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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Default I need help with planing

I bought a planer a few weeks ago to go with my jointer so I can use rough cut wood for my projects. I have had great luck with my joiner and getting a good butt joint for panel a panel glue up.

I had good luck planing a few pieces of wood but now I'm getting little chips in the wood I am working with now. They look like little pock marks. They are not all over the board just in a few spots.

It's the same type as before, red oak. I got it at the same time too. I'm not sure if it's just this piece of wood or if I am doing something wrong.

Just to let you guys know, this is my first planer and I am inexperienced at planing rough wood.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mcdonelldj View Post
I bought a planer a few weeks ago to go with my jointer so I can use rough cut wood for my projects. I have had great luck with my joiner and getting a good butt joint for panel a panel glue up.

I had good luck planing a few pieces of wood but now I'm getting little chips in the wood I am working with now. They look like little pock marks. They are not all over the board just in a few spots.

It's the same type as before, red oak. I got it at the same time too. I'm not sure if it's just this piece of wood or if I am doing something wrong.

Just to let you guys know, this is my first planer and I am inexperienced at planing rough wood.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
It's called tear out and depending on the size of the board, direction of feed, type of wood, depth of cut, knife adjustment and probably some other things, there's many causes.

It could be the wood but another thing that comes to mind is that you're knives may have become loose and may be moving ever so slightly. Since this is a new planer, you should have gone through the setup procedure that is usually detailed in the manual. Make sure the knives are set properly and have not become loose before you use it again. A thrown knife can do some serious damage to both people and things.

Other than that, there's too many unknowns. Post pictures of the work piece and your planer.

In the mean time (once you check the knives and setup), you could try some other species of wood. Make sure they're at least 2 feet long and don't take more than 1/32-1/16 of an inch off with each pass. See if you still get tearout.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-04-2010, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. I didn't know that was also considered tear out.

I did not adjust the blades when I bought the planer, I just took it of the box, did the set up and started using it. The planer is a Porter Cable PC350TP. I am looking at the manual now it has instructions on replacing the knives but other than tightening 6 screws on the blades, there is no other set up or alignment for the blades.

I checked the blades and they are all tight.

I can't send you pictures of the piece since I went ahead and sanded it so I could use it.

As far as the depth of cut goes I wasn't even cutting 1/32, I was only giving the handle a quarter turn trying to shave the pock marks out. Could a too shallow cut be an issue?

I ran some other unidentified hard wood through and took a 1/16 at time from 3/4 to 1/2 and it had no tear out at all.

I did the same for a scrap of SPF and it had some surface marks but not of the marks were below the surface.

Other than a too shallow cut, I am starting to think it was just the wood. Thoughts?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 01:20 AM
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Hi Dave,

I also believe that Planning agaist the grain may cause chip out.

James
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 05:42 AM
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Always feed into the direction of the grain, never against it. Actually shallow cuts are better, easier on the equipment and the knives/blades will last longer.

Ken

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 07:27 AM
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Dave..

there will be times when there won't be much of anything you can do to avoid chipout. Some pieces of wood are just prone to it. Highly figured, cross grained, curly and just plain too dry can all contribute to chipout. Like the guys all mentioned above there is several things you can do to minimize the potential for problems. Feeding with the grain and shallow passes like Ken said are the two biggies! A properly set up machine and sharp blades are vital, both of which you seem to have addressed.
Look at it this way, a planer "scoops" out the wood with each pass of the blade where as a hand planer slices through the wood. There will be times when no amount of tweaking the equipment will stop all of the chipout. It then becomes time to get out the smoothing plane.
Another consideration might very well be the use of ski's in conjunction with your router. This could be a particularly attractive alternative when dealing with smaller pieces of wood.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 12:09 PM
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Can you tell if the "chip out/pockmark" is smooth or rough If it's a little rough its likely chip out. Inconsistent grain density and direction can produce divots. Chip out usually occurs at the edges and ends of the stock, rarer within the face.

Do you have lots of cutting/shavings floating on the board surface "AS" it exits the out feed side? If the chip out/pockmark is smooth and occurs within the face, your pock marks may be dents left over from the knives hitting too many residual cuttings/shavings at the planing point.

Shavings may be stuck to the knife and or so many are blowing around in the cutting plane that instead of cutting the stock it presses shavings into it.

In my case this is due to inadequate chip removal. I've had this happen mostly with Pine and only on my portable planer when I don't have DC connected. If you are using DC or it may be clogged or the planers dust chute may be blocked.

Do take shallower cuts 1/16 to 1/32 and use DC.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I got some questions answered and now I have new ones.

I think I understand the idea of planing with the grain but sometimes I can't tell which way to plane because the grain looks like it goes both ways. Is there a visual tutorial or a good explanation that can tweek my untrained eye to know which way the grain is going?

The next issue is dust collection. I have a Porter Cable PC305TP and it did not come with any dust collection system. It has a hood but as Ronald pointed out it does have chips on it as it exits the planer. Is there a generic adapter to use or is there a slick way to make one from store bought parts?

Thanks for all the help so far.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 04:36 PM
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Dave..

what you think your seeing, you might actually be seeing!! Grain can go in both directions. Grain can go all over the place at time. Thus making planning your board all the more aggravating. IMHO a visual explanation of what to look for is the best way to learn. Do a google search on "wood grain direction". this "pdf" file was one of the better, simple explanations I found.

http://blog.woodworking-magazine.com..._Direction.pdf

Fine woodworking has an excellent article on wood grain direction etc. but you have to be a member. Actually a membership well worth having.
What usually works well for me is taking soft cotton shop rag and dragging it down the board and back. With the grain, the rag goes along relatively smoothly. against the grain you can feel it 'catching"...

HTH..

bill
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 04:47 PM
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Dave... The best books I have on reading grain are "The Hand Plane Book" by Garrett Hack and "Handplane Essentials" by Chris Schwarz. From these books I've come to realize that while some boards do have straight "one-way" grain, the more nicely figured woods often have the grain going different directions in different parts of the same face. On some wood the best you can do is to choose the direction with the least tear out and clean it up from there, using some combination of hand planes, scrapers and sanders.

This doesn't mean I've given up on my planer. It serves me a very valuable function in quickly thicknessing my wood; I just allow a tad of thickness for planing, scraping and sanding.

If anyone here has found the "magic bullet" in planing wild-grained wood so its glass smooth, I'd sure like to know about it!

Check out that new high-tech cordless router.. wireless and no recharging required!!
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