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Thread: Thicknesser advice / chipped blades

  1. #1

    Thicknesser advice / chipped blades

    Planed Wood.jpg

    I have just bought a new DeWalt DW733 thicknesser. It was brand new and straight out of the box. I did a few test runs on some rough but clean pallet wood; which came out perfectly smooth. I checked for nails before an after each test and there were definitely no nails, etc. However, I have now developed ridges running down the length of all my new planed wood. Again, I am milling down pallet wood but it has all been thoroughly inspected for nails.

    I am 99% certain that the ridges are being caused by chips in the blade but I can't understand why I have developed chips so quickly.

    I have read somewhere that if the dust extraction is not adequate, the shavings can be "recycled" and cause knicks in the blade. For my first test runs, I was still waiting for a proper dust extractor and I was just using a standard vacuum cleaner which got clogged up and there was virtually no extraction from the machine for perhaps 8 passes in the thicknesser. Also, there were loose bits of wood on this new wood that is being milled, which arguably may have chipped the blades. I was doing gradually reductions so I wasn't taking a lot off easy pass.

    I have been using a belt-sander and orbital to mill my wood so I am new to using a thicknesser. Am I being very ignorant or are the thicknessers really this delicate that the blades get chipped so easily?

    Can anyone shed some light why I have a chipped blade so quickly?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    West Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    6,490
    Wow, those are some serious nicks for a newish planer. My guess would be you hit something(s) - nails/screws, knots, or some other foreign object. Pallet wood is often dirty, has been drug on floors, etc. There are many happy users of DW734 (guessing this is what you have - the 733 hasnít been made in years I think), and I used to be one of them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Posts
    1,023
    Comon to see that in pallet wood.
    Caused by nails, dirt gravel and other material that has been ground into the pallet wood.
    Work with clean lumber and have a lot less problems

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,231
    I agree with Ron dirty wood. Each and every nicked spot in the blade is where something was imbedded in the wood. Sometimes itís the ends of the board not just the face.
    Pallet is never free always pay one way or another.
    Aj

  5. #5
    Fair enough. Thanks all - good excuse for the wife to go get nice wood!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    61,332
    Andrew is spot on...there are other things other than metal that come into play when the knives do their thing to the wood. Any kind of recycled/upcycled material brings risk to tooling for sure. I'm not familiar with that particular thicknesser, but if there is any lateral play available in the knives, that could help you adjust the nicks so that they do not line up on all the knives. My machine has a Tersa head and that's a standard way to deal with it, but most portables don't have quite that much flexibility. You may need new knives.

    Some folks who regularly use this kind of material do their initial milling with "old" knives and then put in nice ones to finish the job. A drum sander, if available, is also a good way to do initial cleanup...even a ROS with 80 grit abrasive can perform that role, too.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 05-31-2022 at 10:18 AM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    Thank you for the advice. My tiny little garage (United Kingdom standard = small enough for a mini cooper) won't accommodate the likes of a drum sander on top of my portables but perhaps my belt sander might be up for the task.

    In any event, I think my days of upcycling might be coming to an end...time to graduate to quality wood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,585
    I agree, embedded stuff in the wood. sand or metal. I find anything more then a single small staple leg will chip a blade. I mean a office staple not a construction one. I assume this is a small portable planer? If so the blades are thinner and chip easier.
    You have to make a financial decision. For me, free good hardwood pallet wood is cheaper then the extra blade sharpening. For softwood not worth the risk.
    Bill D

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Posts
    184
    Pallet wood, sticking, used outdoor wood - anything that was outside or touched the ground does not go through any of my machines. 1 too many experiences like you're having.
    Timberlight Designs

  10. #10
    Thanks all - so "dirty" softwood is no good and time to stick to clean hardwood. Noted.

    Being a newbie...is there anything at all, other than dodgy wood, that could be causing issues? Hopefully if I stick to appropriate materials, then I won't have a problem going forward.

  11. #11
    Itís best to run material at the highest speed , at least on first couple of passes . Slow speed makes for a long wood bath in the rock and
    grit pile.

  12. #12
    Hi Peter,
    I have had a Dewalt 733 planer for what seems like forever... They are no longer sold in the US, replaced by the 734, but the 733 is still sold in the European market.

    I have never had an issue like the one you are having and I have run some crap wood through my 733. Generally if I have some suspect stock I will knock any grit off of it, wipe it down with a damp cloth and check for any metal.

    You don't mention how heavy a pass you are taking, but it makes a difference. There appear to be marks from the rubber feed rollers in your photo which may indicate a heavy pass. I run light passes, less than 1/32 of an inch. Manual says you can take 1/8th, but I have never done that. My experience is the lighter the pass the better the results, particularly with softwood.

    Good news is 733 blades can be resharpened, 734 blades are supposed to be disposable, although I have heard of others resharpening them (seems dicey to me since they can't be adjusted in the machine). I have 2 sets, sharpen a set when I change them out, so they are ready for the next blade change. They are easy to sharpen with a homemade jig and a couple of stones, see youtube.

    Good luck with the new planer and let us know how you solve the issue.

  13. #13
    Hi John - thanks for the useful advice! Yes the 733 is the only DeWalt sold in the UK.

    Certainly going to give them a sharpen once I got the jig up and running.

    Living and learning!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    61,332
    The issue isn't upcycling/recycling...you just need to make sure you do a little extra prep, Peter. Reusing that material really is a good thing! And yes, your belt sander can help with that...just use a light touch to get off the crud and then move on to milling it to the sizes you want to use
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    then that belt sander grit screws up your knives.

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