Today, we settled down to analyse the planer machine to learn what is happening when we try to plane larger pieces of Oak timber and why it is coming out with a slight dip in the middle. We wondered whether the heavier pieces was causing a slight ‘bending’ of the metal platforms that guides the timber in and out of the machine but carefully putting a series dumbbell weights and watching the surface against a steel rule (using a bright LED torch to shine through any gaps opening up) but nothing happened even after we put 17½ kg load on the very end of the table. The machine has 500mm long input and output tables and reading more about these types of machines on the web, we were concluding that the long pieces of timber is too long for the machine. The cylindrical rollers don’t give enough support because they only hold up at one point and as soon as the timber slide pass, it loses support and ‘moves’ which is part of the problem.
This means we needed to extend the flat tables to provide a much longer surface to keep the timber on the straight and narrow and the planer then can do it job on removing the excess material that is causing the bow or dip.
So this afternoon, we created two thick wooden platform made from two layers of 18mm OSB board, measuring 300mm wide by a metre long and these were sanded smooth and then glued together. Next we got out of our metal supply two lengths of 50mm wide by 3mm thick steel strips, both being more than 2metres long. These were cut to form four 1metre pieces. Then a triple set of 8mm holes were drilled in both the steel strips and also into the sides of the metal (aluminium) tables. Finally, we drilled a series of 5mm holes down the other end which will allow us to screw our thick wooden platform pieces into place. We will slightly enlarge the steel holes (the set of three holes) so we can wiggle up and down the whole extended platform so it becomes dead level and aligned up with the rest of the machine. Finally, we will put on two legs underneath to help support these extended guides as the whole machine will suffer and tilt over when it tries to handle heavy and long Oak timber pieces.
This is taking quite a while to analyse, design and implement this necessary modification to our planer machine but we want something that will be solid and long lasting so we can deal with all our Oak timber for the whole building project. So just a couple of days of work here will save many, many days of frustration and problems later on!

By Shaun

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