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Thread: Sick of snipe

  1. #1
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    Default Sick of snipe

    When one is running planking whatever through a planer, the 3"+ snipe loss at each end does not seem too onerous. But now that I am running relatively short lengths for my boxes, it really irks me to junk expensive hardwood.

    I run a Dewalt 13" suitcase planer, a DW735. I use a spacer plank. How can I minimize or eliminate snipe?
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Resistance is NOT futile.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Maybe a silly question but is the carriage lock working properly? That would be the first thing I'd check, next the in/out feed table adj.How short are the pieces you're planing? I have a DW734 and there is a little snipe but not like you describe.
    Last edited by cathouse willy; 08-01-2019 at 06:33 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Having in/out feed tables and adjusting them are important. I had a 735 for years and it always seemed to have a little snipe, but not 3". I usually planed longer boards than needed and the sniped section could be trimmed. Same with my current 15" Grizzly.
    Steve B
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Huh, I don't have a ton of experience with a planer, but using my Ridgid TP1300 I rarely get any snipe at all. Maybe occasionally half an inch at the end but not very often.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    We use a Makita 2012,but suspect the snipe issue is similar. With multiple pieces being planed, I try to overlap or butt the pieces tightly end to end as they feed in. Still end up with snipe at the beginning and end, but it eliminates the snipe on the in between boards. Can be a bit of a fire drill if pieces are short and you are trying keep them in the same orientation as they come out. For a single piece being planed, scraps at either end would work. Hope this helps, John

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    With my Delta, I only get snipe at the end of the piece and if I lift up gently as the piece come out I don't get snipe at all

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    In general, planers cause snipe when the feed rollers or top pressures are incorrectly adjusted.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Not having a great problem with snipe but if I do I cut it off. But anyway I once saw in one of those magazine articles where someone glued longer runners either side of the work piece which trick the planer into thinking there’s a longer piece in. Obviously runners have to be same thickness as work piece ( soon will be anyhow) . I understand snipe to be caused by workpiece being free of appropiate roller at beginning or end so if runners are used I’d imagine workpiece will come out fine.
    havnt tried this myself so no guarantee

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Lift on the piece entering and exiting the machine.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    It's all been said here already but just to second the motions plane the boards full length, tilt the infeed and outfeed tables up too much so there is upwards pressure at each end and if you must feed short pieces set up to feed them butted or overlapping.

    And....don't forget a photo or two of the finished boxes.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Short pieces are frequently unable to be supported by the in/outfeed tables on cheaper planers. I have a 12" Grizzly and get around snipe on short pieces by sending them through on a sled with a sacrificial piece 5-6" long at each end.
    If your workpiece is quite thin, you may need to tape it down or inlet a piece of old jigsaw blade into the following piece to provide a bit of extra grip. A friend showed me that and she's planing down to about .09"...maybe 2mm...maybe less?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    My boxes at Rob Schouten's gallery.jpg An older photo of some of my boxes at a gallery I exhibit at.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

    Resistance is NOT futile.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    glue runners on side, make them long, longer then the short stock 24" is a number I like...
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Run a spoil board through with the stock you are surfacing. Put it in first and butt the good stock to it or over lap sideways on the infeed. Do the same thing at the end of the run. The first piece in and the last piece out is the spoil board. If theres any snipe it will be on it and not on your good stock. Doesnt have to be any more than an 1 1/2" wide or longer then 12" -Its sole purpose is to engage the drive rollers before they engage with your stock.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    I hate to be an old nag but, I would call customer service for that machine as it seems to be grossly out of whack!
    Your work is beautiful!
    Jay

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerarddm View Post
    When one is running planking whatever through a planer, the 3"+ snipe loss at each end does not seem too onerous. But now that I am running relatively short lengths for my boxes, it really irks me to junk expensive hardwood.

    I run a Dewalt 13" suitcase planer, a DW735. I use a spacer plank. How can I minimize or eliminate snipe?
    I would take a good, hard look at that spacer plank.

    Any cup or bow is going to act as a spring and it will lift the workpiece whenever both rollers are not engaged with that workpiece.
    Rattling the teacups.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Here is an illuminating video on the cause of snipe and some suggestions to minimize it.

    https://youtu.be/XdDo3OEtjhc

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Worst planer i ever used was a Dodd, think they were made in Southend, It used to chop several great scallops out of each end of the plank about 7" long & no matter how you adjusted the rollers or set it up it made no difference. I think the owner scrapped it in the end.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevbo View Post
    Here is an illuminating video on the cause of snipe and some suggestions to minimize it.

    https://youtu.be/XdDo3OEtjhc
    The better planers have the rollers spring loaded so they can move up and down a little, independently of the planer head.
    All of the bigger, fixed planers that I've ever worked on, and I repair and maintain woodworking machinery as part of my living, have that system, plus adjustable bed rollers. Snipe in those is usually due to the top, thats the driven, feed rollers sticking "up" due to lack of lubrication, or using oil to lube them rather than a light grease, or, the lower rollers being too high. To set the height of the lower rollers, get a straight edge, about 150 to 200 long, lower the table or raise the head so you can get your hands in there, disconnect from the power supply and try to switch it on, if no go, its safe to put your hands in there. Then put the straight edge across one end of the bed roller, about in the middle of the straight edge, and rock it. If no rock, and you'll both feel and hear it if it does, then its too low. That can cause a feeding problem.
    If too high, it will rock back and forth, now, I use a feeler gauge here, for dry hardwoods I set the rollers with the straight edge movement at 0.1mm at the end, for dry softwood, 0.15mm, and for manky, sticky, wet pine, 0.5mm and will, with that stuff, accept a little bit of snipe otherwise it wont feed consistently.
    There are a whole lot of other adjustments around the pressure plates as well, but its unusual for those to move.
    The other issue is blade protrusion, if they're set too high, thats out too far in the cutterhead, all of the adustments of the rollers and pressures will be "out". So, if everything else seems ok, get your setting gauge out and check those. Of course, with replaceable carbide tips, or tersa type carbide knives that doesnt apply.

    Hope that helps.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    If all else fails you might want to invest in another planer. Hard to find now are the Inca Swiss made planers. I have one and it leaves no swipe at all! It does have an excellent adjusting system to boot. In addition, it has a Tersa head that allows me to throw replacable blades at it blindfolded. If you can locate one I would not hestitate to buy it.
    Jay

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    The better planers have the rollers spring loaded so they can move up and down a little, independently of the planer head.
    All of the bigger, fixed planers that I've ever worked on, and I repair and maintain woodworking machinery as part of my living, have that system, plus adjustable bed rollers. ...
    Indeed. Larger, heavier, stiffer, more precise and more expensive tools generally yield better results. Many problems can be solved by throwing money at them, and not infrequently that turns out to be the most economical route...IF the capital is available and labor comes at either a direct or opportunity cost.

    The video I posted is about how to make notable improvements to the results obtained with tools that fit the budget constraints of many home woodworkers...such as the OP from the sound of it.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    If you have to work with a "breadbox" planer (mine's a little Grizzly 12") a sled like this works a treat. Kate planes down various woods to under 2mm on mine to make her bentwood boxes.
    IMG_4949.jpg
    The secret to success is embedding an old coping saw blade in the end bit:
    IMG_4950.jpg
    Kate makes up bentwood boxes that are flat gorgeous!
    IMG_4952.jpg
    IMG_4953.jpg

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    So Kate's a craftsperson and an artist. That's really nice work, makes me want to try it (some day).

    Has she tried working with yellow cedar Hugh? It's remarkably resilient, it bends very well and it smells wonderful.

    If not I could send a piece for her to try. I'm not sure they would let it across the border but we could try.

    And what is that wooden tool/jig with the 3 saw kerfs?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    So Kate's a craftsperson and an artist. That's really nice work, makes me want to try it (some day).

    Has she tried working with yellow cedar Hugh? It's remarkably resilient, it bends very well and it smells wonderful.

    If not I could send a piece for her to try. I'm not sure they would let it across the border but we could try.

    And what is that wooden tool/jig with the 3 saw kerfs?
    She is a pretty amazing craftsman and has published in "Mortise and Tenon" with them lurking on her next article. I'm really lucky to have her around for a while. I asked and she has not tried yellow cedar, but would like to. I'd suspect trying to ship some down from the Island would be prohibitively expensive, but I think I can get it at Edensaw and maybe even Crosscut down here if she wants to give it a go. Might be hard finding air dried stock, though.
    Ummm....she also has a 10 year old son who's interested in "World of Warcraft" but not so much in computers...
    IMG_4956.jpg

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Edensaw sells boat building lumber, it will be air dried somewhat. If that doesn't work out I have quite a stack, air dried under a tarp for 3 or 4 years now.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Hi Gib,
    I didn't want to hijack Gerard's thread any further, but want to thank you for a kind and generous offer. Are you going to be at the PTWBF next year by any chance...with that lovely boat you've been building? If I can't source some AYC locally I might prevail upon you to bring some down, but only if you let me know which beer or single malt is your favorite Kate should still be here (she's camping in her yurt on my property and using my shop while she sets up her permanent shop/school out in Beavercreek, Oregon.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    there are some random dudes selling random lumber on craigslist, including AYC every so often. you could try there. I don't think it smells wonderful anymore.

    for thin, snipe free, try a thickness sander.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    "for thin, snipe free, try a thickness sander."


    Just my 2 cents about thickness sanders. They are painfully slow at thinning stock and make a large amount of dust. My small 12" sander will reliable remove .25mm per pass, take too big a bite and you get random scallops,if you're patient they do a nice job.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    ^^^I don't mean to start a pissing contest, but just for comparison,our 36" 45 hp TimeSavers thickness sander will casually remove 1/8" with no scallops,but anything under 15" long might give it indigestion.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Sick of snipe

    Since that particular mode of DeWalt has a reputation for minimum snipe... I'd suspect an adjustment issue. If you can't identify the problem on your own... call tech support. Or start with them.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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