Planer cutting uneven? No problem! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-26-2016, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Planer cutting uneven? No problem!

Well, big problem actually. My planer, an old delta model, decided on my last project "screw you, im gonna randomly cut deeper on one side so none of your panel glueups go right!". Well, i think it was my last project, although that does explain why my glueups always look funny... Anyway, measuring the difference in cut depth, i got about 1/32 difference in cut depth right to left. I thought of a few different ways to fix this:

1. Crank the head through its full range of motion, hope it self corrects - no dice
2. Consult the internet to see if people have had success dissassembling a planer and re-aligning the gear mechanism - ditto
3. Buy a new planer - considered, but then i remembered im poor
4. Curl into a ball and cry for a bit and hope the problem resolves itself - no luck, but my jointer did break
and finally 5. auxiliary bed made to be in plane with the cutter head

5 showed promise. Now, i imagine that a normal, intelligent, sane person would get a piece of something slick, some form of laminate mayhaps, set that on the bed and then use a series of carefully placed shims to bring everything in line.

I am none of those things.

I chose the easy, stupid route. I took a piece of 3/4 mdf, cut it to the same width of the bed, then sent it through the planer. Boom, now the top of the mdf was in plane with the cutterhead. Little hot glue and BAM:


One fixed planer, delivered right up. Now, a full 12 inch wide cut shows 1-2 thou difference in thickness side to side, and it barely took me 10 minutes. Added bonus, it took me all of 5 seconds to adjust the height gauge. I love that wixey readout!



Bonus shot of the back. Burb got a kick out of it the first time he saw my dust collection setup, I figured someone else would get a laugh. Pretty effective though

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post #2 of 20 Old 01-26-2016, 08:37 AM
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A bit of common sense goes a long way!! Good job.

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post #3 of 20 Old 01-26-2016, 09:14 AM
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I have a little Delta planer that does that. On mine it's the feed rollers. There are spring loaded blocks on each end of each of the feed rollers. I have to take mine apart 2-3 times a year and clean the tract where those blocks are. The blocks raise up when you run a board through and stay up. Then you have no pressure on the next board and it raises up off the table a little making one side thinner or if the board is narrow and you run it on that side it snipes.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-26-2016, 09:43 AM
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Aren't the cutter blades removable for sharpening? The fastening holes are usually oval to allow for adjustment to realign the blades after sharpening. If they are and have just loosened up that may have caused the problem
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-26-2016, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by hts1965 View Post
Aren't the cutter blades removable for sharpening? The fastening holes are usually oval to allow for adjustment to realign the blades after sharpening. If they are and have just loosened up that may have caused the problem
If his planer is like mine the oval holes run horizontal where you can't adjust the depth of cut.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-26-2016, 12:50 PM
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nice job epic. yankee ingenuity prevails!

I think the adjustment may be underneath where the chain cranks on a sprocket which turns the threaded shaft/lift screw. I would suspect the sprocket may be able to be loosened and repositioned on the lift screw to change the head elevation on that side.

"old delta model" that one looks new to me!!! mine is older yet. I like your dust hood too.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-26-2016, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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If his planer is like mine the oval holes run horizontal where you can't adjust the depth of cut.
Bingo. The only way for me to adjust the depth of cut would've been a complete disassembly so I could rotate the lift screws on one side of the carriage, and that was just too much work. This was faster, even if it did play hell on the knives

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post #8 of 20 Old 02-09-2016, 07:51 AM
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If it is anything like my lunchbox Jet JWP 12. Then remove the cover. The two large nuts on the screw height adjuster can be independently adjusted to raise or lower each side . Loosen the top of the nut, and adjust the lower nut till it is even. Lock down the top nut while holding the lower nut in place..

Let me see if I can find a manual...
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-09-2016, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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If it is anything like my lunchbox Jet JWP 12. Then remove the cover. The two large nuts on the screw height adjuster can be independently adjusted to raise or lower each side . Loosen the top of the nut, and adjust the lower nut till it is even. Lock down the top nut while holding the lower nut in place..

Let me see if I can find a manual...
I thought about doing it that was, I'm sure that there's some adjustment mechanism built in. However, trying to re-align the sprockets would require a pretty extensive disassembly, as well as a lot of trial and error trying to get everything just right, as well as a load of time.

This took me 5 minutes and a glue gun

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post #10 of 20 Old 02-09-2016, 08:46 PM
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Seems like a great approach to the problem. One thing I've learned about you, Chris, is that if there's an ingenious way to fix something that doesn't take much money and regardless of looks, etc will work, then you're gonna find it!!

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Bonus shot of the back. Burb got a kick out of it the first time he saw my dust collection setup, I figured someone else would get a laugh. Pretty effective though
What can I say.....doesn't take much to impress me....

Mark

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post #11 of 20 Old 02-10-2016, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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One thing I've learned about you, Chris, is that if there's an ingeniuos way to fix something that doesn't take much money and regardless of looks, etc will work, then you're gonna find it!!
I think you misspelled 'insane' there seriously though, thanks for the compliment

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post #12 of 20 Old 02-11-2016, 09:51 PM
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I think you misspelled 'insane' there seriously though, thanks for the compliment

He is not the only one around here that knows you have your **** very well together and that your cheese is properly placed on your cracker.

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post #13 of 20 Old 02-12-2016, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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He is not the only one around here that knows you have your **** very well together and that your cheese is properly placed on your cracker.

I'll have to disagree with part of that sentence. My chess is on the ceiling and I'm wearing the cracker as a hat. My **** is also in need of some stitches!

But then again, that's the way I like it
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post #14 of 20 Old 03-13-2016, 04:21 PM
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Why didn't I think of that!!

I'm still curious how one can adjust it. Thanks.
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post #15 of 20 Old 03-13-2016, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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I'm still curious how one can adjust it. Thanks.
Actual adjustment on one of these 4 post stlye planers would probably be don't by assembling most of the base, then decoupling the sprockets on the lifting screw and adjusting that screw to level out the height. Personally, that sounds like a lot of work, so I didn't do it. As mentioned, this was way faster, and I have the advantage of a longer, flatter bed

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post #16 of 20 Old 11-15-2017, 04:24 PM
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Question My planer has a different evenness issue

Maybe one of you very clever folks can help with this: my planer (DeWalt 13" 3-knife 2-speed) removes a little more (about 0.5 mm) in the middle than the edges. I'm making cutting boards for Christmas this year, and it can add up to a half inch for a typical board. I replaced the blades with shiny new ones, but that didn't help. I don't see anything on the planer bed, and I have extensions on input and output. I've resorted to cleaning up the edges on my table saw, but that is a tremendous time suck, and doesn't always result in nice even pieces.
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post #17 of 20 Old 11-15-2017, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by hts1965 View Post
Aren't the cutter blades removable for sharpening? The fastening holes are usually oval to allow for adjustment to realign the blades after sharpening. If they are and have just loosened up that may have caused the problem
Some of the little 12Ē planers were sold with an extra set of knives. So based on that I always thought the little knives were disposable and not worth the cost of trying to re-sharpen.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #18 of 20 Old 11-15-2017, 08:26 PM
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unless you're making really really heavy cuts, it's not too likely the blade shaft is bowing upwards - and there no force acting to bow it downward (which is how the middle gets thinner . . . ) so the only answer is the bed.

....with the possible exception if you're doing glued up flats where the middle wood is softer than the wood on the edges...

lay a flat steel rule across the bed - i.e. at right angles to the work travel path and 'right' under the blade contact point. at 0.5 mm any dip will be quite obvious - use a flashlight on the back side....

presuming you see a low spot on the bed:

if it has a plate on the bed, supported by the frame, take that off and check underneath for dirt / build-up / corrosion.

if there's no plate and/or no problem found under it - the bed has warped and odds are it's toast.
unless you've moved or relocated or rebolted the planner down and caused some stress on the frame/bed....
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post #19 of 20 Old 11-15-2017, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mtvand2 View Post
Maybe one of you very clever folks can help with this: my planer (DeWalt 13" 3-knife 2-speed) removes a little more (about 0.5 mm) in the middle than the edges. I'm making cutting boards for Christmas this year, and it can add up to a half inch for a typical board. I replaced the blades with shiny new ones, but that didn't help. I don't see anything on the planer bed, and I have extensions on input and output. I've resorted to cleaning up the edges on my table saw, but that is a tremendous time suck, and doesn't always result in nice even pieces.
Is it possible the board had a crown in the middle which the planer cut more out of the middle? Excluding that the only possibility I can think of is the cutter head is bent where the middle of it is running a little out of round.
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post #20 of 20 Old 11-16-2017, 06:10 PM
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Is it possible the board had a crown in the middle which the planer cut more out of the middle? Excluding that the only possibility I can think of is the cutter head is bent where the middle of it is running a little out of round.
(a) Not possible unless every single board has a crown in the middle in the same place. ;-) I planed dozens of boards before I noticed it.
(b) Possibly a bent cutter head, but not likely. I think TomCT2 is right: the most likely culprit is the bed not being flat, so I will investigate that first.

Thanks for the input.
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