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Planer technique advice needed

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RogerS

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Something has gone wrong with my planer technique and I am stumped. Planer in question is CT150.

I cut a length of timber (ordinary softwood from DIY store)...about 1 yd long and about 1 inch thick...on the table saw. Checking the cut with my straight edge shows the cut side to be pretty straight but with saw cuts.

Transfer to the planer. Now for some reason I cannot simply plane all the way down the cut side. I can hear the cutters working for the first 6" and then all goes quiet. When I look at the cut edge I can see where the cutter blades have planed and then the rest of the cut edge where nothing has happened.

I am keeping pressure on the timber on the outfeed table. I have checked the bed and it seems straight enough across the infeed/outfeed table length using a metre rule. OK...I can slip a very thin piece of paper under the metre rule near where the cutter assembly is ...but it is a very thin piece of paper.

On a separate (but possibly related) issue I tried planing a bevel on apiece of timber. The bevel starts off OK but as it progresses down the length of timber (again 1 yard long or so) it goes off axis (in other words the bevel does not go parallel to the axis of the timber). I have checked that the fence is at right angles to the cutter blades.

I can't work out what I am doing wrong.
 

Philly

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What depth of cut are you making? How long has this been a problem? have you recently changed blades?
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Philly

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Sounds to me like the tables are out of alignment with the blades-try lowering the outfeed table a smidgen. Could be its just a little too high and as the piece transfers to the outfeed table it is lifted off the infeed, and not cutting.
Give it a try and report back,
regards
Philly :D
 

RogerS

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Hi Neil;

Thanks for this..some good pointers...not sure if he ever resolved the problem...I'll follow up all the suggestions in this thread although how you measure to 0.1mm. Must check I've still got some feeler guages...and a conversion chart from thou to metric ;-)
Roger
 

Keith Smith

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Hi rsinden, nope never got it sorted.

If the outfeed table is set too high you will feel the front edge of the timber catch the front edge of the outfeed table. This only has to be a minute amount to make a difference.

Otherwise the infeed and outfeed tables are not perfectly in alignment. To set them you will need a long straight edge 4ft minimum, a metre rule is no use as it is inclined to flex and give false results. I use a spirit level that I have checked for flatness.

As I discovered a small discrepancy makes a big difference.

Keith
 

Keith Smith

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"How did you check the spirit level for flatness? just curious"

I put two together and checked that they was no gaps between them then turned one through 180 degrees and checked again. Not a perfect method but seems to work. For short lengths I use float glass but it is no use over this sort of length.

Keith
 

RogerS

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Philly

I checked the outfeed and blades witha straight edge. I put the straight edge on the outfeed with part overhanging the cutters. As I rotate the cutter head all three blades just 'kiss' the underside of the straight edge.

That makes sense to me but is it correct?

I've re-checked the outfeed and infeed and they are level and straight relative to each other measured across the width of the planer. Also straight and level diagonally across the outfeed and infeed (ie from outfeed front left corner to infeed back corner.

i've noticed that after I have planed about 18" or so then the wood can be held down flat against the outfeed and there is daylight between the wood and the infeed table..which is why nothing else is cut off.

i spoke to Axminster and the first guy wasn't much cop...told me to press down on the infeed...which i don't think is right. The second guy is getting someone to call me back.
 

RogerS

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Well..it has gone from bad to worse..partly my fault. A very knowledgeable bloke from Axminster called me back (from his mobile.....CLI not barred..so that number has gone in the book..heh.heh!). He was coming from the standpoint that when the planer is moved, there is too much leverage on the infeed/outfeed tables and they can go out of whack. For example, he reckoned that the infeed table was probably a tad high at the outer end compared to the cutter end. The solution either to whack the outer end of the infeed table down with a lump hammer and a bit of wood or to fiddle about with the gibs. [Actually I reckon if this was the case you would get a taper towards the back end of the piece of timber...ie you cut off more at the rear than off the initial end being fed across the cutters. Mine is the opposite).

To be fair, I have to confess to moving the planer but I thought that i'd done it so.o.o carefully. Clearly not.

So back to the straight edge...not quite long enough to go from end to end but enough to show a 12 thou gap at the cutter end of the infeed table. This seemingly miniscule difference appeared to be the problem (and also as born out by Keith and others).

Fiddled about with the gibs and clearly out of my depth. Slacken them off and, yes, you could get the infeed spot on but as soon as you tightened the gibs up, the table went out again. So tried Plan B and belted the end with said lump hammer. No effect. Cussed. Kicked the cat. Grumped about. Seriously thought about giving it all up. Left it alone for an hour. Got out my hand planer and used that.

Second go. I got a length of timber and set the infeed to give a good depth of cut (2mm) and then fed it through while I watched what was happening at the cutter head. Very clear to see what was going wrong but exactly what was causing it still unclear. As the wood started to be cut by the cutter and started to slide over the outfeed table the profile was exactly like what you see in all the books. Wood on the outfeed, wood on the infeed. However, as the wood went further along the outfeed table, you could see the depth of cut getting less and less until it stopped cutting completely. By this time, the wood was perfectly flat along the outfeed but the bit left over the infeed was up in the air and not making any contact with the infeed table.

So the conclusion I came to was that it was nothing to do with the infeed but that the outfeed furthest end was too high...so that as the wood went along it towards the end of the outfeed, it gradually raised itself. Actually typing this last bit doesn't seem to make sense to me but it's late. Anyway, decided to fiddle about with the gibs on the outfeed but too difficult to get at so Plan B and whacked it hard with the hammer.

Now, the outfeed is no longer parallel with the cutter blades and so I am basically stuffed. Maybe I can pay Axminster to send someone out to line it up again.

Ho hum. There's a moral there somewhere.
 

Noel

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As you say, reckon your initial problem was an uphill outfeed. Now, with the 2nd issue of course, the chances of being co-planar are further away. If you cannot adjust the outfeed table with the gibs you may have to use shims although if it was flat and level at some stage before, it should, in an ideal world, be able to be re-adjusted. The advice from the Axminster bloke maybe correct. Moving the unit by lifting it slightly with one or both of the tables will knock it of true (hard not to use the tables for assistance, I know). Anyway, I've got some info somewhyere which may be of assistance to you. I'll go and dig it out and pm you with a scan.
Will also check out details on re-aligning the table to the cutterhead.

Noel
 

Chris Knight

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rsinden":jg3gbhp5 said:
So the conclusion I came to was that it was nothing to do with the infeed but that the outfeed furthest end was too high
I think this is exactly 180 degrees wrong and that the far end of the outfeed is too LOW.
 

DaveL

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waterhead37":2dwa3u40 said:
rsinden":2dwa3u40 said:
So the conclusion I came to was that it was nothing to do with the infeed but that the outfeed furthest end was too high
I think this is exactly 180 degrees wrong and that the far end of the outfeed is too LOW.
I agree with Chris, outfeed high at the far end would put more force on the timber into the cutter, outfeed low will lift the timber off the cutter.
 

Noel

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You're right Chris, if it was uphill, big snipe at the end of the timber, otherwise.

Noel
 

RogerS

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Many thanks to everyone who contributed with advice to this thread.

I also burned the midnight oil and came across a host of stuff on the web. General consensus seemed to suggest that setting the outfeed table is the most critical.

Applying the good old technique expounded in 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' I stripped the planer down to it's basics. I released the gibs on the outfeed and moved the table until it was square and parallel to the blades (since I'd not touched these I felt that these were as good a datum point as any). Adjusted the height so that the blades were spot-on across the width of the table. Carefull re-tightened the gibs, locked everything off and rechecked. Still spot on.

Repeated the same on the infeed. Stuck a straight edge across outfeed and infeed and I can just slide a 0.0015" feeler guage under part of the straight edge on part of the infeed. Reckon that's as good as it'll get and feeling pretty chuffed with myself for getting this far.

Proof of the pudding is in the eating. Ran some test timber through and it was just magic.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
 

MickCheese

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I know this has been dredged up from the best part of five years ago but I am having the same taper problem with my Kity 439 planer.

I found this article that others may find useful.

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/ ... 124046.pdf

I think my tables have been knocked out of alignment when I hit a knot last week and the planer almost jumped off the floor with a loud bang as the knot jumped out of the wood.

It was planing straight before then.

I need to buy a decent straightedge to check the tables for alignment so will do that tomorrow.

I don't have a manual, although i am told that are less than useless, so will have to arm myself with some tools and try re-setting the tables and blades.

Can anyone tell me, should the blades be set exactly level with the outfeed table or, like i have seen written in some places a shade higher? Higher does not sound right to me but I ask as I don't know. :?:

Wish me luck.

Mick
 

MickCheese

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I have just checked the blades and they appear, (using both a square and a spirit level) to be a shade below the outfeed table, a guess is probably 0.2mm low. But when I get a decent straight edge I'll use some feeler gauges.

What do you think?

Mick
 

Modernist

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there is some wierd stuff going on here :eek: :roll: :lol:

Hit it with a lump hammer :shock: :shock: :shock:

tables knocked out of alignment by a knot :shock: :shock:

1 raise the outfeed table above the knives
2 Put a long level on it and raise the infeed until they are level
3 the level must touch both tables all the way along
4 If not the tables are not parallel
5 adjust if possible (shims under the mounting blocks)
6 once the tables are parallel set the outfeed just below the knives - It is essential that each knife projects the same amount - to check this see below
7 do this by lowering it until it just moves a straight stick a couple of mm as each knife passes (turning by hand) Make a mark on the stick next to the edge the table to see how far it travels - a couple of mm will be ok for starters. This must be the same for each knife - if not adjust the knives. It must also be the same across the width of the table - again adjust the knives until they are.
8 lower the infeed to cut depth
9 try a test run

Under no circumstances hit with a lump hammer.

Hope this helps

Brian
 
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