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planer/thicknesser safety

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Halo Jones

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What is the minimum length than you can safely put through a thicknesser? Is it the distance between the infeed and outfeed roller?

Reason I am asking is that I am machining some reclaimed wooden flooring, converting it to block work. I would like to cut it all to size (45 x 180 mm) then let it climatise in the house while on holiday then thickness it to final dimension once I get back. I can leave the lengths oversized but would prefer to cut it final dimension so there is less to do when I get back.

H.
 

JakeS

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Halo Jones":1b9wtep1 said:
What is the minimum length than you can safely put through a thicknesser? Is it the distance between the infeed and outfeed roller?
That's the absolute shortest, I suppose...

Bear in mind also support and access.

If your piece is only just the distance between the two rollers, I'd worry a bit about it potentially pivoting up around the first roller before the second roller engages, because there's not enough spare timber 'behind' the front roller (on the outside of the device) to stop it doing so. It shouldn't happen anyway 'cause the rollers press down, of course, but if your workpiece isn't entirely flat on both sides, I'd worry it's possible.

You also don't want to have to put your hands anywhere near the cutting block when feeding the timber in or supporting it on the way out - the shorter a piece is, the closer you're going to have to get.



(I'm no expert myself, but those are the things I'd be wary of.)
 

wcndave

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cutting to near final dimension is good to relieve stress in the wood. however you need to leave enough for snipe. I always allow 3" each end if i can.

in terms of shortest, you have a few challenges.

1. when the piece hits the first roller, the back will lift if it's short, and it can get stuck if really short, and also damage the wood
2. you have to get your fingers in the thicknesser to push through (at least with a combined planer / thicknesser)
3. the aforementioned snipe

for my scheppach PT, 12" seems the shortest to do easily. on a dedicated thicknesser it could be less, however 18cm seems rather short. perhaps do them 50cm then cut them in half and trim each outer end when you're done. that way you can batch it when you get back which will save time.
 

Sawyer

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If at all possible, you would be better off thicknessing in longer lengths, multiples of the final length and crosscutting afterwards. Quicker, safer, better finish.
 

wcndave

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Sawyer":3t77nogl said:
If at all possible, you would be better off thicknessing in longer lengths, multiples of the final length and crosscutting afterwards. Quicker, safer, better finish.
exactly. 18x2 = 36, allow 7cm each end of snipe = 50cm total. then cut in half. then trim the two original ends. with a table sled on TS, or a mitre saw, should be dead quick.
 

Halo Jones

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Thanks all. You have confirmed what I suspected I would have to do. And thanks for reminding me about allowing for snipe!

H.
 
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