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S4S Planer operation

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Forum topic by Oldtool posted 01-03-2021 01:15 PM 640 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Oldtool

3354 posts in 3476 days


01-03-2021 01:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Watching a woodworking video on YT, a professional woodworker put rough cut twisted & bowed lumber into a 4 sided planer, and out comes perfectly straight – flat – and dimensioned boards.
Being overly inquisitive and needing to understand how this is possible, I downloaded all literature for a new Watkin FSP-180 four sided planer, operation book & parts manual included, and very old literature for an Oliver STRAITOPLANE No. 170 – from the early 20th century, but nowhere does it answer my question: how do these machines manage to anticipate the amount of twist and warp in the board before it mills the wood, so as to average the removal top & bottom, and side to side, and produce the final perfectly planed piece?
Neither a jointer or parallel planer can perform this without human intervention, such as a planer sled to keep the board in position going through the machine, and this is what has me baffled.

If anyone has knowledge of how these very massive and expensive machines manage to do their thing, please inform me and I would be very appreciative. This is driving me nuts. Thank you.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln


2 replies so far

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Tony_S

1542 posts in 4368 days


#1 posted 01-03-2021 03:10 PM



how do these machines manage to anticipate the amount of twist and warp in the board before it mills the wood, so as to average the removal top & bottom, and side to side, and produce the final perfectly planed piece?
- Oldtool

Most of them don’t anticipate anything. An experienced operator is the ‘anticipator’. How they operate isn’t all that complicated for the most part. It’s nothing more than a power fed 2 headed jointer(bottom and right head) that also incorporates 2 other heads for thicknessing(left and top). Set the required depth on the bottom table and the fence on the right hand side(infeed side). Set the left hand head and the top head for final dimensions.
These machines are pure production in the sense that they’re meant to be set for desired removal, which may be anywhere from 1/4” to 1/2” depending on the machine and the condition of the rough material on average and then fed continuously for perhaps hours.
If you set the machine and ran a piece that was considerably more twisted or warped than the average piece you set it for, it wouldn’t come clean. An experienced operator would foresee that and that material wouldn’t be fed into the machine at all.

Most of these machines are manually adjusted to the proper dimensions, but this one is a little more advanced.
Weinig are the leaders in moulders.

-- Lj's...The place to post what you had for breakfast and then do your utter best to complicate the hell out of the simplest of questions.

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Oldtool

3354 posts in 3476 days


#2 posted 01-03-2021 04:13 PM

Thank you Tony, your explanation helps. I’ve also searched at YT videos for “4 sided planers”, which were somewhat helpful. The best one was where a camera was attached to the side of a board going through a 2 sided (top and bottom) planer. It was apparent that the board is not clamped down by in feed rollers until after the first bottom cut, then kept flat on the reference table for the top cut.
This now makes more sense to me after reading your description of the operator’s need to set the parameters while avoiding boards out of these limits.
Thanks again, much appreciated.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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