Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Planer Snipe Tricks

There is always comes a day when you have cut a board to length but forgot it needed more planing.  How to do it without sniping the ends of your special board?  I personally use the sacrificial stick method shown in the video below:

Some extra tips:

Where possible you might try to overlap the boards to assure the infeed and outfeed rollers can't jump.

Run 2 or 3 sacrificial boards in the planer loop to avoid that moment when you are scrambling to grab one as the end of your good board slides inside.

If you miss it, let it go!  It is just snipe after all, not worth losing fingertips over.  If you missed timed it don't try to frantically jam one in, let it go.  LET IT GO!

You only need to bother with it the last pass of each side.  The last pass is enough to remove the snipe unless your machine is cutting particularly bad.

Remember to adjust the rollers.  This trick is only to help that last whisper, not save you from a machine that hogs out a massive 1/8 deep snipe.  Grab the manual and a straight edge and have at it.

For those interested my main planer is an older Makita 2012N 12 inch with the two sided disposable blades.  It has been a workhorse for better than a decade now.  In the video you can hear that it is in need of some bearings and occasionally the chain drive binds and releases leaving marks on the boards.  For the most part I live with this.  About once a year I crank it all the way down and wipe the feed rollers with some solvent to get the gunk off.  This seems to help greatly with intermittent feeding issues.  My secondary planer is a 5hp Rockwell 18 inch that scares the crap out of me because it is missing parts like the chip breaker.  I hate standing in front of a planer when you can see the blades spinning, but that is a story for another day.

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