Thicknesser

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

steve355

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2020
Messages
496
Reaction score
524
Location
Herts
Hi

I have traditionally done all of my stock preparation by hand. When I was making my casement window recently, this took a very significant proportion of the time for the project. Probably 50%. It’s a miserable job, but I found that for me, it’s been the only way to guarantee flat and square stock to the dimensions I need with a proper finish. But it is time-consuming.

A couple of years back, I bought myself a Triton thicknesser, and I’ve had a number of tries getting it to work acceptably. I understand that it’s not the worst of those tools on the market, so I can’t simply blame the quality of the machine, but I have never managed to get a result that I am happy with and give the same quality of output that I get from hand-tools. Generally the problem is snipe. I’ve followed all of the YouTube advice, but still the snipe is there. Often very slight, a few thou probably but still there, which is not acceptable. From my perspective, the tool does not work. It cannot produce a properly flat board. So it sits under the bench unused.

i’ve been toying with the idea of using the thicknesser to get very close to the final thickness and then giving it final smoothing with a hand plane to get to the exact final dimension and remove the snipe. But really, for the money, I don’t feel I should have to do this.

Is it just me, or do these thicknessers just not really work properly? I really wish it did, it would save me huge amounts of effort.

Steve
 
Sometimes it's technique. sometimes it's the machine, usually the former. If you can't eliminate snipe just add a few inches to your stock length and saw off the snipe latter on.
How do you prepare 2 square faces before putting it through the thicknesser?
Brian
 
A couple of years back, I bought myself a Triton thicknesser, and I’ve had a number of tries getting it to work acceptably.
You are used to a quality that something like the Triton just cannot deliver, if larger P/T 's can be a real pita to get setup then in this case no one is going to say you are a bad workman if you blame the machine. You may have been better off spending a little more and getting the Dewalt or Makita. But hats off to you for preparing wood by hand, many of us use a P/T not because it is quicker but because we cannot prepare wood by hand.
 
You are used to a quality that something like the Triton just cannot deliver, if larger P/T 's can be a real pita to get setup then in this case no one is going to say you are a bad workman if you blame the machine. You may have been better off spending a little more and getting the Dewalt or Makita. But hats off to you for preparing wood by hand, many of us use a P/T not because it is quicker but because we cannot prepare wood by hand.
Well it isnt hard but it takes practice and elbow grease. My view is if you can’t make wood flat and square by hand then your chances of successfully executing fancy joints are zero.

What I really need is an old fashioned planer thicknesser, AKA a boy. However none of my sons seem to be volunteering.
 
just reminded me to get my blades off and sharpened again.....

Steve ,
ask if someone is local and prepared to help set the planer up.....worth a try.....
sounds like a good idea for T and cake + boy's time in the shed....
most of the problems on the cheaper machines is the short bed length.....
a few thou snipe for some would be great....
 
1)Set up the planer first
2)Make sure the tables are coplanar
3) Make sure the knives are sharp
4) Set the knives to be hairsbreadth above the outfeed table and no more.
This should remove all but the tiniest bit of snipe.
Taking fine cuts as you approach final dimension will help.
5) set the fence at 90 degree to the tables along its whole length.
Now turn to the thicknesser.
6) adjust the table height adjustment so the table is parallel side to side with respect to the outfeed table or knives. DO NOT achieve this by moving the knives but use the table raising mechanism instead.
removing any further thicknessing snipe is large down to technique is supporting the timber both feeding in and out.
Take your time and do the steps in the order above.
Good luck
 
Mathias Wandel and the Natural Workshop have covered this on Youtube, the latter specifically with the Triton:

But for the faff involved, I think your idea of hand planing the final couple of thou is valid.
 
Have you tried making a removable bed extension for it ? Out of something fairly sturdy, 18mm birch or similar (or phenolic or melamine faced ply for extra slippage) I always think lunchbox thicknessers are going to struggle. Even bigger industrial machines like to grab and lift the work, and they have much longer thicknessing beds.
Another option would be to leave the first and last piece over length, and constant feed the machine, end to end. Or every time you are prepping stock cut some softwood blocks at the same, then use these as sacrificial pieces at start and end.
All of the above are options to try.
 
Have you tried making a removable bed extension for it ? Out of something fairly sturdy, 18mm birch or similar (or phenolic or melamine faced ply for extra slippage) I always think lunchbox thicknessers are going to struggle. Even bigger industrial machines like to grab and lift the work, and they have much longer thicknessing beds.
Another option would be to leave the first and last piece over length, and constant feed the machine, end to end. Or every time you are prepping stock cut some softwood blocks at the same, then use these as sacrificial pieces at start and end.
All of the above are options to try.
I have, I’ve tried all of the YouTube tweaks for it that I think might be practical.

I am finding that if I feed it carefully and creep up on the final dimension, the snipe is reducing, measuring at 0.003” - still visible but not much. Then a quick pass with a sharp and very finely set hand plane gets rid of it. I am also finding that a 1/4 turn is pretty consistently 0.015“.

I‘m generally a hand tool person so I am feeling a bit guilty, but it may end up being useful.….
 
I would be suprised if you can get much better than that from it. Sounds like it’s less than .1 of a mm..
there’s probably that much play or flex in a fairly lightweight setup like that.
Much better (if it’s important) would be to revise the order of processes, so the issue is avoided. My advice would still be as above, leave over length and trim in after.
 
As someone who is on his third planer/thicknesser, I can tell you for sure that it's the machine, not you. My first two- a Sedgwick and a Robinson- sniped and despite spending a lot of time and money on them I never managed to cure them. The third- a Felder bought new when I had a lot more money than I do now- has never sniped.
 
.....

i’ve been toying with the idea of using the thicknesser to get very close to the final thickness and then giving it final smoothing with a hand plane to get to the exact final dimension and remove the snipe. But really, for the money, I don’t feel I should have to do this.
....
Common practice. If it's only a few thou you may not have to plane the whole piece just take off the visible snipe
 

Latest posts

Back
Top