I have a Ryobi AP13 (I believe that's the model) about 3 years old
now. It's serviced me perfectly. However, I've noticed one problem.
When planing wider boards, say 10" or so, that have not been jointed
(because my jointer is 6") I can wind up with pretty inconsistent
thicknesses in my final boards, even though I'm obviously running them
through at the same settings. I'm wondering why this might be
happening. Are my blades wearing unevenly (I tend to doubt this) or
does it have to do with the fact that the boards are not jointed?
Anyway, this winds up being very annoying when doing a glueup. I also
don't like the idea of having to rip down my boards to 6" in order to
joint them first.
It sounds like the boards need to be face jointed. As you can
imagine, the pressure rollers on the smaller benchtop planers don't
always have the power to push down the warps and other minor
variations. So, it's not the cutting depth that varies, it's that the
board will ride high in some places. Planers really rely on having
one flat face for use as a reference.
You don't need to rip the boards down to joint them. Go get yourself
a block plane and a smoothing plane. All you need to do is get one
side relatively flat. This will allow you to plane the opposite
side. I've done big tabletops this way. It's really not all that
hard and it can be very satisfying work.
Home of the TS-Aligner
I don't have a solution for this, but don't believe it has anything to do
with face jointing.
I am on my second small planer (a Dewalt 735 after a Makita 2012). Both
will give perfect thicknesses without benefit of face jointing.
They won't help twisted or curved board, but they get the thickness right;
I have never had a problem on glueups that I would blame on the planer.
Do you use biscuits? If your boards aren't flat (and a planer won't help
with that) then you have to rely on biscuits to make everything line up.
Well, you can use a hammer and clamps if it is not too bad, but biscuits
make it much easier.
The knives aren't parallel to the table for some reason or another.
I don't know how the Ryobi is built nor what kind of knives it uses, but
somewhere there's an alignment problem.
Knives not mounted evenly if adjustable
Knives were ground but uneven (unlikely probably on one of these)
Cutterhead bearings bad or mounting shifted/loose
Table support problem...
Would hope a decent owner's manual would discuss such
Those are mechanical reasons for the problem.
If stock doesn't have one flat face to start with, however, a planer
won't fix that problem. If the stock is then enough, the feed rollers
will mash it flat as it goes through and take off an even amount
relative to the surface of the lower table. Once it comes out, though,
any bow, etc., is going to reappear. When it goes through on the other
side, it can behave somewhat differently as the bow is the other
direction and you end up w/ nonuniform stock.
If a piece is thick enough so as to essentially not deform, or you can
take a thin enough initial cut to avoid pressing it flat, you may have
some success flattening stock that way but the best is to face joint
initially the one side sufficiently.
It's one of the reasons I always recommend "wider is better" for the
Lack of having a flat reference face on the board can cause this. Also if
the board is long, unsupported, and bounces on the ends as it feeds.
Try cutting the boards to 4 "or 5" longer than the finished length on the
boards that are not straight and long.
I have found that I can can get away with planing boards without face
planing one side only if they are relatively flat. If the boards are
warped or bent it is hard to accomplish this. You can often plane out
cupping without face planing first--if the board is thick enough to
I also have a 12" portable planer. I used to use a 6" jointer, but
mostly to joint boards, not face them. I now joint and face plane
boards by hand. I found if I only had a few boards to joint or plane I
could do it quicker by hand than I could get the jointer moved into
position and then set up.
I don't have a specific recommendation. I don't think you will be
satisfied glueing panels that are not flat. You will probably end up
with more problems later. That leaves buying flatter rough sawn wood,
ripping the boards to fit your jointer, or doing it by hand, or ?????
Mon, Sep 17, 2007, 11:00am (EDT-3) email@example.com (Doug) rightfully
or wrongfully, doth exclaim.
I have a Ryobi AP13 (I believe that's the model) about 3 years old now.
It's serviced me perfectly. <snip>
I won't ask.
What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new
- Peter Egan
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