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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use a 12" Delta planer to plane cedar down to scale lumber. When planing thin strips-down to 1/16" thick (1:1 1/16") it would typicaly come out way too rough. At times the cedar just shredded.
Whether it was here or elsewehere, it was suggested to place a piece of MDF over the entire input/output length of the planer. What a difference!!! The thin lumber comes out very, very smooth (as it should)!
So whoever recommended using MDF - thanks!!! Sure made making scale 2" x 6" sheathing for a water tank project an easy task!
 

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Hi tbug: That's the way to do it. Thin wood needs good solid support undernieth. I use a sheet of plywood rubbed down and polished with paste wax. It may not be a bad idea to install a new set of blades for fine work. They are cheap and reversable on the Delta.







Take care, Bob
 

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Sorry I didn't read this sooner, I've been busy. The MDF works fine, I don't find clamping necessary, but I put a 3/4" thick stop at the front of the mdf to prevent it from going through the planer too. You can get down to 1/32 with no problem on most woods.
One thing to watch for though is grain direction.
Its the same as if you were hand planing.
You want the bladed to not dig into the grain, or they will tear it up no matter how sharp they are.
I'll try an ascii diagram to make my point

WRONG WAY
Blade
\ \
\ _\
Grain
\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \
Right way
Blade
\_\
Grain
/ / / / / / / / / / / / /

Hope that made since
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for additional tips. Re the blades, yah, I do use carbide, and reverse/ replace when necessary - which I'm about due for. I do a LOT of planing. Re grain, I really don't pay attention to the grain and have had mostly fine results. Even so, I'll keep a closer eye on the grain.

I use cedar for projects around the home, then saw/ plane the unused portions into scale lumber for RR pojects. Almost no waste -my wife even uses the cedar shavings for gardening mulch!!
 
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