Close call planer accident, please help!!!

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Forum topic by DeepSouth101 posted 02-02-2015 02:54 PM 1098 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 633 days

02-02-2015 02:54 PM

New here and looking for some guidance on a close call I had tonight with my Dewalt 733 planer. Im not a wood pro but I have planed some wood in the past. Tonight I was planing some 1”x6”x6’ pine. On the second board it started feeding in just fine and all of the sudden it kicked back in a deadly manner. It shot the board out backwards about 8 feet into my barn doors leaving a hole in the door the size of a baseball. Cant imagine what would have happened if someone had walked up or my dog was standing there. I’ve checked the planer out and cant find any reason for this. Blades are sharp, bolts tight, and the rollers appear fine. I was planing it with the grain, no nails, no knots, etc..Its really got me shaken to the point of not wanting to try another board. I had no idea this was even possible and never imagined it would send a 6 foot board flying through the air like that. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

19 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile


22687 posts in 2288 days

#1 posted 02-02-2015 03:46 PM

I’m not sure what happened. However, one thing that I have noticed that you hear coming from quite a few sources is the following rule: When feeding a board through a planer you should do it in a way that you will not be standing in the line of fire and you also make sure that no one else is either. Sometimes it is a little more difficult but it can be done. Obviously this can prevent a serious injury.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View unbob's profile


693 posts in 1325 days

#2 posted 02-02-2015 03:49 PM

I have not heard of a Kick Back on the small planers when I was looking at them. But it does happen on planers, and it could kill you if in the way.
Not knowing about the adjustments on your planer, you may have a loose knife that grabbed the wood. You need to go over the planer/knives before using again.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8101 posts in 2850 days

#3 posted 02-02-2015 03:59 PM

I’d sure have the cover off quick and be inspecting everything.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3382 days

#4 posted 02-02-2015 04:02 PM

Any knots, excessive depth of cut, goofy grain, column locked? Just guessing.
Glad you were not hurt.


View JesseTutt's profile


853 posts in 1532 days

#5 posted 02-02-2015 04:06 PM

as unbob said, a planer knife that was taking a deeper cut that the others could cause this. Also if you were taking a thicker cut could increase the chance for a kickback

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 636 days

#6 posted 02-02-2015 04:10 PM

Really strange that it would happen on that model. The only thing I can think of is that the feed rollers weren’t engaged for some reason. Were you taking a very light cut and maybe the board was too thin in one spot? If there was insufficient pressure on the feed rollers it is possible that the head could pick up the board and throw it. Maybe the board was crooked or cupped in a way that would cause the feed rollers to fail to make good contact? I’ve never had this happen with a planer, but I’m going to BOLO for it now.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View TheDane's profile


4938 posts in 3085 days

#7 posted 02-02-2015 04:24 PM

I have a DW733, and though I haven’t had it punch any holes in doors, I did have a kick back or two when I first got it.

In my case, I figured out that when I pushed the board into the infeed, one of the blades caught the end of the board and fired it back at me.

It dawned on me that if I inserted the board under the ‘Material Removal Gauge’, the gauge put enough downward pressure on the board to prevent this from happening.

You also need to make sure you have adequate support on the end of the board opposite the planer to keep the board from putting upward pressure on the infeed roller.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View lew's profile


11265 posts in 3177 days

#8 posted 02-02-2015 04:29 PM

If the board was on its’ first pass thru the planer, perhaps it was a little thinner than the previous board, thus the rollers didn’t grab it with sufficient force to hold it when the board engaged the cutters.

Another thing that could have happened is that the second board had an upward warp at the feed end and it engaged the cutters with enough thickness that it was kicked back.

Just thoughts.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View DeepSouth101's profile


4 posts in 633 days

#9 posted 02-02-2015 04:55 PM

UPDATE: Went out this morning to try and figure this out. After much searching I discovered the board had a broken screw in it. This is old pine that was used as a porch ceiling. We had gone over each board with a fine tooth comb making sure there were no nails. Apparently someone (50) years ago screwed this in and it broke off just under wood surface to be found by the planer blades. I’ve discarded the idea of planing these old boards and will use them as they are. I replaced the blades and have run a dozen new boards through it with no issues. I really appreciate all the replys and assistance. Hard lesson learned and thankful no one got hurt.

View TheFridge's profile


5678 posts in 908 days

#10 posted 02-02-2015 04:57 PM

I’d invest in a metal detector.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View hotbyte's profile


826 posts in 2397 days

#11 posted 02-02-2015 05:12 PM

Glad you found the cause! Agree with TheFridge on a metal detector. I have some old wood from our 1890’s house and bought a HF hand held to check before reusing. A friend also bought some old lumber we’ve planed down. After buying the metal detector, I broke off a few very small finish nail in several places on a board and tested/experimented using it.

View BasementShop's profile


69 posts in 722 days

#12 posted 02-02-2015 05:12 PM

I d invest in a metal detector.

- TheFridge

Do tell! I envision one of those used by the beach combers searching for wedding rings in the sand. Is there something more practical to use to find metal in wood?

Thanks in advance for the help.

View hotbyte's profile


826 posts in 2397 days

#13 posted 02-02-2015 05:30 PM

This is the Harbor Freight one I bought

View BasementShop's profile


69 posts in 722 days

#14 posted 02-02-2015 05:36 PM

This is the Harbor Freight one I bought

- hotbyte

Thanks tons!!! I didn’t know about these units. Thanks~

View DeepSouth101's profile


4 posts in 633 days

#15 posted 02-02-2015 06:47 PM

I’ll have one of those metal detectors before anymore wood goes in my planer. A metal detector never crossed my mind and I sure as hell didn’t know they made a small hand held unit. Much thanks to you and everyone else for the feedback. I’ll be headed to harbor freight this afternoon.

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