Planer seems "off"

Maybe it’s my inexperience but when I run wood through the planer it is coming out with what I can only describe as ridges.

Why do we allow weathered wood, reclaimed wood, wood filled with epoxy in the planer or jointer? As long as this is allowed we will have damaged cutters. I think they were rotated in the last few weeks. If we are going to allow this we should have a dedicated jointer and planer for substandard lumber.


wait, how does any of that damage the cutter (assuming that the surface has been properly cleaned, all nails removed, etc)? I was under the impression that cured epoxy was actually easier to cut than wood.


that sound to me more like the wood is vibrating inside the planer. How long is the piece you are cutting? And how much are you taking off each pass?

Reclaimed wood can have sand or rocks in it not picked up by a metal detector. I’m not positive on damage due to epoxy but many years ago I successfully cut nylon with a normal positive hook saw blade several times before during one of the cuts it grabbed a carbide tip and ripped it out of the sawblade, destroying the blade. You need negative hook angle for cutting plastic so it is more of a scraping action. I have several blades for plastic now. If a chunk of epoxy was pulled out of the wood it would bounce around inside the cutter head and could do damage. Carbide can be brittle. I used the planer about a month ago and it was cutting beautiful, then a few weeks later the piece I planed was covered in grooves. I’ve had a nick on my home planer but never something that nicked the blade all across the width of the planer, Something is causing abnormal damage other than normal rough sawn wood.

huh. good to know. Would sanding the surface for a couple passes in the drum sander possibly remove the sand and dirt?

Sanding the wood, would in fact, add sand and grit to the wood


I was planing planks of Walnut…4 ft long. Taking off about 1/16-1/8" if I read the gauge correctly.

try taking off less. For hardwoods it should be about a 1/32 per pass (in practical terms, that’s a 1/4 turn of the wheel)


Yowza! Why so big of a cut?

It may not have been that much. I tried to take off as little as possible and I’m not sure I was reading the gauge correctly. The first time I ran it through nothing came off. I turned the crank a quarter turn and ran it through again and it started removing material. Knowing I was using a hard wood, I was trying to be conscious of how much stress I was putting on any of the machines.

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Because we serve the membership at DMS and they use those materials. Personally, when I use the planer, jointer or any of the tools in the woodshop in a manner I intend to be fine wood working, I plan on having the time to fix, clean, and adjust the tools for that project. Just how things are if you want access in a mixed use facility like ours.


If i wanted to machine granite or depleted uranium in the machine shop should they let me? If I wanted to save money by using string trimmer line in 3D printers should they let me?. Can i sew sandpaper?

Woodshop seems like the wild west anything goes. On my personal planer and jointer I’ve never run reclaimed wood because the risk of damage is too high. If we had dedicated machines for substandard wood and didn’t care about surface finish and there was a fee to cover the high consumable and damage cost then reclaimed would be acceptable.

Its likely that a very small number of users are causing the majority of the damage and unfortunately they may not have the interest or skills to repair the damage, but the rest of us pay for it in repair cost and machine downtime.

I admire the committee chairs and skilled members who pay dues like the rest of us but are expected to fix all the damage caused by the unskilled and those that lack common sense. There should be an honorarium for repairing a machine and a requirement to have 3 or more unskilled involved in the repair. You can’t fix it unless it involves teaching someone new the skills they need

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@rlisbona I see some value in having a separate planer and jointer for reclaimed or “subpar” wood. But, you state that it is a very small group likely doing this, which would suggest not enough use to maintain another set of tool. Secondly, we have easily and inexpensively replaceable blades in both the jointer and planer for these exact issues.

Nice BS arguements.

DMS’ planer and jointer are not your personal tools.

Another bad argument, we are not charging any member directly for planer and jointer use. So, not only is the purchase of the tool shared equally by all members so is the cost of repair. These are not personal tools.

I admire their help as well. But, none of them are required to do anything. These are all volunteer positions. Volunteering in order to be paid is no longer volunteering, it is a job.

We muddied these waters well enough with honorariums, when we called, claiming an honorarium volunteering to teach. It wasn’t volunteering it was accepting a job to teach at DMS. When the value structure of honorarium was not in DMS’ best interest, there were cuts to the program. Think of it as a layoff. After those layoffs, not only did paid classes drop. Many of the people volunteering and teaching free classes also stopped. This was because the people working a job for DMS were claiming DMS was Attacking volunteers, when they were only down sizing DMS jobs.

Well I certainly didn’t mean to start any arguments here…I just wanted someone besides me to know there might be something wrong with the planer.

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  1. [stricken from the record. For original text, see post #19]
  2. depleted uranium is not allowed for multiple reasons, beyond being HEAVILY restricted in its sale and use
  3. the printers are specifically only usable by specific diameters and materials that have specific properties. So if you somehow found stringline trimmer cord that was 1.75mm and made of ABS, then yes, you could probably use it. Not sure if @maxk68 would allow it since you couldn’t guarantee it’s purity, but that’s another issue
  4. you can’t sew sandpaper successfully, i have tried (i attempted to make a sander belt when i was 13, did not work)

So what you have here is somehow both a false equivalency and a slippery slope. I appreciate what you are trying to say with your arguments, but the examples you are using are bad enough that they make your whole argument look bad. And more to the point, unless the members are using verboten materials (metal, stone, epoxy?, plastics), or are using it in a way that damages the machine (too much per cut, improperly securing the piece, not removing ALL of the nails and metal) then there is no reason to ban members for using different types of wood on the machines. ESPECIALLY when, for a lot of members, that kind of wood is all that they can afford.

As it was explained to me, the honorarium was intended to help the teachers pay for materials in their classes. That is what I used it for in the classes, and the majority of people that I’ve talked to have used it for (yes, i know that this is anecdotal evidence). And when the current board restructured the honorarium system, the net result was that classes as a whole dropped off. Most crucially, the classes for basic tool use. Call it a job, call it reimbursement for materials, call it a donation to volunteers, whatever it actually was, the honorarium was an incentive to people. Yes there were people who were abusing it, but that doesn’t mean that we should throw the baby out with the bath water. [to continue this discussion, please continue it in this thread so that we don’t clog up the planer discussion]

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welcome to Talk buddy. There can be arguments over ANY and EVERYTHING; there’s a thread buried in here somewhere, about the proper way to put a toilet paper roll on the rack

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Nope. I cant allow it. If one person sees another person machining granite, the flood gates are open. The risk to the machines are too great to justify it.

Ive been asked before & subsequently declined it. It sucks because its was for a good cause that I believe in, but I cannot allow it.


Oh, well in that case I will cross it off of the list. That ONE argument is valid.

To clarify my poor examples. With only one jointer and one planer the risk of damage caused by anything other than presurfaced lumber or roughsawn lumber is too high, i wouldn’t do it at home, we shouldn’t expect to process substandard material in woodshop.

Or I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that cutterheads get damaged with existing lax rules.