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hi all, i have a ridgid planer but have never really used the repeat-a-cut feature. i want to surface a number of 1-1.25" boards to 3/4 an inch..what is the best way to use the reapeat a cut feature to keep them all the same thickness?
The only way to assure they're exactly the same thickness is to run them all through one after the other, without changing the height setting.
If you're doing a number of boards, start with a conservative first setting. E.g. if your thickest board is 1.25", set the thickness to 1 1/8" and run all the boards through. Some might not take anything off, or just part of the board.
Once you've done all the boards at that setting, rotate the handle 1/2 turn (1/16") and run them all through again. It would be a very good idea to alternate side, so that you're removing material from both faces. That way, any residual moisture or tension in the wood will be (hopefully) offset by the same on the other face. If you don't alternate, you stand a very good chance of winding up with a bowed or cupped board.
Anyway, continue this process until you get to the 3/4" Repeat-a-Cut setting and the handle won't go anymore. Run all your boards through and they'll be the same thickness...
Last bits of advice:
- When you're approaching the final planing height of 3/4", back off the cutter by about 1/32" and run them all through. Then crank down to the 3/4" final setting and run through that same face. That way, the final pass through is just a skimming cut and will reduce or eliminate any tearout and will be nearly finish-ready.
- Make sure you properly support the outfeed side. Snipe CAN be eliminated completely by preventing the board from going in or coming out without full support.