Troubleshooting Planer Snipe

      An unattached snap ring left a chip breaker free to bounce around. January 12, 2015

Question (WOODWEB Member)


Click to View Member Profile Member Photo Forum Posts Project Gallery Categories

As a one man furniture builder I get a bit isolated. About four months ago I found a nut lying next to my planer but couldn't figure out where it went. The cut on the planer is somewhat wavy, and I found out where the nut goes as shown in the picture below. This is at the end of a shaft that goes through the chip breaker. I rotated all of the 96 cutters (Helix Head) and adjusted the table rollers to a low setting. Expecting this to solve the cut quality I eagerly ran a board through but no real improvement! You can see there is a huge 2" snipe at the trailing end of the board and about 3" at the front! I played around with the table rollers putting them at varying heights without any real improvement. I also changed the infeed/outfeed roller pressure but again no change. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, now that I've messed with the feed rollers Iím not sure how to equalize those as the manual really doesn't explain.


Click here for higher quality, full size image


Click here for higher quality, full size image

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor P:
It looks as if your bed rollers are set too high. Your chip breaker is not resting on board. Are you using rollers on in-feed and the outside end? Does it snip on short boards?


From the original questioner

Click to View Member Profile Member Photo Forum Posts Project Gallery Categories

I've set the rollers close to the table, maybe about .1. I bought the machine in '06 and made the gauge block to check chip breaker. It's warped so making a new one but it seems as if the chip breaker is lower than what's specified (.2) so making a new gauge block to check those measurements. It gets that snipe and wavy cut on long or short boards. I will check to make sure the belt tension is to spec too. I'm stumped!


From contributor P:
The bed rolls should be set at .003 to .006 for dry wood. I bought a rotacator magnetic gauge from Grizzly. It can be used to set everything on a planer. Itís worth the money.


From contributor J:
Like Contributor P says, .1 is way too high. That is your problem. One way Multi Gauge is another tool that works good.

From the original questioner

Click to View Member Profile Member Photo Forum Posts Project Gallery Categories

Whoops, forgot the zero! I used a step feeler gauge that was .014 and .016 which means they're set at .015. I'll set them even lower Contributor P at the .003 you suggested. I also wonder if that nut being off of the shaft may have thrown things out of whack.

From the original questioner

Click to View Member Profile Member Photo Forum Posts Project Gallery Categories

To contributor P and Contributor J: I just wanted to thank you for your advice and interest in helping me out. Thought I'd let you know I finally figured this out! The nut that fell I found a while ago goes on the end of the bar that holds the chip breaker. I couldn't hardly find the nut since it's in a deep recess under the height adjusting wheel. Like I mentioned, I finally found it and noticed it never really tightened. The other end of this shaft is almost completely hidden by the electrical box for the switch. I decided to see what it looks like there and found the problem! All that secures that end of the shaft is a snap ring. It was laying in the recess so my guess is that the chip breaker was basically bouncing around when I'd pass some wood through the planer. There was probably enough gunk holding the shaft in place the more I used it the worse things became. Lucky for me, the deep recess and the fact that the electrical box hid all but maybe a third of that hole kept me from losing the snap ring as well. What's that they say about a million dollar aircraft being grounded because of a 25 cent O-ring? That's what happened here, thanks for your input.



Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining: Setup and Maintenance


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2017 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article