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planer tear-out . . .help!

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  • planer tear-out . . .help!

    I'm a newbie trying to make a changing table out of soft maple and I'm having some problems with tear out.

    I originally bought a Craftsman thickness planer for this project. It worked great for a few boards and then started tearing out something fierce. I called Sears support and (long story short) ended up returning the machine in favor of my new Ridgid TP1300LS, which . . . sadly . . . started tearing out on the first pass (although not quite as bad).

    I've got the infeed and outfeed tables waxed and even with the planer table. I never take off more than 1/64th of an inch and I've tried "going with the grain." This helps, except that most of my boards have grain patterns that switch midway through. So the problem persists.

    I've heard that some people dampen thier stock with water before putting it through. Is this a good idea? I'm a bit hesitant to put wet wood through my shiny new planer. Seems like it could gum up the blade and maybe increase the risk of rusting.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    btw, is maple particularly prone to tearout?

  • #2
    Soft maple shouldn't be as bad as hard maple, birdseye maple, lacewood, etc., but they all be prone to some shouldn't be major though. You're doing most of the things I'd recommended. Misting the board with water should help. Sharp blades, light passes, well adjusted're doing it. Depending on how long the boards are, you might try putting them in at an angle too.

    I gotta ask....did you by any chance face joint the opposite surface on the jointer prior to planing? If not, there may be some surface variability contributing. What appears to be 1/64" may become much more on a high spot. A planer does not flatten a only makes one side parallel to the other, smooths it, and thins it. If the board is slightly twisted or out of will be the same coming out, just thinner. If you don't have a jointer, you can build a sled, wedge underneath the high spots, and flatten one face on the sled before sending the opposite edge through the planer - read up on some examples or plans before trying this. There are several methods for flattening a board....none easier than the jointer, then the sled is probably the 2nd easiest.


    • #3
      Thanks for the response.

      As for flattening the opposite side with a jointer, I sure did. My jointer (also a Ridgid) doesn't seem to have the tearout problem the planer has (maybe it's the difference between three blades and two, plus the fact that I can control the rate of feed).


      • #4
        my experences are with what my guess is a heaver planer,

        but are both or all three knives set correctly, if one knife cutting deeper it could cause problems, as it would be cutting deeper and more agressive,

        have you tryed it with any other wood?
        is the problem there?

        you could try a lighter cut, is there any way to change feed rates.

        other than that I really don't know what eles to suggest, sounds like your trying the right things,
        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
          It was suggested earlier, but I've solved alot of tearout problems in quartersawn white oak by feeding it in the planer at an angle. It performs a more shearing action that really helps.



          • #6
            Do you have a vacuum or dust collector hooked up to it? Sometimes the chips loading up will cause a tear-out. Just a thought
            Practicing at practical wood working


            • #7
              Great minds.....

              Gofor beat me to it. I was gonna ask the same thing.
              "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


              • #8
                yep, sure do.

                Thanks for the advice, gang. I'll try the damp-and-at-an-angle trick. Now, if only I had some time free time to get back at it!