Planer produces a taper from front edge to back edge

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Forum topic by mwheitzinger posted 07-18-2012 07:06 PM 2075 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mwheitzinger's profile


4 posts in 2310 days

07-18-2012 07:06 PM

Hello all,
I’m having a problem with my 13” Ridgid thickness planer that makes me want to donate the stupid thing to the city dump. What’s happening is that when I try to thickness a piece of wood the planer takes a deeper cut at the beginning of the feed and tapers off as the piece is fed through. This leads to a wedge shaped board with the front end being thinner than the back. I’ve seen through searches that many people have trouble with the cutter head getting out of alignment which causes a taper on one side edge or the other but I can’t seem to find anyone else who has had this problem as I do. I have tried many times to level and adjust the infeed and outfeed tables and I don’t think I could get them any more flat than they are right now. This is driving me crazy. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’d appreciate any help.

Thank you,

18 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17713 posts in 3178 days

#1 posted 07-18-2012 07:10 PM

Marcus, Have you flattened the opposing face first? A planer will follow the counter of whichever side is laying down. It wont take the cup out of a board you ll just get a thinner cupped board ;).

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Tennessee's profile


2887 posts in 2686 days

#2 posted 07-18-2012 07:11 PM

I own an older model and the only things I can think of are the infeed table being tipped up, or you have debris under the spring table underneath that is causing the wood to tilt as it goes through. That did happen to me, dust collected under there and I could not get a flat cut to save my butt. Blew it all out and it never did it again, but it was really minor, maybe a MM on a 12” long board.

Other than that, are you locking the wheel before cutting? Dull blades will make the wheel creep up as the cut goes along, making the last part of the cut not as deep, leaving a thicker board.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View pintodeluxe's profile


5783 posts in 2985 days

#3 posted 07-18-2012 07:17 PM

Wow, I know jointers can taper boards when out of adjustment, but I have never heard of a planer doing that.
Any advise from the manual?

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

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3733 days

#4 posted 07-18-2012 07:42 PM

I also have never heard of that and can’t see how that can happen.

Can you give us some more info?

For example: If you run a 6 foot board through the planer, what is the thickness at the leading end and what is the thickness at the trailing end. What about a 4 foot board?

-- Joe

View mwheitzinger's profile


4 posts in 2310 days

#5 posted 07-18-2012 08:10 PM

Thanks everyone,
I should have added that I do flatten the first face on all the boards before going to the planer. I did make sure the infeed and outfeed tables were as flat as they can be. I even tried purposely raising one or the other to try to make some difference. It just seems to make it worse. The manual is worthless, barely mentioning anything other than to check the leveling screws. I did this but I cant see how that would do anything but effect a side to side tilt anyway.
Joe, I haven’t run anything that long through. I’ve been working with 2-3 foot boards and the taper is approximately 1/32” for that length. That may not sound like much but it adds up, especially when I go to glue them together for a panel. I am also going to need to be doing some 4’ pieces and I’m worried it will just get worse as the piece is longer.
I’ll definitely check the spring table for debris.
This has got me so confused. I can’t for the life of me see why this would be happening. Thanks for all the info and suggestions so far.

View b2rtch's profile


4863 posts in 3220 days

#6 posted 07-18-2012 08:17 PM

I own one of this planer and I do not understand how it could this.
The only thing that could cause that is the out-feed table going up, not be level.

-- Bert

View chrisstef's profile


17713 posts in 3178 days

#7 posted 07-18-2012 08:18 PM

I wonder if one of the feed rollers is pushing down more pressure than the other?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2363 days

#8 posted 07-18-2012 08:19 PM

Why not contact Ridgid? They’ll probably help you.

-- My terrible signature...

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3733 days

#9 posted 07-18-2012 08:55 PM

Is your depth adjustment drifting during the cut?

-- Joe

View mwheitzinger's profile


4 posts in 2310 days

#10 posted 07-18-2012 10:03 PM

Thanks everyone,
It’s kind of a sick satisfaction but I’m actually somewhat relieved that everyone else is as dumbfounded as I am.
Joe, I don’t think the depth adjustment is moving. I suspected that at first but I watched the motor/cutter head unit on the two leveling screws as the wood went through and I did not see any motion. Unless there is some other way it could be moving out of sight. I’ve actually gotten into the habit of holding the adjustment wheel as the wood moves through even though the lock is on but it doesn’t seem to do any good.
I’m anxious to check out some of these suggestions but I’m afraid I won’t have time today when I get home. Only adds to the frustration…

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2357 days

#11 posted 07-18-2012 10:05 PM

Just taking a guess that the raising and lowering mechanism could be moving as the board is being passed through causing the opening to be wider then when you first inserted the board.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2647 days

#12 posted 07-18-2012 10:18 PM


If you put a straight edge on the new planer cut surface is the cut straight from end to end? Or are you seeing an exaggerated snipe?

I recently needed some 5/8” drawer material. When planing down 4/4” rough lumber I tried to make every cut at one elevation before advancing the cutterhead to the next cut increment. Normally I wind up with all of my pieces the same thickness, well except for some end snipe but I’m getting better at that, lol.

So if we took several boards that were surfaced four sides by one of the pro guys to say 13/16” and I ask you to thickness plane them to 5/8”. What amount of material would you try to remove? Additionally, if you ran several boards at that setting, would they keep getting thicker untill if you ran enough boards through you would remove no material? I guess what I’m asking if your depth of cut adjustment is slipping. The other issue could be you are trying to remove too much material in one cut. Wood species hardness, pitch buildup on blades, and blade sharpness are a few of many factors that could erode performance.

Just my thoughts, but since I don’t know a lot, well I often puzzle my way through things or often do them the hardest way. Hope you get it figured out.

View ChuckV's profile


3175 posts in 3699 days

#13 posted 07-18-2012 10:32 PM

This is odd. Suppose that the knives are somehow moving up 1/32” during the duration of the cut. You could try to measure the distance from the table to the knives before and after the cut.

Does your planer require that you lock the cutter head in place? If so, is that possibly failing.

I’m just guessing.

Good luck.

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

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3733 days

#14 posted 07-19-2012 02:01 AM

Here are some random thoughts:

Might be interesting to plane a long board (say 6 feet) and then a short board and compare the two to see if the taper is linear or does it stop at some point, etc. You’d think it has to stop tapering at some point as if it didn’t eventually it would go to zero, LOL.

Before I got my Dewalt 735, I had a Delta lunch box planer and after many years it started doing funny thing like side to side tapers, snipes in the middle of the board, etc. Finally decided that the rollers had lost their ability to grip the wood and the cost to replace them was more than the planer was worth so I sold it and got the DW. So – maybe give the rollers a good cleaning.

Assuming that the in-feed and out-feed tables are in the same plane as the center table the only thing that could cause a variation in cut depth would be the cutter head moving (up in your case.) Since you don’t observe the adjustment wheel moving maybe you could mount a dial indicator on the upper part to see if the top moves relative to the platen while a board passes through.

-- Joe

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2637 days

#15 posted 07-19-2012 02:15 AM

I know you said you flattened one side before sending it through the planer. How did you do that? by hand or on a jointer?

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

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