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 Post subject: Safe-T-Planer Hold Down
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:17 pm 
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I finally started using my knock off Safe-T-Planer, and found that a hold down would give better results. The fence base is two 1/2" layers of scrap ply screwed together with a 4" cut out to accommodate the cutter head, and when reversed, to fit around the drill press column. Toggle clamps are added to make positioning easier on the melamine table.
Image
I used a piece of 2" scrap sapele with 1" holes drilled through, a 3/8" hole for a barrel nut above it, and a 5/16' vertical hole through both for a cap bolt.
Image
For the hold down, I slotted 1" dowel for some scrap .08" plexi, and added a couple of nuts and bolts to hold them in place.
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In practise, only a bit of pressure is needed to keep the wood flat by rotating the dowels clockwise, and just snugging the cap screws a bit.
Image
With the fence reversed, I can plane 8 1/2" deep.
Image

The only change that I'm going to make is to split the plexiglass so that there is pressure along the planed and un-planed material, before and after the cutter head.
Hope this might help anyone using one of these cutters!

Alex




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These users thanked the author Alex Kleon for the post (total 2): drumgerry (Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:12 pm) • Pmaj7 (Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:19 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:10 pm 
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Looks wise to me.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post: Alex Kleon (Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:11 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:16 pm 
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Interesting and neat idea, Alex. No need to split your plexi on the infeed side. Splitting it on the outfeed side is an insightful idea. You might simplify things even further by making a smaller plexi paddle on the outfeed side--only as wide as the cutter head. Why add drag to the unplaned material? Furthermore, you could then adjust the outfeed hold down to bear upon the material much sooner. In your current design, it's not bearing on the material at all until four or five inches are pushed through. With a narrower paddle only bearing on the outfeed planed surface, you could use a shorter paddle with a steeper angle and it would pick up the outfeed planed material much sooner. See what I mean?



These users thanked the author cphanna for the post: Alex Kleon (Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:12 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:12 pm 
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Very cool Alex and a welcome addition for any safe-t-planer user.

Early on when I had my guitar building shop in a spare bathroom in my condo.... while using the safe-t-planer the thing launched a BRW bridge blank right into my face and hit me pretty hard in the mouth. Man did I want to punch someone a few hundred times but I was home alone... Seriously though this is a welcome addition and may just save someone an injury..... ;)

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These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Alex Kleon (Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:14 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:38 pm 
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cphanna wrote:
Interesting and neat idea, Alex. No need to split your plexi on the infeed side. Splitting it on the outfeed side is an insightful idea. You might simplify things even further by making a smaller plexi paddle on the outfeed side--only as wide as the cutter head. Why add drag to the unplaned material? Furthermore, you could then adjust the outfeed hold down to bear upon the material much sooner. In your current design, it's not bearing on the material at all until four or five inches are pushed through. With a narrower paddle only bearing on the outfeed planed surface, you could use a shorter paddle with a steeper angle and it would pick up the outfeed planed material much sooner. See what I mean?


Do you mean like this? The bolts don't go through the plexi, so I just loosened them, and slid the plexi up a bit.

Image

Although they look much wider, the paddles are only 1/2" wider than the cutter head, and with the paddle in a more vertical position, it is 2 1/4" from the cutter. Thanks for the suggestion, Patrick!

Alex


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These users thanked the author Alex Kleon for the post: drumgerry (Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:12 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:49 pm 
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Hesh wrote:
Very cool Alex and a welcome addition for any safe-t-planer user.

Early on when I had my guitar building shop in a spare bathroom in my condo.... while using the safe-t-planer the thing launched a BRW bridge blank right into my face and hit me pretty hard in the mouth. Man did I want to punch someone a few hundred times but I was home alone... Seriously though this is a welcome addition and may just save someone an injury..... ;)


Thanks, Hesh! I think this setup is much safer than without, but being in my mid 50's with all my teeth, I wear a full face shield while using this tool! It hangs above my table saw so I can use it for EVERY rip cut that I do!

I've never used one of the Wagner planers, so I can't compare to my knock off, but it's solidly made, and seems to do the job as it should. I'm looking for a used drum sander, but I'll likely still use this set up to do the lion's share of the work thinning B&S's, tops, etc. before going through the sander.

Alex


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These users thanked the author Alex Kleon for the post: Hesh (Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:44 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:08 pm 
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Alex Kleon wrote:
cphanna wrote:
Interesting and neat idea, Alex. No need to split your plexi on the infeed side. Splitting it on the outfeed side is an insightful idea. You might simplify things even further by making a smaller plexi paddle on the outfeed side--only as wide as the cutter head. Why add drag to the unplaned material? Furthermore, you could then adjust the outfeed hold down to bear upon the material much sooner. In your current design, it's not bearing on the material at all until four or five inches are pushed through. With a narrower paddle only bearing on the outfeed planed surface, you could use a shorter paddle with a steeper angle and it would pick up the outfeed planed material much sooner. See what I mean?


Do you mean like this? The bolts don't go through the plexi, so I just loosened them, and slid the plexi up a bit.

Image

Although they look much wider, the paddles are only 1/2" wider than the cutter head, and with the paddle in a more vertical position, it is 2 1/4" from the cutter. Thanks for the suggestion, Patrick!

Alex


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Alex,
That's EXACTLY what I meant. Of course, I was thinking it out in my head. I admit that. But you've got it there in your shop. Have you done a field test? Does it work as well as I think it will? Inquiring minds want to KNOW. Now that I can see your set up, I think you might even drill another hole in your fence to bring the outfeed paddle boom a little closer to your cutter head. (...or not...as you choose). But I think you've got room to do that. Let us know how this set up works with the head spinning and the chips flying. I think you are on to something waaaay cool and useful with this set up!

Robbie Obrien has a very useful video on his YouTube channel which shows a two-man method of feeding stock through the Saf T Planer. In his video, the second man immediately holds the flapping stock down on the outfeed side with a hand-held paddle. But your jig shows great potential for a single operator to use. Man, that's potentially huge.
I love it.

Patrick



These users thanked the author cphanna for the post: Alex Kleon (Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:23 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:24 pm 
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Hesh wrote:
Very cool Alex and a welcome addition for any safe-t-planer user.

Early on when I had my guitar building shop in a spare bathroom in my condo.... while using the safe-t-planer the thing launched a BRW bridge blank right into my face and hit me pretty hard in the mouth. Man did I want to punch someone a few hundred times but I was home alone... Seriously though this is a welcome addition and may just save someone an injury..... ;)

Hesh, I remember very well that you posted a photo of yourself with a big bandage around your jaws and up over your ears after that little "face to face" meeting with your bridge blank. This is a great tool, but it's potentially as mean as any other power tool. But I agree with you that this is a great addition to useful jigs for using the tool.

You people who are new to the tool, remember these tips:

1. Operate at your own risk, and only after reading instructions and understanding the tool.
2. Follow instructions as to revolution speed. Slow speeds will result in the cutter head grabbing and throwing the wood.
3. In the case of point number 2, the wood will fly out like a crazed banshee from hell.
4. Keep cutters sharp. Dull cutters will result in the same consequences as in point # 2.
5. Make very shallow passes at a time. Deep passes can result in consequences like point #2.
6. Wear safety gear at all times, because points 2, 4 or 5 are just waiting to get you!
7. Remember that this is a power tool with three teeth. It is just waiting to bite you in a severe way if you get stupid with it.



These users thanked the author cphanna for the post (total 2): Alex Kleon (Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:39 pm) • Hesh (Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:44 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:38 pm 
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Hey, Alex,
Let's add another proviso to this whole concept: Two push sticks. One will push the stock into the cutter head. The other (equally important) will keep the stock firmly against the fence on the outfeed side. I'm adding this for the benefit of those who have never used this tool. ..and of course, the table must be dead level with the cutter head, or adjusted so that the cutters engage only on the infeed side. Again, new operators need to read the package instructions and then watch Robbie Obrien's video.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:23 am 
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Thanks Patrick, you're very kind! I ran a half of a floppy WRC top to try it out, and it worked well. I then flattened the top of a short piece of cupped 7/8" maple, again, working well. I would normally do this on my jointer, but anything under 10" isn't safe.
I did a set of maple sides this afternoon, first running them through the thickness planer on a carrier board with a .10" stop, and double stick tape, and then taking them down to .08" with the safe-t-planer. There was a tiny bit of snipe on one corner, otherwise, even thickness on both pieces. I wasn't worried if it didn't work, as the sides are for testing a non SuperSoft II veneer softener, before I use it on quilted maple sides.
I'm going to put my thinking cap on to come up with a hook up for chip collection. I don't like the idea of the wood chips gathering in front of the hold downs, and marking the wood.
I watched Robbie's video several times, but I didn't really want to ask my wife to help out. she would do it no problem, but I was afraid of the quid pro quo!

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These users thanked the author Alex Kleon for the post: cphanna (Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:48 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:28 pm 
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Them things just scare me. I made a router sled box for my flattening and thickness-ing needs.
Looks like a good setup, Alex.

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These users thanked the author dzsmith for the post: Alex Kleon (Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:39 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:56 pm 
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Alex, I seriously think you are on to something very worth while here. You've inspired me to make a similar hold down jig. With a little thought, perhaps a little dry run rehearsal pass, etc. and with whatever featherboards or push sticks we can add, I think you have added very much to the safety of one person operating this tool. It's a great tool! But it's a power tool. It'll get us if we're careless with it. Any power tool (and quite a few manual tools) will get us if we become careless. (I'm a safety freak. Could you tell?)

So, this came about because you don't want to ask your wife to handle the hold down block on the outfeed side? Okay, that's a cool solution. If your lady doesn't like wood chips in her pretty hair, I can't blame her for that. But I'm curious: How does she feel about wood chips in YOUR hair?


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Thank you for this. I have not yet started using my Safe-T-planner but I sure I will need to in the future. I have planned to build a hold down. I think this is a great design.

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These users thanked the author EddieLee for the post: Alex Kleon (Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:27 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:36 am 
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After 32 years together, she's used to the wood chips, Patrick. Nowadays, there isn't a lot of hair left for the chips to stick to! My wife has always been happy to give me a hand - lugging cabinets, lumber or anything else, but I don't want her or anyone else helping while the blades are spinning. If you have to worry about someone elses safety, you are distracted from the job at hand, and your own safety.
I was once ripping a bunch of boards for a friend who thought he would help by pulling the wood from the back of the table saw! That lasted one board, and then he spent the rest of the job well away from the action!
I had an idea last night in the movie theatre, to have the hold down arms come out of the blocks at about 100deg, toward the cutter, instead of 90deg. On the outfeed side, it would move the paddle closer to the cutter head, and at a skewed angle that would lessen the initial amount of force needed to
get the wood past the paddle. The hole placement would need to be calculated with the fence as close to the drill press column as possible. As the fence is moved back, the arm needs to telescope out to keep in line with the cutter, moving the paddle closer to the cutter. I think! With the paddle angled slightly away from the cutter, the paddle angle compounds, so adjustability needs to be maintained.
There are a couple of points that I hadn't mention. Because of the cutout for the cutter head weakens the fence base, I screwed a piece of hardwood to it, behind the mounting blocks. This helps to keep the fence assemby from rising caused by the downward force of the paddles. The plexiglass has the corners and edges well rounded to avoid scratching wood.
Hopefully, this is a good starting point for others wanting to make their own hold down device. I'm sure that others will have refinements that will make it work much better, so please share!!

Alex

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:21 pm 
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Must have been a very boring movie Alex!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:07 pm 
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Alex, angling the outfeed beam sounds like a good idea, but the adjustability will be a little tricky. Angling it slightly towards the cutter head should result in a paddle diagonal that will help keep the stock snugged up to the fence as it travels along. That's an added safety benefit if you can make it work. Conversely, I think angling it away from the cutter would tend to push the stock away from the fence--obviously not good. It might be easier to keep the beams at 90 degrees to the fence, but angle the paddles within them. You'd probably need to switch to beams that are rectangular in cross section and they wouldn't pivot, so you'd need to cut the paddle slots at a compound angle. It would be more trouble initially, but I think it would work pretty well and it would give you more adjustability out and away from your fence. Feel free to point out flaws in my thinking. I'm trying to describe something like this:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:09 pm 
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It was Imitation Game, and very good, but I had read about the topic it was based on, and seen a documentary about it, so my mind wandered a little bit near the end. It kind of happens to me often enough that my wife is always giving me the HELLO IN THERE! :D

Alex

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:22 pm 
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...Yet another idea (I'm making this thing more and more complex, it seems). You could make the outfeed side of the fence adjustable so that it could travel an inch or so, but in line with the infeed fence. Your beams could remain pivoting dowels. As you move the fence back from your cutter head for a second or third pass, you could slide the outfeed fence to the right and lock it in a new position. The 100 degree angle of the beam would still hold the paddle close (but not too close) to the cutter.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:39 pm 
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cphanna wrote:
Alex, angling the outfeed beam sounds like a good idea, but the adjustability will be a little tricky. Angling it slightly towards the cutter head should result in a paddle diagonal that will help keep the stock snugged up to the fence as it travels along. That's an added safety benefit if you can make it work. Conversely, I think angling it away from the cutter would tend to push the stock away from the fence--obviously not good. It might be easier to keep the beams at 90 degrees to the fence, but angle the paddles within them. You'd probably need to switch to beams that are rectangular in cross section and they wouldn't pivot, so you'd need to cut the paddle slots at a compound angle. It would be more trouble initially, but I think it would work pretty well and it would give you more adjustability out and away from your fence. Feel free to point out flaws in my thinking. I'm trying to describe something like this:


No flaws there, Patrick. The advantage of using the dowel stock for the arm is that to make small adjustments to the paddle as the wood gets thinner, is that you only have to loosen the cap bolt and rotate the dowel, slightly, to maintain downward pressure of the paddle on the wood.
I think you idea will work very nicely if the up/down adjustment of the paddle is different from what I did. If the slot for the paddle was made just wide enough for it to move up and down without binding, a set screw pinching the paddle in place would allow for easy changes. I think that using a couple of thin card scrapers instead of plexi for the paddles would wear better with the set screws.

Alex

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:56 pm 
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Hey, Alex. Yes, I assumed the paddles would still need to adjust vertically. But, I've decided I'm over-thinking the whole thing. Just make both beams at 100 degrees from the fence and parallel to each other, allow them to pivot and lock at the desired vertical angle, allow them to slide in and out of the fence and lock wherever--and then just make the entire fence assembly separate so that it can be clamped to the table wherever needed. As the fence is moved back from the cutter head, it could slide a bit to the right so that the paddles remain evenly spaced from the cutter--and then of course be re-clamped.

...anyway, I think a lot of people will be devising some nifty variations of your concept. I think it's one of the neatest ideas I've seen in a while. I'm really glad you launched this thread.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:22 pm 
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Alex, thanks for this thread.
I tried sprung rubber wheels angled in to hold the work-piece against the fence, but it was a bit clumsy and fiddly.
I ended up just feeding the wood through with the handled rubber faced pads for my planer, one feeding and the other pulling, shuffling them back and forward to simultaneously hold down and feed through.
Worked OK, but was a bit nerve wracking with the T planer's reputation.
Would be nice to have something more like yours.

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These users thanked the author Colin North for the post: Alex Kleon (Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:26 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:12 pm 
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It's nice to contribute something to this forum besides my usual stab at humour, Colin! The first time I used my safe-t-planer was with this jig. The thought of free handing with a fence kept it in it's box for a long time!
I hope that if anyone makes their own version of this jig still pays the tool the respect it deserves. This isn't a safety device, its a device that makes something a bit safer, and might give more consistant results. Hesh's brush with danger should be a warning to all, because the chuck on most drill presses are at throat height, and that is a real danger zone, and your hands aren't working at an optimal position, either.
Next on my list are a go bar deck (no great innovations expected) and a router based, compound radius fret board jig that I'm hoping might actually work!

Alex

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:25 pm 
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Thanks, Patrick, for coming up with some nice improvements. I really liked the diagram that you posted. I wish I had the knowhow to do that stuff. As it stands, I can manage to make one end of my pencil pointy, and scratch away at paper. I really need to get my brother to show me how to do that sort of thing.
I did make one change to my set up:

Image

I added the handle from an old foam brush to the bottom of the paddle. I think it might lessen the initial amount of resistance, when the wood hits the paddle. Maybe. If I don't like it, I just have to rotate it, and use the other end of the paddle!

Alex




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These users thanked the author Alex Kleon for the post: drumgerry (Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:13 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:32 pm 
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Alex,
That's a nice idea that seems logical to me. As you say, if you don't like it you'll just swap the paddle end for end. If so, you'd have a nice handle on the paddle when you adjust it. What could be simpler? I like it!

Patrick

PS: Your remark about your pencil skills made me chuckle. Don't fret, I have lots of drawing software and I'm supposed to know how to use it. That's my day job. ...But if you can build a jig like this, you're better at designing things than you let on!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:29 pm 
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Alex, I'm so fascinated by the possibilities of your jig that I just can leave it alone. So let me offer a couple more schematics. First, in an over-simplified cross sectional view, I'd make it something like this:


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