There's another storm brewing!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by pilotjones, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Yeah, I guess I'll do the super-detail thing on this thread, too. At least on the operations that are different from the last bass. There are some people who like it, and the others have already left the building!

    I'm going to run this thing through the planer now. The halves were at .304", and there's a step in the middle now that must be removed. The planned thickness for this is .250, so we'll see what I end up with, as well as if the repairs are visible or not.
     
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    And...so much for that idea! The joined board is too wide for the planer, so it will have to wait for another method.
     
  3. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Looking in the yellow pages, I found several local cabinet makers with 20"+ surface planers, many of whom were happy to thickness a board for a few dollars. Might be worth a look...
     
  4. +1 on Hammerheads suggestion. Before we got a drum sander at work, I found a local shop that was happy to do it for me. The only difference is they did it for a case of homebrewed beer... :)
     
  5. suraj

    suraj

    Oct 1, 2008
    Mumbai, India
    I was going to suggest the method you ended up using for wave jointing the pieces that cracked apart with a router. Someone intentionally did a joint like this on a jazz bass a while ago. A wave running through the whole bass, including fretboard, one side maple one side wenge. About the board being too wide for the planer, I would either build a simple router sled, double stick tape the board to a thick piece of MDF and route away, or outsource drum sanding. I guess you run a few risks sending a thin board that you spent time repairing through a wider planer.
     
  6. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Heh, my guy works for beer too. I don't use him much anymore, since I got my jointer, bandsaw, and thickness planer, but when I have overly wide stock to thickness, or a whole body blank, it comes in handy.
     
  7. MrArose13

    MrArose13 Commercial User

    Aug 15, 2011
    Atlanta Georgia
    Owner/Luthier:RoseBud Basses & Guitars LLC
    PJ, how's the build going?
     
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Some problems.

    As far as the makore, I didn't make it in time to a cabinet shop for planing two weekends ago, and last weekend I was out of town.


    I had a try at thinning down a sheet of my quilt maple, the piece that I had previously damaged a bit by running it through the planed by itself. It measured .100 - .150 before starting, and the target thickness is .050. I figured I'd mount it to a piece of MDF and run it through the planer with very light passes, to see what happens. If it didn't look good, I could stop before it all the way thinned down.

    Here's the mounted board.
    file-42.jpg
    You can easily see where the planer had grabbed it the first time I had run it through without a backer board a month ago. So this time I mounted it to the MDF with lengthwise strips of tape, plus tape across the leading and trailing edges.

    I did a few passes without problems, but then the last pass I took tore it out. So, I quit that process while it was still over thickness. I figured I could set up the shopsmith to be a thickness sander. This is the setup.
    file-45.jpg

    But that did not work too well. The table and the arms that support it are aluminum, and that made it wonky enough that I couldn't get a good finish, and couldn't even put the board through in the reverse direction for a second run. So that face now looks like this.
    file-43.jpg

    And to top it all off, when I took the board off the backer, the tape adhesive caused tearout of the backside of the maple. Can't catch a break!
    file-44.jpg


    So, I've been looking at options. Thickness sanders are expensive, and even at a pretty high dollar, people have complaints about them. Building one per plans that are available (thanks, everyone) is possible, but more time spent -- plus I'm coming to see that handling thin woods is a pain in the ass and fraught with complications.

    There's also the matter that the woods I got for this don't really match what I had intended, per my original plans.



    So at this point, I'm considering a bit of a departure. If I can get one board that would be needed for the neck core, some purchased veneers, one big board for several body parts, plus if I can get one day in a cabinet shop for resawing and thicknessing, then Storm King 2 could become...The Dark Storm.
     
  9. SaintMez

    SaintMez Commercial User

    Jan 3, 2010
    Meridian, idaho
    Blood Brothers Guitars - Luthier, Porter Guitars - Contractor
    That's a bummer about the tear out, Pete. Was it the double sided tape that caused the tear out? sometimes that tape is just too strong. I've ended up putting large strips of masking tape on the surfaces that the tape will touch just to avoid breaking the wood trying to get it apart. A little heat helps but also the masking tape will give something to pull on to break the hold. And masking tape residue is also far easier to remove ive found. I may try Ricketts paper towel trick in the future... On the plus side I like the new name!
     
  10. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Yeah, on the last bass, every time I used the mounting tape I first lined both surfaces with blue or green masking tape. This time I forgot. :rolleyes:

    I was thinking of the paper towel thing, but I'd need more instruction/description - it sounds like it would be too easy to permanently glue the woods together, along with the paper.
     
  11. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I use the same planer and while I really like it tearout can definitely be an issue with the straight knives. Have you tried angling the board to the cutterhead when you feed the boards in? When the full knife hits perpendicular to the grain its easiest for it to grab the grain and pull it out. Feeding the board with the grain and at angle to the cutterhead gets you closer to a shear cut like a nice flush trim router bit and cuts down on tearout. Also the slower feed rate helps but I suspect you are using it already. Some people claim that wetting the grain before you run run your board will cut down on tearouts but I'm not sure I'm completely buying that yet as I've had mixed results with that technique.

    Have you had any sniping problems without having infeed and outfeed tables? Those machines are known for having pretty bad snipe without the feed tables but with proper support the snipe is actually very minimal for a benchtop unit. The tables Dewalt offer are 50-60$ but I just made a rolling cart with the tables built in and it works great.
     
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Yes, I did send it through at low feed, and with as much angle as I could get on it. I clipped the corners of the backing board close to the actual wood, so that I could do that. It is possible, I suppose, that on the last trip through I didn't angle it as much - it's a kind of a pain estimating that angle, since I did't want it to be too extreme, making it drag on the corner of the entry opening, forcing it to shift angle as it feeds in.

    I thought about the wetting the figured wood trick, but I didn't try it.

    Talking about snipe, what's the difference between snipe and tearout? Is snipe on the leading edge?
     
  13. I always thought snipe was on the trailing edge and tear out was in the middle.

    lowsound
     
  14. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    If I'm not mistaken, snipe is when the board gets past the back roller and the weight of the front of the board forces it in to the knives a little deeper, so the last few inches of the board are cut a little deeper than the rest of the board.
     
  15. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham

    Dec 19, 2005
    S.W.France
    As I understand it, it's not the weight of the board that causes snipe. I've normally experienced it at both ends of the board. Until the front end of the board is held down by the front roller, the board can lift a little so the blades take off a little more than they should. After the back end of the board has passed the back roller, it too can lift a little with the same result.

    A way of getting round this, is to put a longer sacrificial board either side of your workpiece. These boards are longer by the length of snipe you're getting at each end, so they get the snipe and your workpiece doesn't.

    Edit. It's best to double-stick tape the sacrificial boards to the sides of the workpiece to avoid your workpiece stopping when it gets to the blades.
     
  16. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    To reduce snipe, my woodworking mentor guy taught me to hold the trailing end up on the way into the planer, and the leading edge up on the way out of the planer. It works pretty well, but better with thin stock than with thick.
     
  17. MrArose13

    MrArose13 Commercial User

    Aug 15, 2011
    Atlanta Georgia
    Owner/Luthier:RoseBud Basses & Guitars LLC
    ^^ This is what I have come to under stand with a planer, although with a jointer, (not that we're talking about jointers, but they are another snipe maker) snipe comes from the in-feed table being higher than the out-feed table

    I was told to do this too. Most of the time I get no snipe on the trailing end and am able to reduce the snipe at the lead with this trick.
     
  18. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    My planer is the opposite. I get no snipe on the leading end, but a fair amount on the trailing end.

    I have a Porter-Cable PC305TW, 12.5" thickness planer. Reversible quick-set knives. Love it.
     
  19. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars

    Would a jointer even work if the infeed table was higher than the out feed table?
     
  20. suraj

    suraj

    Oct 1, 2008
    Mumbai, India
    after reading all these issue with thickness planing, I am so glad I put in the time and built a decent drum sander, and I designed it to have a long infeed and outfeed table, it helps to use something really smooth and flat, like granite. With the right technique and board orientation, with respect to warps and internal stresses, you can get a snipe free cut every time and get things to very accurate thicknesses. I was able to sand a 4" wide piece of wenge from 2mm to 0.6mm without a backing board..!! Pete, I strongly recommend you build a thickness sander, trust me you can use it for a lot more things than just thickness sanding. And if you do go that route, build the skeleton out of steel, not wood.

    Instead of sending that wide piece of maple through the planer, you could have backed it with MDF like you did, and used a router sled. I would assume that to work much better.

    Good Luck