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7 ways to Whip Snipe

Why waste wood when you can nip the dips on the ends of your power-planed boards? Here's how.

  • A little lift sends snipe packing

    On a benchtop planer, raise the table-leveling bolts until the ends of the infeed and outfeed tables are about the thickness of a penny higher than the planer bed.

  • Cast-iron tables

    The cast-iron tables on some stationary planers tilt by turning the adjustment setscrews. On planers without setscrews, insert metal shim stock to lift the tables.

  • Lift the free end

    If raising the tables doesn't completely eliminate snipe, gently lift the free end of a workpiece slightly on the infeed side and again on the outfeed.

  • "Train" workpieces

    If you cannot completely rid your planer of snipe, butt workpieces of equal thickness end-to-end so your machine thinks it's one long workpiece. Use scrap in front of the first and following the last workpiece.

  • Roll away the snipe

    Stationary planers have table rollers whose main function is to reduce workpiece drag on the table. Raising these rollers on some models about .002" above the table helps prevent snipe. If this increases snipe on your planer, drop the rollers level with the table surface.

  • Give thin workpieces a ride

    Workpieces thinner than 3/8" can flex and elevate into the cutterhead, creating snipe. To avoid this, adhere your workpiece to a carrier board, such as MDF, for added stability.

  • Finish with a light touch

    The deeper the cut, the greater the chances for snipe. So as you zero in on the final thickness, remove only 1/64" or so in your last pass or two on each face.

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