Planer Snipe – What is it and can it be avoided?
When your surface planer takes off more wood at the ends than it does in the middle, typically more on the leading than the trailing end, this is planer snipe.
Can planer snipe be avoided? We don’t think so, and it doesn’t always happen. The best approach is to allow for it – just in case.
Step 1. Allow for possible planer snipe by leaving the pieces long.
Step 2. Surface plane all the pieces, before the glue up.
Not all woodworkers surface plane before the glue up, but we do. It’s important – we’ll write more about that soon.
Make sure to double up the allowance in length – for example: If you’re ending up with a 2″ snipe on both ends, allow more than 4″ extra x2 for the 2 step process. More than 8″. Get it?
Step 3. Plane again after the glue up.
Keep in mind that planer snipe can occur and/or again during this next step. It may not have happened in the 1st planing session, but it’s better to be prepared.
Step 4. Cut to length.
If planer snipe has occurred, you’ve allowed enough length to cut it off and all is good. Make sense? If it happens and you’re not prepared, the piece will be too short for your desired design. And good luck finding that elusive wood stretcher!Remember, your better off wasting a couple of dollars in material for peace of mind than to ruin your entire project – which could also ruin your day.
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