It’s been a while since I last updated on this subject
Since then I’ve played about with my dial gauge …
… and my Dad has sent several prototypes of the flanged mounting washer thingy and we’d very nearly got as far as being able to mount the planer table using them …
… however this morning I had another play with the planer tables of my planer-thicknesser using my new Veritas aluminium straight edge and my feeler gauges.
I’ve discovered that although the infeed table has consistently been lower on the fence side, it is possible to make it lower on the other side, so the problem may not be inaccurately cut slots or a warped table as I had been fearing.
I think the key is in the mechanism used to raise and lower the table:
The knob turns a threaded rod which meets a threaded center hole in another rod which is mounted to both sides of the chassis of the planer-thicknesser.
The table is mounted by 4 bolts to some square flanged washers which ride in sloped slots, meaning the closer the table is to the blades, the higher it is (and the shallower the depth of cut is).
There’s nothing in the mechanism to ensure both sides advance at the same rate, so when I cranked the infeed table down to the maximum depth of cut, then back up again, pulling back gently on the corner opposite the fence this left the infeed table slightly higher at this side than the fence.
There was also a much smaller difference to the difference between the two sides, which had previously been as much as 0.8mm.
With a bit of fiddling I was able to get both sides to the point where only my 0.4mm feeler gauge would fit between them and the straight edge
The fact that I can change the height of each side of the table during adjustment means it may also be affected by any knocks or pressure during planing, but I think I’ll put the ideas on changing the mountings on hold.
As before I will continue to set the fence square to the outfeed table, as this is well aligned with the cutter block and, being fixed, has less chance of getting knocked out of alignment.
I’ll try to remember to check regularly with the straight edge, but as long as I hold any wood against the fence when I square the second face to the first cut, it won’t matter much (and as the thicknesser table is very well aligned with the cutter block, the other two faces will be parallel).