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R4330-Eliminating snipe

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  • R4330-Eliminating snipe

    Hello to all. I am new here so be kind. Sorry this is long but there is a lot to cover.
    The R4330 I have is about a year old and I have run about 300-400 board feet through it so I is not new but not old and worn out either.
    My comments are primarily on the issue of snipe. I cannot seem to completely eliminate it from a workpiece. The best I have been able to get was about .002” of snipe on the infeed side. Question: Is there anyone who is getting absolutely no snipe on this machine? I mean absolutely none, as in you cannot see a snipe ridge no matter how you turn it in the light.
    Now before everyone starts with the standard suggestions, here is what I know and do.
    I have built extension tables out of melamine that are solid and are about the same length as the metal ones, which I removed.
    Previously I adjusted the metal ones using the pennies in the middle, adjusted them flat and about every other adjustment possible. I considered that they may have been the problem so that is why I removed them.
    I have only ever stalled the machine once and it has run fine since. The stand that I built is solid and level and I use a shop vac with a Thien separator which all works well.
    Now, recently I was cleaning the tool and doing some checking and I discovered that there was a .005” vertical play in the infeed side but none on the outfeed side. Upon further disassembly I discovered that the corners each have a nut threaded into the motor/cutter/roller assembly and that each are held in place by a set screw. These determine the position of each corner relative to the bed. I also noted that the set screws on about half were not tight. So, after cleaning everything out I tightened the top infeed nuts and set screws and that eliminated the vertical play. That set me on my current course of trying to eliminate all snipe.
    I see a lot of posts about snipe where it is ‘almost gone’ or easy to sand out’, but few have stated that it is non existent. I have read the threads about this planer going back to November of 2007. I see some who had and my still have a problem with the spindle floating and causing the hand wheel to move. If the nuts I mentioned above are loose and allowing a vertical play in the cutter assembly, that could be the cause of the problem.
    Today I used my precision 3” machinist square and set the 4 corners of the casting equal to the planer bed. I then checked each corner based on the bottom of each roller and then based on the cutter blade. In both cases, one side was lower than the other. So, I adjusted that side so that all 4 corners of the rollers were equal and that also made the blade equidistant to the bed from one side to the other. Ran a few passes and it still gives about .003” snipe. Since then I have made other very small adjustments in several directions to observe the results but nothing eliminates that last little bit.
    Question: Do you think that the design of this tool took into consideration that there would be more pressure on the infeed roller than the outfeed due to the changed thickness of the wood after it has passed under the cutter? A spring changes tension the more it is compressed and I see by the parts list that there is a different part number for the left roller springs than for the right. That seems odd or am I wrong and missing something here?
    Question: Clould the infeed roller springs have weakened evenly to the point where they are no longer able to sufficiently bear down on the wood and when the second roller takes hold the wood is pushed away from the cutterhead and causing the snipe?
    Seems to me that for that to happen, something has to give. Either the cutterhead is moving up or the table is moving down. Neither seems logical. I have even tried to adjust the infeed so that it is slightly lower than the outfeed. It made no difference in the amount of snipe.
    One last thing I tried was to install a piece of melamine shelving about 4 feet long that went all the way through the machine and past the extension tables. Another few passes and the snipe is still there.
    So, at this point I am about resigned to the fact that this machine is not capable of a true zero snipe. Maybe other R4330s are, but not this one. It is possible that there is enough flex in all of the parts that can cause it to be moving in such a way as to be a persistent problem. I suppose I could order some new springs or new rollers or what ever, but I doubt it will help. The precision is probably just not built into a benchtop like it is in a high end machine.
    Your thoughts, concerns, comments and corrections are welcome. Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

    I've owned a Delta 22-560, Delta 22-580, and now have the R4330. None has ever been completely snipe free, though I do get many pieces in a row with little to no snipe, but every now and then all of them would inexplicably get some snipe. Based on that I'd guess that occasional snipe is the norm.


    • #3
      Additional notes

      As if the first one wasn't long is more.
      I checked the elevation handle during operation and it does not float. I also checked the 4 corner spindles and they rotate less than an eighth of a turn. So, there is no way thecutterhead is moving except for any flex in the whole system, which I believe is causing the problem.
      Also, I noted that the 4-post design does not react well when I attempt to tilt the cutterhead assembly down on the infeed side. If I try to lower it past about .006" it causes the height adjust to get very difficult to crank. That in itself is a good sign I guess.
      At this point the best I can do is a .002" snipe. Not much and certainly able to be sanded out.
      But the question remains....what is causing it. Something that I tried a few moments ago after I started writing this was to try to measure the 'flex' of the cutterhead assembly. I was able to put my dial caliper between the bed and the casting and with very little effort, I can raise it .002" or more. That is someting that I will address later today.
      The other thing I may do is call tech support and see if anyone there can tell me if perhaps the roller tension springs could be weak.

      The saga continues......


      • #4
        Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

        Snipe is usually caused by the wood being "lifted" as it passes the first roller when it enters the planer or by the head cocking slightly. This happens on almost all planers at least occasionally. My planer with a headlock still does it from time to time.

        Holding the end of the board up slightly until it is fully through the first two rollers and then lifting the other end as it exits will typically eliminate snipe.


        • #5
          Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

          I try that technique at the end of every adjustment, just to see if it will help. It never does. I've tried lifting just a little and lifting a lot and also in between. It never seems to make any difference. I even tried pressing down on the board as it entered the infeed......with a piece of wood of course!
          Now at least I know that buying new springs will not work either. BTW, the left side springs are a smaller diameter than the ones on the right. I don't know why but I'd sure like to ask the design engineer why.
          I took out the infeed roller and installed a 1/16" washer between the block and spring to give it a bit more tension. I considered something thicker but it is tough enough to get that much more compressed in there. It made no difference, which ticked me off as it was about a 2 hour job of cleaning everything and putting it back together.
          I'm going to think about this whole thing for a while more but there really isn't anything more I can try, that I can think of anyway.
          If I had gone through this when it was new I would have considered returning it.

          Also, I would truely like to see a board come out of a benchtop planer that has 'no snipe'. I'm wondering if 'just a little' or 'almost no' snipe is considered by many as 'no snipe'!
          Last edited by Dale_A; 01-02-2011, 04:42 PM. Reason: though of something else


          • #6
            Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

            If lifting the board does not solve the problem, then your issue is with the head cocking. See the following for insight:


            • #7
              Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

              Thank you tomapple. That was an interesting article.
              However, when you mention that the cutter head is 'cocking' or to reference in the article where it is mentioned that the cutterhead moves in the verticle plane, I'm not sure that is the case here. I can see no evidence that the bearings are allowing the cutterhed to rise from the wood during the beginning of the cut. In fact, I earlier today took 2 web clamps and ran one on each side around the entire frame and around the base it is mounted on. I pulled them tight but not enough that may have twisted the upper frame. It made no change.
              I also was suspect of the center bed so I ran my melimine sled through the machine to observe any change...there was none.
              I suppose there may be enough flex in the support structure to allow a .002" - .003" verticle movement of the cutterhead. I'd probably have to spend a few hundred dollars on measuring equipment to check it....not!
              Also in the article he seems to be saying that 95% of eliminated snipe is the same as eliminated snipe. Sorry, not in my book it isn't.


              • #8
                Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

                I have the R4330 and am very disappointed. The head moves up and down on it's own when the paner is running and just will not stay put. I'm told by Ridgid that there is a washer and spring fix and a service bulliten but I'm told that I cannot obtain the parts myself. The only service shop within a hundred miles of me appears to be out of business and Ridgid had no more luck than I did when they attempted to contact them. The snipe is horrible regardless of table adjustments and any lifting or holding down I do in feeding the boards. I'm really sorry I purchased this mostly worthless "tool". Overall my experience with Ridgid is a big AVOID their products like the plague.


                • #9
                  Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

                  Did anyone say where these parts are supposed to go?
                  There is a gearbox of sort that transfers the wheel movements to the elevation mechanism. I have had several areas of mine apart but not that gearbox.
                  If you think it would help, I'll take it apart and see whats in there and take some pictures.


                  • #10
                    Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

                    I know this is an old thread and since I started it, I will update it.
                    It seems my problem with this planer all along was the cheap crappy set of blades it came with. The problem persisted even after I turned the blades around to the new edge.
                    I'm convinced that they were sharpened incorrectly and there was a lot of pounding upon the stock as it cut. That put extra upward pressure on the cutterhead.
                    I installed a new set of blades and noticed immediately that the sound of the machine was different. It is quieter. I made 4 passes with 2 short pieces of stock that previously had snipe on the ends. There is only one end on one side that shows any snipe at all and it is difficult to detect with either a dial caliper or by eye and seems to measure about .0005".
                    So, if you buy one of these machines, expect to perhaps spend an extra $40 on new blades. You will probably have to order them online because there seems to be some kind of store policy at the orange box that prevents them from stocking the replacement blades. They have blades for the 1300, which isn't even made anymore and both stores I visited have previously opened, and re-taped packs of those blades. I can't figure it out!


                    • #11
                      Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

                      thanks for the insights, dale. glad you got your planer running right. but .0005"! 5 ten thousands of an inch! what gauge were you using to measure that?

                      and if you can't figure out HDs not having your planer blades in stock, imagine my surprise at 2 of my local HDs stocking planer blades for delta 13" planers, which they haven't sold for at least the last 8 years, if ever! BTW, here in westchester, 20 mins north of NYC, the HDs have begun carrying the 3 blade replacement packs for the 4330, as well as the 2 blade packs for the 1300.
                      there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.


                      • #12
                        Re: R4330-Eliminating snipe

                        Well, the digital caliper starts at 0.000 and has a '5' to the right when I start with a very slight movement.
                        So, if I cannot determine a distinction from say .750" and .751" and I see the '5' appear then I am guessing the difference is .0005"