Feed Roller Pressure and Chip Dents

A review of factory specs helped a woodworker eliminate some quality problems with a 15-inch planer. September 5, 2011

I acquired a 15" Shop Fox planer about five months ago but it doesnít feed properly. It planed nice but it was difficult to get any kind of consistent results. I took some time and tried to read the manual. I noticed the feed rollers made contact with the wood but the knives were like almost what looked like an 1/8" higher. I raised the feed rollers to reduce the pressure by eye ball. The chip breaker was as low as the knives and may have been rubbing on the wood so I raised it out of the way a bit.

I also followed the books recommendation of the tension nuts over the springs on the roller end tops. The machine feed and planed close to perfect with no chip dents noticeable yet. Iím currently planing some pacifica madrona. In conclusion I would say too much feed roller pressure may be a major contributor of chip dent syndrome and not really needed to feed stock adequately.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor I:
It's always a good practice to keep machines adjusted to factory spec's. Excess pressure and improper chipbreaker placement certainly cause feed problems. While the chip dents are actually made by chips getting stuck between the rollers and the wood, it is generally a dust collection issue. The dust collection system should have sufficient CFM and air velocity to remove the chips as they are created.

From the original questioner:
Agreed. Also, the chip breaker may have been so close that it did not allow the dust collector to get all the chips, contributing to more dents. But all things considered the feed roller pressure setting does not have to be all that much extra beyond holding and feeding properly. This I believe is what was causing my dents and feed problems.