Planer thicknesser


I’m hoping someone can help me. After buying a table saw I felt the best way to create and make stock out of multiple pieces would be to buy a planer thickener. I bought a lumberjack one similar to most portable units


Whilst it does a great job on the most of the stock on the last 2 inches or so it creates a small dip around 0.5mm deep. I believe this is due to the stock weight exiting and pushing up the end that is still in the planer. There are some small adjustment screws on the unit. I was wondering if anyone has any tips on adjustment?

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That is referred to as snipe. Use another sacrificial piece of wood behind your piece. Like train cars, one in front of the other. You can but it right up to your workpiece or runt it along side. The idea being the last piece, and sometimes the first piece, to exit from under the cutter head will have the snipe.


Yep, what @DieTryingHTFU said - Snipe. If you’re feeling timely, you can also put some upward pressure as the board leads in and comes out, that can help. When I’m planing stock down for furniture, I typically just rough it a few inches longer and cut the snipe off, rather than try to get it perfect.


Interesting stuff, I’ve been watching some videos on youtube. Unfortunately I don’t have the ability to build a full sled for my new thickener - I went for a compact one for a reason. The good news is it’s only around 0.5mm maybe less. I will try making some adjustments…

I also screwed the pooch a little as the first project I’m working on I’ve cut all the wood to size… otherwise I would just chop it off…

Also all my bits are of a different dimension so it’s difficult to ‘train them’

I will have a go at using a sled and see if that helps.

As always guys, thanks a bunch!

So I just spend some time with my planer - boy does it make a mess… but great results on large planks - until snipe hits.

The main reason I wanted to have a planer was to make chopping boards, since I had already chopped the wood I’d go ahead and plane my pieces and glue them together. Worst thing I can waste at this point is glue… If the snipe at the top/bottom has a huge impact I will just make it into a smaller bread board.

Here is my very first chopping board in glueing.

The one thing I can’t work out is how I’m going to plane the board once done - sounds like I’m going to loose a bit on the front and the back…

Plan for the board to be a bit narrower than the planer width and glue on additional, longer sacrificial on the sides.

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Actually a great idea… Now all I need to do is find some scrap wood…

For what its worth, I just started doing glue-ups as well, and yep planer snipe is the culprit. Same as others have said: Make your work piece oversized to cut off the snipe, or run other boards through at the end to prevent it. I have access to a really big industrial planer, and it doesn’t really get snipe, once I figured out the right “feel” of lifting up on the boards slightly as they come out to avoid snipe. It’s an art form.

I generally like the over-sized boards approach because I find it works better to give me room for fine adjustment of the work piece, account for sanding, etc. It also gives you room to cut all the boards that are glue-ed up to the same length with a fine toothed blade on your table saw and get a better edge on your end grain.

You also might try taking small increments (1.5 mm / 1/16" ) or less as your final passes through the planer to avoid the snipe problem being very severe. If you take a thin enough pass at the end, you might be able to just make the snipe easily disappear with proper sanding technique.


Have you considered using your shapeoko as a planer? I’ve done it a few times (mainly because I don’t have a planer) and it works great!

Yep used it loads actually. The reason I bought one is that making lots of boards would take a long time on the shapeoko.

The other reason is I bought around half a ton of lumber all around 1m long :grinning:

I’m planning on passing the final boards though the shapeoko to engrave, size and chamfer them though :grin:

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Can you plane with the shapeoko without needing to sand it at all after it’s done?

A light sanding is all that’s required

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Theoretically, maybe you can do a final plane with a Shapeoko to avoid sanding however it probably doesn’t work well in reality. First, if your machine is not trammed perfectly, you will get small lines on the surface. Also, if you are doing any kind of staining, you will need to have sanded down to a 180 or higher grit. The sanding doesn’t just make a flat surface, it makes larger tears (from sawing for example) into very small tears in the wood fiber. As those tears become smaller (from sanding with higher successive grits) you get a smoother surface. I don’t think you can replicate the surface with a spindle you get with proper sanding.

Also I’ve learned a lot lately about this, and there is a massive difference in surface quality between just sanding, and proper sanding with the proper grits in succession with the proper technique.


What I’ve learned is, if my glue-up will be greater than my planers capacity, I divide it into equal sized sections I.e. if 18”, umm, 450mm, then two glue-ups at 9”, 225mm. Plane to thickness. Then, using cauls, glue the two sections together. If you don’t know what cauls are, Google, they will save you from much aggravation!

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Ha ha, I was hoping to make him work for it :wink:. Great link though.

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Ha ha well where youth and impatience is in abundance I did Google it and read that article seconds earlier. I’m not sure I’m ready for any table tops yet mind I have my sights set on simpler ambitions.

If time allows I’m running all my lumber through the planer this weekend…

Table tops…you haven’t lived until you’ve completed a multi section glue-up :crazy_face:


THAT’S a pretty serious woodworking bench. Nice!

Btw, did you ever post photos of your completed Green Man table? The in-process photos looked impressive!

Cool that you ask, thanks! Tables done.

I’m waiting for the chairs we ordered from the Amish craftsman so I can try and match the stain/finish.

I’ll be trying conversion varnish for the first time, should be interesting.