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Snipe on trailing edge of planed wood?

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  • Snipe on trailing edge of planed wood?

    I bought the $400 Ridgid planer this weekend to help with making some vanity drawers. In general, it's been everything I hoped for EXCEPT that I still have some snipe. I bolted the thing down to my workbench. I've played endlessly with infeed/outfeed elevation. The snipe is clearly visible and easily felt. I don't know what else to do.

    I like the planer in general, but the method of adjusting tray elevation, while simple enough to understand, seems rather hard to do well. I'm looking for some very methodical adjustment approach here. Anyone have one? The manual is really inadequate in this regard. Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Snipe on trailing edge of planed wood?

    If you've gotten both the infeed and outfeed tables dead flat to each other and the planer table itself then I'd play around with the outfeed side. Raising it up ever so slightly might just be the solution.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3
      Re: Snipe on trailing edge of planed wood?

      Dave's suggestion works on my delta. When feeding longer boards you need to have a secondary support or lift up on the end of the board. Remember that the distance from the end of the outfeed table to the feed roller is almost 5 times the distance between the feed roll and the cutter head. The point is that for a 1/64" difference at the outfeed there is a possibility for more than 1/16" snipe


      • #4
        Re: Snipe on trailing edge of planed wood?

        I do not have one of the "portable planers" but a old Belsaw, (on mine the snipe is in the thousands), but is some at times, and some of what is happening is as the end of the board comes off the one roller, the pressure is not the same some is the wood and it can be because of the wood not being supported,

        but one of the things I have found over the years, that if I have a scrap or multiple pieces and keep them tight going through the machine the snipe is not there, or to run a scrap in after the piece, seems to help mine a lot, if I have two narrow pieces that are staggered the eliminated. IF it is important lumber I run a scrap in front and behind the piece I want,

        If things are really important plane before cutting to length, and before squaring up the ends of the lumber, many times if there is snipe it is just cut off then,
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.


        • #5
          Re: Snipe on trailing edge of planed wood?

          On mine the snipe occurs on infeed when the second roller has not yet engaged, and on the outfeed when the first roller comes off the wood and drops just a hair. The best solution I have found is to pre-feed and aft-feed scrap pieces to keep the rollers even while the cutter is on my work piece. Taking very shallow cuts on the last two passes also reduces it quite a bit. Gently picking up the end on infeed and again on the outfeed helps, but the amount of pressure changes per length of board.

          Where possible, I always try to plane before making my final length cut, leaving an extra 2 1/2 inches on each end.

          Bottom line, Snipe Happens!!

          Practicing at practical wood working


          • #6
            Re: Snipe on trailing edge of planed wood?

            Push up on the bottom of the board. Push on the trailing side when it enters the machine: that keeps the leading edge from tilting too far up into the cutting head. Then push up on the leading edge of the board as it comes out of the machine: that keeps the trailing edge from tilting up too far into the cutting head. If you stand facing the side of the planer, you can do the entering lift with one hand and the exiting lift with the other. It doesn't take much effort--just push up gently with the hands as the board slides over each of them in turn. With a little practice, it's easy and effective.
            Joe Spear


            • #7
              Re: Snipe on trailing edge of planed wood?

              I don't have the Ridgid. I have a Delta #22-580 13" lunchbox. From the reviews, I thought Delta had solved the snipe problem but they haven't. As the other guys have said, supporting the board from "sagging" on both the infeed and outfeed side is really important. Table adjustments are not enough, because (at least on the Delta) the tables are sheet metal and not all that stiff. When you run a heavy and/or long board through, the tables flex enough to cause the snipe. So I end up manually supporting, or setting up portable roller stands (which seems to help) on both on both infeed and outfeed. But no matter what, once in a while I do get some snipe.

              This is what I do. First, I start planing on the side that will be most visible. Since it's hard to predict when you'll get a snipe, I run a pass or two or three . As soon as the board looks good and I get a clean pass without a snipe, I flip it over to the other side and finish the thicknessing on the back side. Not to say that snipe is ever acceptable but as luck has it sometimes you get a snipe on your last pass to final thickness..... don't you hate it when that happens?... and it's often better to have it on the backside.

              The other thing I do is, since I tend to buy wood that has the occasional knot, scar or other imperfection, I will try to arrange the cuts so that the piece is left too long and the oversize is a part of the board that you would cut around anyway. That way I'm not bummed out over wasting expensive wood when I cut it (and the snipe) off.

              The good news is that the little planer seems to leave a smaller snipe than a big monster stationary planer. So even though it's still a pain, a few strokes with a sharp scraper often takes care of it and matches the finish planed surface pretty well.


              • #8
                Re: Snipe on trailing edge of planed wood?

                Long boards do need attention, but shorter boards can be problematic too. I use this trick if I am having trouble with a shorter board, and also on longer not so wide boards.

                Run the board through at an angle so that all of the blade is used during the cut. Doing this I have found that I rarely get snipe and it also helps to keep even wear on the blades.

                Not to worry if you get it angled a little too far as the board will get pulled through and swing around when/if it hits something like the side of the planer.

                Give it a try.
                "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



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