Help with thickness planer

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Forum topic by dschlic1 posted 07-27-2015 06:42 PM 905 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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516 posts in 3307 days

07-27-2015 06:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer milling

I have a used Ryobi AP-12 thickness planer which I purchased off Craigslist a year ago. The unit works and with a little setup does not give me snipe. The planed surface of the wood is equal to or better than purchased planed lumber.

The only issue I have with the unit is that it will not keep the same thickness setting when running a large amount of wood. The drift is small about 0.010” or so. However I have found that that amount of error can either add up when using multiple boards or cause problems when joining two boards.

Short of purchasing a Dewalt does anyone have any suggestions for modifications to help with this issue? I am think of placing some king of stop inside the planer which would prevent the head from going lower then a set distance. So I would haves stop(s) for various finished sizes: 1/2”, 3/4”, 1” etc.

3 replies so far

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 2757 days

#1 posted 07-27-2015 10:40 PM

Have you tried calling Ryobi & explaining the situation to them? They built the machine, they can help you get started towards a solution.

-- Sawdust703

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 4322 days

#2 posted 07-27-2015 10:50 PM

This happens because you don’t have a cutter head lock. Most likely the vibration of sending the lumber through is causing the height adjustment screw (to which the handle is connected) to rotate a little bit. I like to keep track of where the handle is, and then feed in boards and keep one hand on the handle as much as possible. At a minimum, make sure to reset the handle every few boards or something. It may not look like it has turned much, but going and giving it a tiny twist consistently will keep it from getting too far off.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View dschlic1's profile


516 posts in 3307 days

#3 posted 07-28-2015 05:07 PM

I don’t think that the handle is turning. What I believe is happening is that the cutter carriage fits so tight in the housing (this unit does not use guide rods) that the carriage must be forced down with the lead screws. However with vibration, the carriage does move down taking out the play in the lead screw system. To tighten the lead screw system up and remove all of the play seems like an impossible task.

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