Kitchen Cabinets #3: I hate snipe

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Blog entry by Zuki posted 08-21-2007 01:50 AM 1513 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The wood is in - yippie Part 3 of Kitchen Cabinets series no next part

Well for starters . . . I just spent 10 minutes typing this blog . . . and I lost it. ARGG . . . must be the Snipe.

I patiently (year right) waited 4 weeks for my poplar to acclimatize itself to the north atlantic environment and started the first part of my project late yesterday evening – a computer desk\storage unit for my Dear Wife (DW).

I do not have a sled for the TS so I used my trusty 18v Dewalt circular saw to rough cut the boards to 32”. These boards will make the sides and back of the unit. Unfortunately 4 of the pieces turned out ot have a cup – darn. Then I remembered a posting in LJ on how to flatten cupped boards. DW would not let me in the house with dirty coveralls so I had to revert to memory.

I had a 4ft piece of 2×10 spruce that was straight and flat. I laid the poplar on the spruce bow side down and marked locations for 6 screws – 2 at each end and 2 in the middle. I adjusted the height of the screws in the spruce so the poplar would not wobble and marked 8-10 pencil marks across the cupped side of the board.

I fired up the planer and with each successive pass more and more of the pencil lines were disappearing. When all the lines disappeared . . . the board was flat. I then removed the sled, flipped the poplar (now marking the bowed side with pencil marks) and ran it through the planer. After about 4-6 passes the pencil marks were gone and the board was flat.

My original 13/16” board is now around 5/8” – I going to bring them down to ½’.

Only one problem . . . Snipe. Its everywhere !!! I used additional roller stands at the in-feed and out-feed . . . but it snuck in and I don’t know how to get rid of it. I checked the phonebook for Snipe exterminators . . . but there are none. I am overrun with Snipe.

Help ! ? !

-- BLOG -

6 comments so far

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4495 days

#1 posted 08-21-2007 03:02 AM

Zuki, I’m by no means an expert, but my learning has been to try to make sure to keep quite a bit of downward pressure on the infeed side of the board as it enters the planer. That helps some, but doesn’t eliminate the snipe entirely, at least on my planer. The best countermeasure I’ve come across is to leave boards extra long until you’re done planing them to finished thickness, then cut to the final size. I know that doesn’t help you right now, though.

One other idea: I wonder if you secured a short board of the same thickness and width on the planing sled you described just in front of your workpiece, would that help with the snipe? On my machine, the snipe is always the worst on the first 3 or less inches of board that you feed in.

-- Robb

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4646 days

#2 posted 08-21-2007 03:14 AM

Zuki, I use a Ridgid planer…and I had the same problem. Here is what I did. I raised the cutter head up about 6 inches and took a 4’ level and laid it across the infeed, cutting bed, and outfeed tables. I then adjusted the the tables to dead flat. (that is a bit of a trick on the Ridgid since the tables are adjusted by raising or lowering bolts on each side of the tables.) once I had them flat, I raised the tables the thickness of a dime up. I set the level on a dime in the middle of the cutting table and raised each table up to it. This seems to have solved most of my problems. Oh by the way, be sure and take the dime out before you start the machine up (don’t ask.)

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4798 days

#3 posted 08-21-2007 05:07 AM

Snipe: the small almost extinct creature found in the hidden parts of the forrest which must be caught by carrying a burlap bag and making Snipe mating calls till wee hours of the morning. LOL.

I’ve found that I can almost eliminate snipe by raising the end of the piece just a hair til the second roller catches it.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4523 days

#4 posted 08-21-2007 04:09 PM

I put a little lift(my hand) on the board as it comes out of the planer. Just enough to keep it in contact with the feed rolller. On a big planer it would be best to keep the infeed and out feed tables dead level.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4738 days

#5 posted 08-22-2007 10:27 AM

Here’s a simple trick. Hot glue a 3/4” sacrificial wood strip to each side of the piece being run through the thicknesser. Make sure that these run beyond the length of the board by at least six inches. The snipe will now occur on the trailing strips but not on the work piece. Remove the strips.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4638 days

#6 posted 08-24-2007 01:11 AM

I think I have the Snipe problem under control.

I leveled the in-feed and out-feed tables and lifted slightly on the wood as it went in and as it came out.

Seems to have minimized the Snipe.

-- BLOG -

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