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  1. #1

    Cant level wood with planer.

    Hi I'm new here and just got a new bench planer . The problem I have is I cant seem to keep a level board when planing . It doesn't make any difference if the board is already level or not before I start .

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    OH USA
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    352
    Al,

    A thickness planer's job is to mill a board to a given thickness with the sides parallel. If the board isn't straight to start with, the end result will be a thinner board with the same curve/warp that it started with. Most folks use a jointer to get one face flat and one side square to the flat face. The board is then run through the thickness planner to mill it to the finished size.

    There are techniques that can be used to straighten a warped board on thickness planner, but it requires more work than it's worth. If the boards you are milling are straight to start with and end up bowed after milling, make sure to cut from both sides of the board. ie - one pass on side A and then a pass on the opposite side - B. This allows the stress in the wood to equalize.

    Hope this helps.
    Doug

  3. #3
    Thanks Doug . Its actually a flat bench planer ( Clarke Woodwork 6" ) not a thicknesser that I'm using.
    I build guitars in my spare time and got this to get the neck blank totally flat before I glue down the finger board.
    I thought that if i was running a piece of wood over a totally flat metal surface that would be the answer.

    Al.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    OH USA
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    352
    Quote Originally Posted by Al K View Post
    Thanks Doug . Its actually a flat bench planer ( Clarke Woodwork 6" ) not a thicknesser that I'm using.
    I build guitars in my spare time and got this to get the neck blank totally flat before I glue down the finger board.
    I thought that if i was running a piece of wood over a totally flat metal surface that would be the answer.

    Al.
    Sorry, Al, I took the tool to be a thickness planer. After Googling the Clarke, I see it's a joiner as you have stated. The technique for flattening a board on a joiner is sometimes difficult to pick up alone. I had trouble getting started, but got some help from other folks. Click this link for setting up and using the joiner, it might help and answers a lot of questions.
    Doug

  5. #5
    Thanks again Doug that is very usefull but I still cant understand why I put a level piece of wood over the blades and it comes out bowed

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
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    381
    Quote Originally Posted by Al K View Post
    Thanks again Doug that is very usefull but I still cant understand why I put a level piece of wood over the blades and it comes out bowed
    Setup, alignment or operator error.
    I didn't find a image of your machine but I'm assuming it's similar to the Delta Benchtop Jointer.
    If the infeed and outfeed tables are properly aligned, if both are raised to the exact same level you should be able to take a good straightedge and go across them in all directions and it should touch in every spot. If either droops or sags, you have alignment issues. Read up on coplanar for a better description.
    The knives should be just the slightest distance above the outfeed table. Figure around the thickness of a sheet of paper.
    Rough rule of thumb, you can surface plane something twice the length of the jointer bed, longer and it's harder to accomplish. You also have to insure you have consistent pressure on the piece then entire time it's in contact with the cutterhead or you can get results like you're describing.

  7. #7
    Thanks I'll check all those points out .
    Al.

  8. #8
    Al,

    Technique is everything. I find the biggest mistake is how much pressure you apply to the wood as you press it down.

    First, use a paste wax and wax the jointer bed. That makes the wood slide over the metal surfaces, and then you don't need to press down so hard to push the wood through.

    Next - press down ONLY hard enough to hold th ewood down - but ONLY just hard enough. The wood will spring back and make it "look" bowed if you press too hard.

    Try that.

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