12 1/2 planer doesn't like 12 inch wide boards much

Should a planer be able to operate continuously on boards at its capacity if the recommended maximum cut is used???
I may have done something stupid tonight. Well, maybe not stupid... ignorant at least. First time I tried running a 12 inch wide rough-sawn (red oak) board through my Delta planer. I started, like I always do, feeding it through with the depth set so it would feed through, but nothing being cut. Then crank it down a half turn with each pass. The first couple of passes where it actually cut, I noticed the motor was really bogged down, so I switched to 1/4 turn down each pass. The owner's manual says 1 turn is 3/32 inch. So a quarter turn should be about 3/128, or about .023 being cut.
Of course, taking smaller cuts means it takes longer to surface both sides. I was at this for about 30 minutes. Near the end I started lowering the depth by only 1/8 turn (.011 cut).
When I shut if off, there was smoke rising off the motor housing, and the gray plastic housing had discolored. :-( Son came out to the garage and said "smells like burnt chicken in here!"
Now, the manual reads: "For 10" and 12" wide hardwood, a maximum depth of cut of 3/64 is recommended". I was cutting less than that. Do the manufacturers (or Delta at least) exaggerate the capability of these machines? Should I have known better and cut for 10 minutes, then waited for 10-15 minutes before continuing?
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"Keith Carlson" wrote in message: <snipped>
So your trying to make your Delta into a toaster oven/minature wood kiln? Just kidding.
I have noticed the delta tends to get pretty hot also. I didn't like the heat on the housing so I shut down the motor every 5-10 minutes and look the wood over. Check thickness, cupping, twist, etc. This gives the motor a 1-5 minute break depending on my setup. I crank 1/4 turns, but I also feed boards thru without changing thickness every few passes. Sometimes the boards have a bit of tension. I know this is not much help, but I am starting to wonder about how much this planer can handle. Oh, BTW. Check your blades closely, they might be duller than you think.
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Nope. I've got a _real_ 2HP induction motor (12A @ 220) and bed rollers to ease the job, and I wouldn't ever take the max cut at full width. Maximum cut depths are for narrower boards.
One time the kid and I got our wires crossed and each took a turn on the depth adjuster. The lights dimmed, the planer slowed, then sped up as the lights returned, and 13" of birdseye made it through without a pop. Not an experience I care to repeat!

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I have a close to 15 year old Ryobi AP-10 planer and do not witness what you did even while running it for a couple of hours. Are your knives sharp?
If you are getting saw dust and not all wood shavings, your knives are dull.
Your technique appears to be correct but I would check the knives.
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That was my thought too. I'd estimate with my Delta planer, from experience, that it's got twice the capacity with new knives than with ones that have been on the machine for a while. And that's before getting to the "saw dust" stage.
John
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Nope.
The standard practice to plane out cup is to take VERY light passes on the high part of the board until it is planed flat.(light passes prevent the rollers from just pushing the board flat). Then flip the board over and plane that side parallel. I've done this any number of times with no problems. Just be aware that you may end up with a fairly thin board depending upon the amount of cup.
Warp and twist can be removed by hitting the high spots with a hand plane or shimming the board so it rides "flat" and can't be pushed down by the rollers. It is likewise sent through in light passes until the top is flat and then flipped over and the other side made parallel
Bow is taken out with a jointer or a tablesaw as it relates to the wood being bent in a different "dimension" than what would be addressed by a planer.
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Keith - I'd take smaller and thinner cuts. Also - just for my own info - is your planer plugged directly into a wall socket or are you running it on an extension cord?
Jim

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Welcome to the little Delta planer. It's a great little machine but it's not really designed to work for a living. For those large cuts, I only go MAX 1/8 turn and even then I try to go less than that. I'll run it through four or five times and let the planer cool off before running it through again.
I ran 500 bd ft of pine through it a while back and while it did get hot, it never really complained. That said, I was concerned enough that I bought a 15" JET for the "real" planing but am keeping the 22-560 for the smaller stuff and for the finishing cuts.
Good luck Rob

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ignorant
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3/32
sides.
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Thanks all, for the feedback. I will just remember the limitations next time. (which is soon, three more boards, but those are 13" wide, so were going to be ripped down with the circular saw first anyway).
Couple of quick reply-replies: Yep, the blades were sharp. I had just flipped the blades over to a clean, sharp edge (double-edged blades).
Yep, was using an extension cord. Only way around that for me is to install a drop-down outlet from the ceiling of my garage. Cord is 12ga, I believe. Also, the electrical service in this house is not great. 100amp service, and previous owners have added circuits... who knows how many outlets on a circuit. I do know the garage shares a circuit with half the basement. I have no 20amp outlets in the garage.
As far as the planer not being the right way to surface rough lumber, I havent' had a problem getting boards flat yet. (but then, I haven't done much work yet!) I'd guess I've surfaced about 60bf of my oak, and have always come out flat and straight. The rough boards came pretty flat, and another guess is that starting out at about 5/4 thickness, they don't deflect much under the feed rollers.
Keith C.

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install
and
Keith - you're gonna lose a lot by using an extension cord. When you drop your amps, that thing is gonna bog down. I had to use an extension cord as well in my shop. However - I bought some heavily insulated 10 ga. wire and made a 4 plex box. I was having the same problem with my DW - it was the power source. I was also afraid I was going to burn up the motor (which is common for air compressors!) I think that with everything you've read and correcting as much as possible - you'll do great with it.
Best of luck,
Jummy
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one more thing: your description makes me think you may not have face jointed one side of the board before running through your planer. If so, having a rough and irregular face traveling against the bed might be generating more friction than a portable planer can cope with, especially given such a wide board. anyway, thicknessing stock that has not been face jointed is not good practice, even if the planer has enough muscle to do it.
...My experience is that, given decently sharp knives, moderate passes, face jointed stock, and a waxed bed, my portable planer will plane anything that will fit in, including wide hardwood boards. As for endurance (....famous last words...), it's still going strong after ten years of hobbyist useage, sometimes running for 30 or 45 minutes at a stretch. Mine happens to be the old Delta 12 inch model, but I'd imagine the same holds true of any of the usual suspect machines out there.
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Keith Carlson wrote:

Not unless you have good ear protection and like tearing the unit down for repair a lot! ...not to mention taking smaller bites and ruinning it through more - which of course adds significant time to the operation as you note.
I'd say you've discovered a bench planer's limitations. Having upgraded from a Dewalt to a 15" unit earlier this summer - the difference is like night and day. Yeah, they take up more space and cost twice as much - but man what a difference. Two runs through and you're done with a much better finish to boot. I might as well been use a hand plane before!
Mark from Pasadena, MD

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Sounds like you just fried the motor. Ive used my 12 1/2 many times with a full width board and never had any problems. Q. Did you have an extension cord pluged into the machine, if you did and it was to small(thin)or to long, you may have underpowered the motor.

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http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Unless you use some sort of jig, your not going to square up a board with planer.

yet
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After removing cup from boards all this time, you tell me that I can't do that. I guess it's better that you don't know what you can't do. That way, you just do it and not worry about it.

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If you do it ALL the time, you are better than me. I've done it only a couple of times on narrow boards. No luck with winder boards. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Upscale asks:

There are difficulties, but...I've flattened a lot of cupped stock with a planer over the years. It depends largely on two things: is your stock thick enough to resist the flattening effect of the feed rollers; is the planer large enough (15" and up) to have feed rollers that will really flatten stock up to 2". You don't really need a bottom mounted flat board, though. Your planer tables should be flat.
One technique that works reasonably well is to put the cupped edges up first, and make several super light passes, barely touching the upwards cupped edges on each pass. Keep doing that until you get down to a full pass. Then start on the humped side.
It doesn't always work, but it works often.
Lots simpler to use a jointer, if you have one.
Charlie Self
"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family." George W. Bush, Greater Nashua,N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000
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