Planer Blade Alignment Tolerance


I have a DeWalt DW733 planer. I just changed the blades for the first time, using the DeWalt magnetic alignment guides provided with the machine. I can't figure out an easy way to use my indicator gauge to reliably check the alignment of the blades directly on the machine so I planed two pieces of wood at the ends of the planer (about 10" apart on center) and checked thickness with my indicator gauge on my table saw table. Repeated a couple of times and got a consistent 0.004" variance in depth of cut between the two ends of the planer. No snipe on the boards. 0.004" seems like a lot of variance over 12" on a planer. Do I have unrealistic expectations? Any thoughts?
Ed
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That is about 1/256" ..
If you wood is not PERFECTLY flat those or worse results will show up. I am perfectly happy with .01" tolerance over less than 10".
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Leon - Thanks for the reply. In a lot of applications .01" would be a non-issue. In other applications it's going to mean more work sanding and such after assembly. Fortunately I was able to get the variance down to .004". I'm tempted to try and improve it, but I think I'll wait until I have a project that might really benefit from the improvement.
Ed
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Ed, Just changed mine last weekend on the DeWalt and the little magnetic alignment things worked fine. In fact I was very impressed with how the planer came with all the tools clipped to the dust tray and the clear instructions on putting the new blades in.
WRT your tolerance question. Are you nuts! ;) You live in Florida, the changes in humidity and temp down there will move your wood more than .004 in a single week! I'd be very happy with the setup..
Allen Catonsville, MD
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IMHO
0.004" over 12" is not a sleep depriving issue
Cheers
Nicholas
--
Nicholas Buttle - Quality Joinery and Cabinet Making
http://www.nbjoinery.net
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Nicholas - I wish I could have convinced myself of that last night as I lay staring at the ceiling tonight trying to think what I could have done differently when installing the blades ;). I tuned up my table saw the other day and got it squared up within .001". I had hoped to do a little better than .004" on the planer. I won't matter on my current project, so I'm going to take your advice and try to forget about it for now. Thanks.
Ed
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In a lot of ways, the dial indicator ws the worst thing to ever hit the home woodshop. This is one of those times.

lay
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Allen - Here at the institution, we prefer to use the term "mentally unstable" instead of "nuts". I've been mentally unstable for years, ever since I started trying to make furniture just using hand tools. The good news is that I've improved to the point where they let me work with sharp implements and power tools. If I do it right they might release me sooner.
The humidity is actually fairly constant (~75%) year round except for a few days out of the year when a cold front with drier air (~40%) passes thru. I don't work in my shop on those frigid days when the outside temp drops into the 50s. Even if the humidity was really variable I wouldn't expect one piece of lumber to change in thickness by .004" and another similar piece to do something different.
With my planer setup now, if I run a 1x3 piece through on the right side of the planer it will be .004" thicker than if I ran it through on the left side. I guess I'll just wait and see if this really bothers me or not. I suppose I can always just make sure I run everything through on the same side of the planer. This would solve the problem with narrower stock, which is mostly what I use. I don't plane 12" wide boards very often at all.
Thanks for the reply.
Ed
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LMAO
You'll fit right in here.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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I guess I'm outpatient in that clinic up here.
When I lived in Pensacola (which is much closer to LA than FL*) the humidity and temp would wildly swing. It actually snowed on us one day. I was flying TA-4's in August and Sep and it was not unusual to lose 10 lbs of water weight in an hour sortie. Gosh, what I wouldn't give for that now :)
Have fun with the sharp knives. It shocked me how the dullness snuck up on me and how much better the planer ran afterward.
Allen
* LA = Lower Alabama
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Ed, I'm curious if you checked the blades first, both flatness of the cutting edge and the width. GerryG
wrote:

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GerryG - I used the spare set of blades that came with the machine and it never occurred to me to check width and flatness. I'll do that on the next time, but I don't think that's a problem. Using the DeWalt magnetic alignment guides on the ends of the blades when installing would force any high/low spots from a curved cutting edge towards the center of the work piece. That's not what I'm seeing here. Still, it's a good idea to check the blades before installing. I'll do it next time.
Ed

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