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Another thicknesser jig

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AndyG

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I've had a Dewalt thicknesser for a while, and on the whole it's a great machine. However, one problems with it is the rather iffy in and out feed tables. When these are folded down it takes some adjustment to get a flat bed, and even then it's not great.

My first solution was to place a hefty piece of chipboard worktop (a rather nice black marble effect I think) through the machine and use this as a flatter bed. This does work well, but after time the board warped and no longer gave a true platform for timber being cut.

That's what led me to trying something else. It's rather long winded, and didn't quite work quite as well as I hoped, but maybe it's an idea that can be worked on.

Basically it's a pair of torsion boxes. A lower, stronger, platform on which the thicknesser sits, and a second box that straddles the thicknesser and gives a long flat bed.

This is the lower torsion box under construction. The struts are 1" chipboard, and the top is 18mm MDF.


This is the start of the new thicknesser bed, sitting on top of the finished torsion box. It's all 18mm MDF.


Here's the new bed in place inside the thicknesser.


This one shows the slight clearance between the real thicknesser bed and the false one.


So, how did it work? Well as I said, not quite as well as I'd hoped. The longer bed is a real help, it helps you keep the timber true when you feed it into the machine. But I'm getting some real problems with snipe, and I was REALLY hoping that this jig would avoid that. There are a couple of things I'm going to try. The top of the false bed is 6mm MDF and is does give under pressure. I think I'll try a 18mm top, and hope the main struts will be able to keep it flat. The second thing is to adjust the roller pressure.

On the plus side, the longer bed can take a long sled, which I've used to support some badly warped timber and get flat.

Anyways, I hope some of this might help someone...

Andy
 

Philly

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Nice one Andy! Looks great.
Have you thought about just building a sled like the bloke on the Fine Woodworking site did?
Keep up the good work,
Philly :D
 

AndyG

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Philly, any chance you've got a link? Just had a quick look, but couldn't find the article.
Thanks
Andy
 

Chris Knight

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Andy.

Just speculating here.. I would have thought that the middle section where you have to thin down the longitudinal bearers, also need to be the strongest since this is where roller pressure is exerted.

To stiffen up the bearers, you might consider using steel. Pieces of 6mm by 25mm strip could be bolted through the chipboard which would stiffen it a lot.
 

AndyG

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Philly, that's great, thanks

Chris, that's a good idea. I'll have to see if I can persuade some of our technicians to part with some suitable steel struts!!
 
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