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Helical planer question

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Forum topic by SS2000 posted 08-06-2020 01:32 PM 390 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SS2000

2 posts in 54 days


08-06-2020 01:32 PM

I’m getting some markings on my black walnut boards when running it through my new Steelex 15” helical planer. My guess is that I need to run it deeper through each pass but I’d like some feedback from others if you’ve run into this issue and have suggestions. Thanks


8 replies so far

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

2852 posts in 2256 days


#1 posted 08-06-2020 01:59 PM

A picture is worth a thousand words. Are you expecting to apply finish straight out of the planer? If so that’s just not gonna happen, you’ve got to sand (or scrape) to remove tool marks before finish

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5794 posts in 2235 days


#2 posted 08-06-2020 02:19 PM

Have you tried ratating any of the cutters. Assuming that the marks are in lines, you may have nicks and exposing a fresh cutter face may fix it.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2657 posts in 2837 days


#3 posted 08-06-2020 03:31 PM

Looks like the typical finish out of a helical head. I prefer hand planes for final surface prep but sanding will do it also.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3325 posts in 2646 days


#4 posted 08-06-2020 04:18 PM

That’s line outfeed roller marks. I get the same marks if I don’t take a big enough cut. For sure I see those on my salvage board that I sometimes run before and after the plank to reduce snipe.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6417 posts in 3341 days


#5 posted 08-06-2020 04:49 PM



That’s line outfeed roller marks. I get the same marks if I don’t take a big enough cut. For sure I see those on my salvage board that I sometimes run before and after the plank to reduce snipe.
Good Luck

- Aj2

That’s sortof my guess, I would have said infeed roller. But on stationary planers they are serrated steel and show up if you don’t go deep enough. Easy to test out, try a deeper cut and see what happens….maybe on a piece of scrap.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2598 posts in 4291 days


#6 posted 08-06-2020 07:20 PM

I agree with the roller diagnosis. You don’t get straight lines from a helical cutter…. because the cutters are not set in a straight line, helical means spiral.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

5794 posts in 2235 days


#7 posted 08-07-2020 02:12 AM

Les, there is a slight difference between helical and spiral cutter heads. On spiral heads, the cutters face in the direction of feed while helical are skewed to the direction of feed to give more of a sheering action. It is possible to get a nick that can cause a line from something hard in the wood that can nick all of the cutters lined up in the direction of feed because, regardless whether the cutters are skewed or not, the direction of rotation is still in the direction of the feed. Because the cutters are usually carbide, the are usually hard enough to resist most things that will cause that.

SS2000, Now that you have posted a picture, I agree that it appears to be the roller. I’ll bet that planer has a serrated infeed roller. You might want to see if you can adjust the infeed roller tension. You usually set the tension to high for rough or uneven lumber but you want a lighter tension for mostly smooth lumber or finishing passes.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3589 posts in 2342 days


#8 posted 08-07-2020 08:12 AM

+1 That is classic feed roller marking, due serrated in-feed roller.

Look under the head at in feed roller on the machine and will find the line width on board matches.

If you don’t want to make board thinner to remove the lines, wet the top surface and dry it off under a fan. The water will expand the compressed fibers and reduce the amount of sanding required to make it flat.

Four post planers are not typically good for making thin cuts. They are made for reducing the thickness of board by ~1/8” at time, not making a board super smooth for finishing.
That said:
There are some adjustments to in-feed roller pressure and height that can be made to machine to reduce the in-feed roller marking, but the reduced roller pressure is a compromise as fuzzy rough cut lumber will not feed well (unless taking a thicker than normal cut).
You need to set up your machine for how you want to work.

I have my in planer feed roller set up with only 0.025” height below cutter head, instead of 0.040” commonly suggested in planer manuals as I mostly run smooth lumber and want to minimize in-feed roller marking. If you search the forums, will find other posts regarding this marking problem and discussion on fixes.

My advice for any new owner of four post (15” and 20”) planer is:
- Check all the roller heights and adjusts on your machine when you get it, as they may be wrong.
- Plan your thickness reduction amounts per pass to be sure you remove 20-30 thousandths (~1/32) on last pass, as you can not use industrial planer to sneak up on a final dimension cutting a few thousandths at a time.

As always, YMMV
Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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