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Forum topic by 18wheelznwood posted 03-08-2021 07:08 AM 410 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18wheelznwood

130 posts in 85 days


03-08-2021 07:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question purpleheart planer milling

I’m working on a end grain cutting board and am using purple heart as one of the types of wood. I haven’t worked with an exotic hardwood since high school wood shop when I made a jewelry box out of koa for my mom. I have a DeWalt 734 planer, a Delta 6” benchtop jointer and a craftsman 10” table saw. My tools have so far handled the other woods like cherry, walnut, oak and maple all 4/4 or less that I’ve used. I’m using 8/4 boards now on the end grain cutting boards and I’ve not had much difficulty cross cutting the boards with my DeWalt miter saw. I was pleasantly surprised at how well my little craftsman table saw did ripping the boards, I used a Diablo 10” 24T rip blade and it cut them all with no scorching and almost no saw marks. The issue I did have was planing the purple heart. I was running all 3 boards end to end through the planer to avoid snipe and taking extremely small cuts but the planer couldn’t hardly handle the purple heart. Any tips or suggestions?


10 replies so far

View RClark's profile

RClark

116 posts in 3241 days


#1 posted 03-08-2021 10:30 AM

How wide was the board?

I have the 12 1/2” Delta bench top planer and I’ve run purpleheart through it.

1. Tiny cuts, Maybe even only 1/64th of an inch. My planer moves the cutterhead 1/8th inch for every full turn of the crank. On a significant piece of purpleheart, I will only turn that crank 1/8th of a revolution, perhaps less; that’s 1/64th of an inch, or less. Remember, the wider the board, the thinner that cut has to be. Caveat: I have never planed a piece of purpleheart wider than about 6 1/2 inches. That’s just because of the project, and not out of concern for the planer.

2. Sharp blades. The knives must be fresh.

Your DeWalt should be up to the task. But the knives have to be sharp, and the bed needs to be clean/slick.

-- Ray

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6936 posts in 2443 days


#2 posted 03-08-2021 01:03 PM

+1 on light cuts and sharp blades. You didn’t really elaborate on exactly what problem you are seeing but also make sure that you feed them into the planer with the grain oriented in the right direction.

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

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18wheelznwood

130 posts in 85 days


#3 posted 03-08-2021 05:02 PM

The blades in the planer are fairly new, only the material for a couple of cutting boards run through it since it was purchased. The boards being planed were 5”. I was taking very thin cuts, less than 1/8th turn of the wheel. The main issue was that it didn’t want to feed through completely, I had to push it through with another piece of material. I’ll give the bed a good cleaning and waxing and see if that helps.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

4987 posts in 2278 days


#4 posted 03-08-2021 05:08 PM

The pitch (sap) in PH varies a lot board-to-board. Sometimes I get really clean TS cuts and drum sander passes and other times it’s just a burned mess. I would not be surprised that it could also affect planer feed rollers.

Comments are spot on, light passes, smooth and waxed planer bed, rollers checked for slick spots and/or goobers.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3765 posts in 2854 days


#5 posted 03-08-2021 05:51 PM

Purple Heart is a horrible wood to work with. I think your settings yourself up for disappointment.
The best ends grain cutting boards that last are maple. A end grain hard maple board is plenty challenging to work.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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18wheelznwood

130 posts in 85 days


#6 posted 03-08-2021 07:11 PM

I’m going to go get some Boeshield cleaning and lubricants, need it for my other machines too. It seems to get some good reviews on YouTube. I’m assuming that denatured alcohol would be safe to clean the feed rollers. Any other suggestions?

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RClark

116 posts in 3241 days


#7 posted 03-08-2021 07:32 PM



I’m going to go get some Boeshield cleaning and lubricants, need it for my other machines too. It seems to get some good reviews on YouTube. I’m assuming that denatured alcohol would be safe to clean the feed rollers. Any other suggestions?

- 18wheelznwood

Certainly seems reasonable. I use Johnson’s Paste Wax on my machines, but many swear by Boeshield.

-- Ray

View LesB's profile

LesB

2956 posts in 4499 days


#8 posted 03-08-2021 07:52 PM

I have to agree with Aj2 on the Purple Heart. Also is has a lot of open pores that are not particularly good for a cutting board where food particles can be come lodges in the pores. Also if you are not aware of it the Purple color will quickly turn brown. A hard lacquer or varathane finish will slow the color change for a while but most people don’t want a hard finish on a cutting board that will be damaged by the cutting and chopping.

For the planing problem you might try hot gluing some longer sacrificial boards to two sides of the cutting board that are the same width but twice as long to act as runners/guides and give a longer contact with the rollers to drive the piece all the way through. This also works on other work to stop snipe at the beginning and end of what ever you are planing. Also sacrificial boards around the whole perimeter would also help prevent any split out on the end grain at the edges of the piece. The hot glue should pop right off when your are done. Or you could just use wood glue and saw them off when finished planing.

-- Les B, Oregon

View dschlic1's profile

dschlic1

507 posts in 3025 days


#9 posted 03-08-2021 08:34 PM

You might need to clean the rubber rollers in your planer. I have had the same problem with the work piece not feeding. Cleaned the rollers with mineral spirits and that solved the problem.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6936 posts in 2443 days


#10 posted 03-08-2021 10:39 PM


You might need to clean the rubber rollers in your planer. I have had the same problem with the work piece not feeding. Cleaned the rollers with mineral spirits and that solved the problem.

- dschlic1

+1. Whenever the rollers start slipping, I use a little MS to clean them off and problem solved.

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

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