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Dewalt 13" planer

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  • Dewalt 13" planer

    I've had the Dewalt planer for about 4 months now. Not a bad planer in that category of planers. My one complaint is that it doesn't seem to handle too well when I want to plane something to 1/8 inch. It seems once is starts to go below 1/4 inch it starts to chew up the wood. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or if there is a problem with the saw or if this is just the way it is with cheaper planers. It's really ticking me off cause I do use 1/8" walnut quite often for some of the things I sell.

  • #2
    To plane thinner than the plane's capacity thicken your board: instead of planing just the 1/8" board, stick it to a thicker piece and plane the combination.

    --Rob
    Or so I'm told. I only have hand planes, not them high falutin' power ones

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    • #3
      Thanks for the tip Rob. My planer's capicity is actually 1/8 inch which is what I want to take some things down to. Will that help keep the planer from tearing the wood up? Also what is your method for sticking the wood to a thicker board?

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      • #4
        Which model do you have? I have a DeWalt 733 and have no problem with planing down to 1/8". The trick is to use sharp blades and to take off very little at a time. I usually take off 1/64" at a time when I get down below 1/4"
        Dan in So.Ca.

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        • #5
          Success at planing wood down to 1/8" can also vary, depending on species and grain orientation. Some woods have an interlocking grain and are more prone to tear out when planing. Attaching the stock to a sled (usually via double back tape) and taking very light passes are your best bets for getting good results, short of switching the knives out with a spiral head cutter (very expensive, but I believe they are available for some benchtop planers).

          Look carefully at how the grain is oriented on your stock. Some boards will have a definite direction. Think of it like how the hair grows on a dog's back. It lays in one direction and brushing it in the opposite direction just makes it stand up. Wood can be rather like that as well. You can often tell by looking at the edge of the board to see how the grain lines angle. If you are experiencing problems with tear out, flip the stock end for end and run it through (light passes) and see if the tear out decreases.

          Hope this helps, good luck!
          Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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          • #6
            Sawdust,
            Grain direction becomes very critical when you get that thin, it will chunk out.
            Rolf
            RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
            Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
            Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
            And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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            • #7
              I have a Dewalt 735 that has exploded thin boards.

              I have not tried planing as thin as 1/8", but do use 1/4" frequently. When the knives hit a big knot that I am trying to save as a "feature" in the board sometimes the board will explode, or chunk out as Rolf called it. Fragments have come out of the planer and hit the garage wall with a very resounding thwhack ! Makes me a believer in never standing in line with the in or out feed tables.

              Bob

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              • #8
                Thank you all for your comments. I have been planing with the grain so I'm still not sure why its chunking out at times. I have the DW735. I also take very little off each pass. I mostly plane red oak and walnut. I wonder if a benchtop drum sander would be better when you want to go that thin.

                Rolf, I meant to talk to you about this at the meeting and I forgot.

                Bob, I know what you're saying about that. That's happened once to me already. I always stand on the side as it's going through.

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                • #9
                  When I mentioned planing with/against the grain, that was probably a little misleading. Wood should always be put through the planer with the grain as opposed to across the grain. However, even when you have the grain of the wood running the length of the board, there is still a direction to it. It isn't always readily evident until you start planing and see that you are getting tear out. It's kind of hard to explain, but believe me, it can make a difference which end of the board you put through the planer first. If you are experiencing tear out, then flip the board around, end for end and feed the opposite end into the planer first.
                  Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Bill I appreciate your help. Next time I plane, I'm gonna have to take a close look at the wood to see what you're talking about regarding the grain direction. I thought just going with the grain was all I needed to do.

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                    • #11
                      If you look at the edge of a board, you can sometimes see that the grain lines don't run parallel with the surface of the board. This varies by species as well as how the board is sawn, when it's milled from the tree.

                      For example, looking at one long edge, if you see the general flow of grain rising from left to right and you feed the right end into the planer first, the rotation of the cutterhead can cause the blades to dig in more and generate the tearout. If you feed the left end of the board in first, then the blades will shear the surface more cleanly and tear out will be minimized.

                      There are some woods that have tight interlocking grain and/or lots of figure. These are very difficult to plane smoothly, because there isn't a consistent flow of the grain, in one direction or another. In cases like this, the spiral head planer cutters work best.

                      I'm probably not describing this very well, but I hope this helps.
                      Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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