cut is the same on all. Do the same on my drum sander. I don’t rely on stops except on my routers.

And Greg made a good point too. Once you start milling wood you’re relieving stresses in the wood and it can move.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 1161 days


#4 posted 742 days ago

Measure how much the planer takes off with each crank down. My Dewalt takes a 32nd off each time. You could make an index strip pretty easily.

-- Barbara

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

486 posts in 810 days


#5 posted 742 days ago

What Jim said would be the easiest and most accurate.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View rut's profile

rut

81 posts in 883 days


#6 posted 742 days ago

Yep. I think what Jim said is the smartest thing. I might look into the Wixley gauge though. Seems like a good idea.

Thanks,
Rut

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109273 posts in 2078 days


#7 posted 742 days ago

I noticed MLCS has a digital height gauge for planners for $49.95 and they have free shipping.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1854 days


#8 posted 742 days ago

I’ve got the Wixey one for the planer and for the router table haven’t installed either yet. But also do have the Wixey one for the Unisaw installed and that thing is dead accurate. So no doubt in my mind the other two will be too.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3478 posts in 829 days


#9 posted 742 days ago

What I do is joint all the stock I’m going to need and plane it close to final thickness. I adjust the planer to final thickness, running test cuts if the thickenss is critical, and run all the stock.

+ 1

and if you do it this way, and have all your stock piled up in the correct orientation at the infeed, and are willing to run back and forth from outfeed to infeed, you can chase one board butted up right behing the other and eliminate most of the snipe.

I’m have a very similar planer…

... and I never even look at the scale…. Rather, I know that one turn on the height crank is 1/16” and I do half and quarter turns to dial in from my measuremnt.

If you’re within .02” and all the boards went through the same set up… I think you’re as good as these tools were meant to be.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

9545 posts in 1191 days


#10 posted 742 days ago

I do it exactly as a1jim said and it works for me.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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