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Planer dust collection

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  • Planer dust collection

    I just used my new Ridgid planer for the first time today. I planed a 2x4 just to see how things worked. The planer didn't even slow down during the planing and the first pass looked great (no snipe). When I flipped over the piece and ran it through I noticed a few wood chips at the infeed. I shut everything off, unplugged the planer and removed the dust removal chute. Sure enough there was a wad of wood chips the exact width of my workpiece.
    I had my shop vac hooked up to the dust collection chute and it seemed to work fine initially. I was examining the dust chute that in intergral to the planer and I saw that they use the motor exhaust air to "draw" out the wood chips. If I have a vacuum system hooked up wouldn't it be better to just have the motor vent to the outside and have all the airflow being pulled through the planer knife drum area?
    Is there an easy way to modify this chute? I was thinking of opening up the top of the integral chute to allow the motor to exhaust up and then plugging the ports that lead into the wood chip path. This would pull all the air by the cutter. I'm just thinking out loud, maybe I'll order a spare dust chute to play with.
    Overall the planer performed great. I had NO snipe at all, and the wood finish was very smooth.
    One other question; I noticed that I was running around the planer a lot during the operation, first on the infeed side to start the planer and then feed in the stock, then over to the outfeed side to catch the stock on the exit, then back around to the infeed to shut it down. Has anyone worked out a system to do everything less frantic?


  • #2

    A shop vacs suction is insufficient to cope with a planer. You will need a dust collector to really extract those chips, and prevent any blockages.

    The 4" outlet is reasonably OK, if the DC is directly connected, and will cope with 95%+ of the chips.

    On other sites, various fittings have been tried and modifications have been made, including the inclusion of 6" tubing to the standard extraction hood. Not necessary, if you connect directly to the DC with around a 6'-7' of 4" tube.



    • #3

      I have the same planer and use a shop vac to suck up the mess. I have no problems even planing up to 10 inch wide boards doing it this way. Works fine until the shop vac fills, which is rather quickly. Check the suction power of your shop vac.



      • #4
        The problem was the 2x4. Pine is really soft and normally wet. if you plane a piece of Oak, or other hardwood that is drier, you should not get the cloggng problem provided you have sufficient suck from teh vac.


        • #5
          Also, you might want to take off less with each pass as not to choke the shop vac.


          • #6
            I tend to be a little impatient, and when my planner kept getting clogged up, I removed a venturi of sorts that is inside the knife cover. that took care of my clogging problem. its attached with a ciouple of screws and a little foam, nothing that cant be reassembled if you cahnge your mind.