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Hello all,

I recently purchased a used planer from a retiring wood worker. I haven't been able to definitely place the model, but I think it's a Ridgid TP-1300. It has to be at least a decade old, but the motor sounds good, and he sent me off with eight extra blades for $160. I think it will work well once everything gets tuned properly.

After replacing the first set of blades (which were leaving deep grooves running the length of the board), lubricating the lift and cleaning the bed I'm getting nice, smooth surfaces. However, the entire feeding process is quite finicky, and the dreaded snipe is taking 3" or 4" from the end of each board. Not cool. It seems like bed sits 1/8" above the infeed and outfeed tables. I've attached a diagram to illustrate what I mean.



Is that normal? The bed seems to be attached in a way that *some* flex would be a good thing, but it seems to catch the pieces unless you deliberately use them to hold it down, then push through.

Additionally, it seems like you've really got to jam the pieces in before the outfeed roller starts helping. I suppose sometimes the infeed roller engages, but not always. It seems like it might be related to the misaligned planer bed. In most videos I've seen, you can gently feed the piece in, and the infeed roller will assist.

Finally, I've heard many things about snipe being caused by flexing in the infeed and outfeed tables. What prevents someone from simply running a piece of MDF through the entire planer? Creating an auxiliary bed on top of the existing one?



Thanks in advance for your help and feedback-
 

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Can't help with the cupped table part, but when I had my Delta 22-540 (a notorious sniper) I did exacly as you described, only I use a piece of melamine for the auxiliary bed. Still didn't solve all my snipe problems, but in my case they were all at the trailing end of the board. I learned to lift up a little on the leading edge as it was exiting the plane, that did solve it but was a PITA. I next elevated that end of the auxiliary bed slightly until I got most of it eliminated. Melamine is much more slick and durable than MDF, and just as cheap. You can buy a ready made shelf and rip to the width needed as the bed. Be sure to come up with some cleats somewhere to keep it from skating through the planer along with the workpiece.
 

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where's my table saw?
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good advice above

I don't have those issues, but the addition of a thicker smooth bed sounds like it will help. The cup in the table just doesn't seem right to me. I would also consider Corian, Formica, Stainless Steel covered wood, or just a sealed and polished piece of hardwood or plywood.

If it were me, I'd make a long base under the planer, bolt it down, then put my top surface inside the planer, the same length as the base and block up each end for additional support. This will make a whole table system. Shims under the outfeed support block will make slight adjustments if needed to eliminate snipe.

There may be some ideas here:
http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=ytff1-tyc-inbox&p=planer%20snipe%20elimination&type=
 

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Hold up on the end of the board until it's under both front and back feed rollers as it goes in and when it comes out after it passes the front feed roller. With heavy boards, like big 2x's, you have to hold up on the board until it lifts that side of the planer to make sure the board stays down. The ends of the board kicking up causes snipe. We don't use any infeed and outfeed tables on a lunchbox planer, and don't get snipe by holding the board up like this.
 
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