Hardwood "ragging" through thicknesser

Hi, I hope you are all well
We use Sapele (2") to make doors but are experiencing this problem when feeding it through the thicknesser.
http://www.mgarner.co.uk/IMG_3604.jpg
http://www.mgarner.co.uk/IMG_3600.jpg
As can be seen from the photos, it's not across the whole piece (5"), or the whole length - it's just in patches.
This happens regardless of:     the state of the blades     the feed speed.     the amount we take off at each pass
We recently tried Utile but had the same result.
Any ideas please?
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I would be inclined to feed it in the other direction and see what happens there
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That's because it's sapele. Not much help to you, I know. The interlocking grain is a feature of the timber - that's what gives it the attractive stripe - caused by the growth in a helix instead of straight up the trunk, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise so that it is very hard to machine it without tearing. Whichever way you plane it it is always against some of the grain.
If you can't get an acceptable result by very sharp blades and very slight cuts which you have already tried then you are left with sawing, scraping and sanding or using another timber. A good finisher can sometimes do something to fill the grain. Good luck.
Tim W
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I get that with figured walnut or maple on occasion. As George suggested running in opposite direction might help. you might also try dampening the area (lightly) with water on a damp rag before feeding. You will end up with a little sanding but it might lessen tearing the problem.
RonB
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Well, as Tim said, that's a characteristic of the wood, caused by interlocking grain. You might try any or all of the following: - make sure your cutting knives are razor-sharp (DAGS for "Scary Sharp") - take *very* light cuts ( < 0.005" at a time ) - skew the boards so the cuts are not perpendicular to the long axis - failing the above, use a thickness sander instead of a thickness planer
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Try spraying a mist of water on the surface before sending it to the planer, soften the wood fibers.
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On 3/12/2011 1:49 AM, MikeG wrote:

...[tearout seemingly random]...

In addition to Tim and Doug a planer w/ helical knives cutter head may help although the thicknessing sander is undoubtedly the most practical solution for production work.
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"MikeG" wrote:

----------------------------------- Leave about 1/32" proud on final thicknesser pass, then bring to final size with a drum sander.
Lew
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On Sat, 12 Mar 2011 07:49:48 +0000, MikeG

Sorry if it sounds pedantic, but in IMG_3600.jpg, it truly appears that you planed against the grain. If so, do it the other way next time, with the grain.
Otherwise, with woods where grain crosses and reverses, plane to coarse thickness and sand to exact thickness. Scraper planes and cabinet scrapers (freehand style) are also a possibility.
-- Whomsoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate. --James Garfield
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wrote:

Or a quick wipe with a Rotex...
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On Sat, 12 Mar 2011 12:22:57 -0800 (PST), Robatoy

Hah! Only for the richy-rich Normites. REAL men scrape their wood.
-- Whomsoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate. --James Garfield
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On 03/12/2011 05:50 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

Sounds painful!
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"MikeG" wrote in message
Hi, I hope you are all well
We use Sapele (2") to make doors but are experiencing this problem when feeding it through the thicknesser.
http://www.mgarner.co.uk/IMG_3604.jpg
http://www.mgarner.co.uk/IMG_3600.jpg
As can be seen from the photos, it's not across the whole piece (5"), or the whole length - it's just in patches.
This happens regardless of: the state of the blades the feed speed. the amount we take off at each pass
We recently tried Utile but had the same result.
Any ideas please?
Mike,
1. Inexpensive way: Dampen the surface with water so the whole surface is damp (no need for it to be soaking wet) and let it rest for a minute before running thru the planer.
2. Not so inexpensive way: Get a drum sander http://www.jettools.com/us/manufacturing/en/products.html?nodeF47&categorys16
I have the 16/32 and it is the way to go when you're working with squirrely grain. Leave about 1/16" on each side when you come off the planer and then run it thru the drum sander for finishing.
Bob S.
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