06 Sep Ryobi’s New and Affordable Lunchbox Planer
The AP1305 planer has very exacting depth control thanks to a threaded post that has 20 threads per inch. The 15 Amp motor is about as powerful as one can get with standard 120 Volt household current, and that power translates into smoother cuts. There’s also a 4-column frame for stability, uniformity and strength that delivers an excellent finish and reduced snipe. The infeed and outfeed tables combine to provide 31” of support for boards and fold up for transport.
The AP1305 is available at The Home Depot and is listed at $329. It comes with a 3-year limited warranty, and includes two planer knives, a knife removal tool, and a dust hood. The maximum depth of cut per pass is 1/8”, the machine provides a full 12-1/2” cutting width, and the maximum cutting capacity is a 6” thick board or post. There’s an overload/reset button on the top of the motor housing, a safety switch key, a thickness scale and on-board tool storage for the hex key. The motor brushes are replacable and the owner’s manual can be previewed here.
Avoiding Planer Snipe…
Here are a few ideas for dealing with snipe…
Snipe is that annoying way in which a planer cuts a little deeper on the first and/or last few inches of a board. The reason for snipe is very simple. If only one end of the board is being pressed down by the feed rollers, the other end lifts off the bed of the planer and contacts the cutterhead. This can happen at the beginning or end of the process, or both. Thickness planer manufacturers have tried hard to tackle this problem, and one of their solutions is to have the four corner posts of the machine work in unison. Another is to offer longer infeed and outfeed tables.
In the woodshop, the easiest way to avoid snipe is to butt the ends of the boards tightly together as they are fed into the planer, so you eliminate any gaps. The first and last board can be relatively short sacrificial ones. However, that’s a lot of work when you’re only planing one board.
We have used an old shop trick on our planers here at Woodezine for several years. We added a much longer bed to each machine. This can have a waxed MDF or even a plastic laminate top, and it’s really just a board that slides in on top of the existing bed. It has a cleat on the bottom to stop it being grabbed by the rollers and fed through the machine. It reduces the maximum thickness that you can process, so make sure it can be removed easily. Keep in mind that, when this auxiliary bed is in place, your thickness scale is no longer going to be accurate. The theory is that the factory bed is very short, so a longer bed might give boards less chance to rise up into the cutterhead. It works rather well to reduce snipe, but it won’t quite eliminate it.
Another way to fight snipe is to lay a piece of scrap that’s the same thickness as your board beside the workpiece. The scrap piece should be at least a foot longer than the board (6″ on each end) and is not attached to the board. It just moves with the board. Don’t use metal fasteners such as finish nails or screws to attach the scraps: if they hit the knives, it could be expensive.
You can see the original version of these snipe notes on our archives page.