Troubleshooting Snipe when Running Flooring

Experts advise on causes and cures of moulder snipe. November 26, 2008

Are there any Logosol owners that know how to stop snipe when running flooring? We have to trim about 2 1/2" off of each end.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor J:
Besides the obvious of making sure the machine is set up properly, I have read many posts stating the importance of feeding the blanks tightly back to back to eliminate that problem.

From Dr. David Rankin, forum technical advisor:
Several things cause snipes:
1. Too large a gap around the head.
2. Dull tools. Check the first bottom, as this head is ignored as a cause of many problems.
3. Pressure shoe on the top head not parallel to the table.
4. Worn tables or out of square tables.

5. Misaligned fence.
6. Wood being fed with bow up.

These are some of the more common. If the snipe is on every board, look at the pressure shoe parallel and the gap around the head. If you measure the length of the snipe at 2-1/2", that distance will provide your answer. From the head where the snipe is caused, the hold down on one side or the other will be 2-1/2 from the center of the spindle.

From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
Is the snipe worse on longer pieces? Sometimes, when the outfeed (or infeed) table or support is inadequate, gravity will pull a longer piece down and force it slightly into the head.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the suggestions. The snipe is not consistent and length doesn't seem to make a difference. That's what makes it so hard to figure out. My shop foreman went to Logosol's website where they have Logosol owners' phone numbers. He talked to three of them and they were all having the same trouble to some extent. We will check it out a little more but we may just have to live with it.

From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
In order to get snipe, the wood must move into the cutting head. So, you need to look closely for a reason that the wood is allowed to move, or develop a system that will prevent movement.

Are you using a DH410 with the knives on the top of the lumber? Try elevating the infeed and outfeed tables slightly (1" in 8 feet for a test; do not use your hand to lift the wood, as this might result in a pinched hand, etc.), which will result in keeping the wood away from the head. If this works, then develop a permanent change for the tables.

Note that the pressure bar is supposed to stop snipe. If you have one (it is located right behind the knife head), then perhaps it is not tight enough... Generally it is about 3/1000 inch higher (larger opening) than the knife cut. The PB does wear and so it needs adjustment or it will be too loose (not tight enough). Further, each time you sharpen the knives (making them shorter), the PB needs to be moved or it will be too tight. Hence, some people will move the PB so far away that it is never too close and will never need adjusting after sharpening... This is incorrect and will cause snipe all the time.