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Aragorn

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Just a little tip really - probably obvious to most.
I've recently been using my planer slightly differently with good results - i.e. very straight timbers in fewer cuts/passes.
Before, I have always followed the advice I'd read in the manuals and on this forum, applying downward pressure to the timber on the outfeed table just behind the cutterhead.
What bothered me was, when a thinish piece is bowed (concave side down) applying pressure downwards was flattening the wood as I passed it through the blades, and on releasing the pressure after the cut, of course it springs back again.
It was a bit hit and miss - sometimes it seemed I was never able to get a thin piece of wood straight!

Anyway - for bowed timber I am now making the first pass or two with almost no downward pressure at all, just pushing the wood through on the infeed side. I use pressure against the fence for longer pieces to provide the friction needed to "walk" my hands along the timber to pass it through.
This seems to work really well at actually straightening the timber, although the finish is awful. So for the final cut, back to the usual method, good consistant downward pressure on the outfeed and a steady feed rate.
For anything over about 2", I don't suppose your downward pressure is going to distort the timber, but for thinner pieces - this works a treat!
 

Philly

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Nice one Aragorn!
Yes, we forget that wood if pliable! My approach is to check the piece with a straight edge BEFORE any machining is carried out. When you know where you should be removing material you can plan (or is that plane? :roll: ) accordingly. I use a similar "low-pressure" approach, and when the timber is suitable flat use the thicknesser to do the opposite side, and as a final pass, put the original surface up for a clean up. My thicknesser leaves a better finish than the surface planer. (either because of the consistant pressure from the rollers or because the blades are shagged on the planer!? :roll: )
hope this is of help
Philly :D
 

Aragorn

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I do the same thing with the thicknesser, which in my case also gives a better finish (I have the Dewalt).
 

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