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The first step to setting up a planer is to determine where the blades should be located. This may be difficult if the infeed roller indicator is located in an awkward spot. One option is to mount a triangular piece of wood on the front of the machine and then use a mirror to view the interior components. This will allow you to determine if you need to adjust the downward spring pressure or parallel blades.
Proper positioning of a planer
Correct planer positioning is essential for the proper operation of the machine. The cutting surface should be set so that the front face of the planer is at the bottom dead center of the arc. This is the datum, or point of reference, for the higher internal components of the planer. It is also important that you do not disturb the position of the cutterhead when making upper adjustments. Here are some tips on the proper positioning of a planer.
The hand grip on the front of the planer serves as a depth-adjustment gauge. This allows you to adjust the depth of the cut, reducing the chance of snipe. The planer cuts unevenly if the front shoe drops off the wood during the process. Also, the front shoe can be dropped or the blades may take uneven bites. The right planer grip and push are essential for the safest, most precise planning results.
Planer technique is equally important for smooth and accurate surfaces. It is best to feed hardwoods at a slower speed than softwoods to avoid snipe or washboard finishes. Another common mistake is to feed wood against the grain, which can lead to tearout. If you’re not familiar with the proper technique, you can consult the owner’s manual. Alternatively, you can use a wire brush to remove debris from the surface of the lumber.
While you’re learning how to use a planer, it’s best to purchase a stand with a variety of options. An Ultimate Planer Cart, for instance, is one such option. It has an extendable infeed/outfeed table, ball-bearing drawer slides, and folding side wings. You can also buy a plywood-based stand and clamp it to a sturdy workbench or sawhorses.
When using a planer, set up the appropriate place and make a test run. To test the blades, feed a piece of lumber. Ensure that it’s vertical and above the wide flat side of the cutterhead. It’s also important to feed the board in one go, which will ensure that all boards are the same thickness and finish. The planer blades can be damaged if over-torqued, so be sure to keep the knives sharp.
Checking for parallel blades
Before using your planer, you should check for parallel blades. Planers usually have two parts to check for parallelism: the cutterhead and the table. The blades are placed in the cutterhead and need to be parallel to each other to cut the best surface. The cutterhead and table must be properly adjusted to make sure the blades are parallel to each other. If they are not parallel, you’ll end up with a scoop on one end of your wood.
The downward spring pressure of your planer can have an impact on its performance. A heavy spring can emboss the infeed roller prints on softwood. A light spring may cause the roller to skid while dressing rough lumber or warped lumber. You can learn how to set the spring pressure by following a few simple steps. Here are some common problems with planers:
If you have a jig, check to see that the knives are parallel to each other. To do this, place a gauge over each set screw and check that the blades are parallel to one another. If they aren’t, you may need to adjust the settings of the jig. Once you have checked for parallel blades, you can set up your planer.
The blades of a planer should always be parallel to each other. If they aren’t, you may be damaging the blades and ruining their sharpness. This can be a serious problem if the blades are constantly used. Proper blade setting will prevent this problem. And if you don’t check the blades before you start a project, you’ll find that the blades aren’t parallel to each other.
Checking for downward spring pressure
One of the most critical factors to check when setting up a planer is the downward spring pressure. While this may not seem important, it can have a profound effect on the planer’s performance. Too light or too heavy of a spring can cause roller skidding when dressing rough or warped lumber. To avoid this, it is important to adjust the downward spring pressure of your planer.
The pressure bar is located behind the cutterhead and prevents the newly cut surface from bouncing up into the cutterhead. It also acts as a hold-down when feeding warped stock. If you set the pressure bar too high or too low, you may get washboard edges or end snipe. These are all signs of an out-of-whack component. Be sure that all these components are adjusted correctly to avoid problems.
After ensuring that all the components are properly positioned, it is time to perform the final check. Before setting up the planer, spin the head by hand to check the alignment of the knives. Then, plug in the planer and run a length of stock through it to ensure that the thickness of the stock matches the measurement on the gauge. Then, check the depth gauge and make any necessary adjustments.
To ensure proper planing, the blades must be properly aligned with the bed plate. If they are not aligned correctly, the wood may chatter and produce ripples. To prevent this, remove any loose clothing or jewelry before using the planer. Additionally, planers can be loud, so it’s important to wear ear plugs and use a pair of headphones. Before using the planer, remove any rough edges and nicks before using it. Never plan smaller than 1/4 inch thick boards or shorter than the distance between the feed rollers.
In order to ensure that your planer’s knives are positioned accurately, you should set them with a knife setting jig. This jig makes it easy to set the knives in the correct height, and it prevents expensive rework due to inaccurate cuts. This device uses strong magnets to hold the knives in position while you tighten the gib nuts. This tool also maintains accuracy within 0.002 inches along the knife’s length, making it an indispensable piece of equipment for any woodworker.
When setting knives when using a planer, you should first install the gauge on one of the bases, and then lower the bed to the other base to position it directly under the cutterhead. Then, remove the cutterhead and rotate the cutterhead until the blades are clear. If the knife has been set correctly, then you can adjust the knife height and the gauge to compensate. Remember to keep both gages level in order to avoid a mismatch between the two gages.
When using a planer, always follow the instructions on the owner’s manual to adjust the knife height and length. If there is no depth gage, use a shim over the head body to adjust the knife height. If the blades do not extend far enough, they could break off or be thrown from the cutterhead. Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments, reinstall the knives in the same position and height.
Once you’ve set the blade height and angle, you’ll be ready to use the cutterhead. Jigs are available for the cutterhead to hold the knife, while the jig allows you to set the knife in the proper position while you adjust the gib screws. You’ll need to hold the knives firmly in place for this step, which may cause some difficulties in tightening the screws.
Another important factor to consider is the placement of the jointer bed and the height of the knives. Most people assume that the height of the knives should be the same as the height of the outfeed bed, but this is not the case. In fact, if the joints and the knives are misaligned, the resulting surface will be uneven and unsatisfactory. Fortunately, Hendrik has released an instruction DVD geared toward this issue.