Finish planing question

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Forum topic by Jesse posted 06-23-2014 01:46 PM 919 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jesse's profile


58 posts in 1653 days

06-23-2014 01:46 PM

If I buy a Powermatic planer with spiral head and carbide inserts, how smooth can I get the board surface? I get my lumber planed by the lumber company right now but it comes with burn marks and snipe, so I want to plane my own if it will come out with a nice finish. Being able to take one pass through the drum sander after planing as opposed to the seven I have to do right now will be a big improvement and time and money saver but I don’t want to waste money on the planer if it is not going to give me the finish I want. Thoughts from those of you that use planers with spiral carbide cutting heads?


3 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5140 posts in 1747 days

#1 posted 06-23-2014 02:17 PM

It’s very likely that you’ll be much better off doing your own planning. It sounds like your lumberyard is using a machine that hasn’t be properly maintained and possibly by someone who isn’t capable of reducing snipe with proper board support.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2520 days

#2 posted 06-23-2014 02:34 PM

I have a Delta with carbide inserts, and after planing, it’s usually 2-3 passes (no more) with an ROS before the wood is ready for finish (I also hand sand with the grain lightly). I would say the finish from the Powermatic will be much nicer than the lumber yard job. Besides the planers being maintained in a less-than-perfect manner, they are doing one thing: making the board thinner; it doesn’t matter if the planing job is less than optimal. But to be honest, I didn’t think my drum sander leaves wood ready for finish either. Regardless, I think you will benefit from a planer.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Todd's profile


398 posts in 1703 days

#3 posted 06-24-2014 09:08 PM

My Steel City helical head planer leaves a nice finish requiring minimal sanding with a ROS to remove any remaining tool marks.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

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