I have a 6" General International jointer and a 13" Delta dual speed
planer. I'm currently working on a maple/cherry dresser and I've
noticed a weird thing when I plane/joint wood.
In a few places the surface of the wood has some small ripples. I
tried changing the speed at which I feed the stock and I don't seem to
see any difference. The funny part is this rippling isn't all over the
board but just in a few places. It happens with both the jointer and
the planer. I can get rid of them by sanding though.
Anybody can explain me why I get this results.
Thanks for any piece of wisdom.
Just a WAG. Since maple is hard and two tools with blades
left ripples, I'd wonder if the blades are dull. If sanding
leaves the wood flat, you are good to go. Jointers/planers
are not designed for final finishing. Sanding is necessary
even when you don't see ripples.
My guess is this was a thicker section of the board where the planer 'bit'
harder. A scraper or sanding will clean it up as you've already noticed. Two
other possibilities are: the grain in that particular spot may have
different characteristics; and it's also possible that the blades on the
planer are wearing in one spot and the ripple shows up when you feed on that
side of the planer. Feed stock evenly across the blades, I usually try to
overlap by half a board left-to-right, then start at the left again to
achieve even wear.
By ripples, do you mean about 1/32" wide and high? Runs the length of the
board? Sounds like it is time to replace the blades as they are nicked. In
the case of the planer, they can be reversed. If both sides are reasonably
sharp but just has a nick, reverse only one of them and much of the ripple
will go away.
I'll throw in yet another WAG, for completeness - there's nothing wrong.
Even with freshly sharpened blades, you'll have some slight compression of the
wood surface, which may vary with density. In some cases, I can joint the edge
of a piece of cherry and see those ripples with a raking light. If not, then
adding a darker stain will usually bring them out. I typically use a hand
plane on edges and a scraper plane to clean faces before finishing.
Depending on your blade sharpness, the depth of cut, and the density variation
of the wood, and your finishing schedule, you may not see the issue. In any
case, make your last pass through the machine as light a cut as possible.
Both the planer and the jointer are almost new. They didn't even see
30 bf. so far. The blade aren't nicked. The ripples are perpendicular
to the board planed/jointed and they are also very close to each other
(1/32" to 1/16" max). I'm planing maple at the moment and the board I
selected have some interesting features (bird's eye and some other
wild grain figures). I guess it may be related to the wood structure.
I also some internal tension as well...
Thanks for your help!
Can you feel these waves with your finger tips. Is the ripples in the
maple of the cherry.
First thought is that you have exposed an area of interlocking grain and
some attention with sandpaper is called for.
Second thought and take no offense since I can't see the wood and have
no idea what you level of experience with these machines or wood is, If
you can't feel the ripples you have simply found some figured "curly"
grain in the wood and you won't get it out.
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