Tag Archives: machine

Snipe Hunting – Your Planer and You

By   26 Jun 2014

     The good news is that technology and free market capitalism have brought small thickness planers into home-shop affordability.  The bad news is that without the 5-digit price tag, 24-inch wide planning capacity or 3-foot infeed and outfeed beds of an industrial production planer, there’s a lot of things to keep in mind with these inexpensive marvels.  The typical hobbyist thickness planer is 12 to 13 inches wide and can handle stock up to several inches thick, which is darn respectable.  But the most common problem with small thickness planers is, of course, snipe.


Planer Snipe

Snipe is the defect left at the initial and departure ends of the stock from over-planing.

 The Fault

     Snipe is the defect left on a piece where the initial and departure ends of the board are over-planed for the first and last few inches of length than the rest of the board in the middle.  This is caused by insufficient support on the board during infeed and outfeed because of the anorexic in-and-out feed tables on most portable planers.  The workpiece doesn’t enter the machine level and steady; the far end (away from the planer) droops, rocking the end in the planer up off the bed slightly and into the cutter head, until the end in the machine gets to the second set of feed rollers.  Then, the two rollers on either side of the cutter head manage to keep the workpiece flat and true in the machine.

Planer Snipe

Snipe happens when the stock comes up off the table before it gets to the 2nd set of feed rollers

The Snipe Fixes

     There are three simple fixes for snipe.  One, mill the board longer than finish to account for the fact that you will lose several inches from both ends to cut the snipe off… not necessarily cost effective when using expensive exotic lumbers.  Two, if you have the real estate available in your shop, build long, sturdy infeed and outfeed tables precisely at the height of the planer’s bed.  Three, use the “hold the end up” technique when feeding and catching stock through the planer.

Feed Tables

Long feed tables are ideal, but space hungry.

     The easiest, least costly and least space consuming is option three.  The technique is to put a slight amount of upward pressure on the far end of the stock, forcing the infeed end down against the planer bed.  This is held until you feel the second set of feed rollers (the one’s on the opposite side of the cutter head) grab the stock.  The technique is repeated in reverse on the exit side of the planer as well.


Mike @ Doobly-Do Wood Works

Gettin’ jiggy with it? – A Dreaded Dilemma

By   25 Feb 2014

There you are, humming right along on a rather repetitive operation, when you think, “You know, I could make a jig that would help speed this along.  But, I would have to stop doing this to actually make the jig, and I’ll be done soon enough this way.”  If you’ve been woodworking for any appreciable length of time, I am sure you have had this thought roll through your mind.  Professionals will all intone, “Make the Jig!”, while the hobbyists will cry, “I have limited space and no production schedule pressing me, so this way is just fine!”  And they both are right, but for different reasons.

As a professional woodshop, Doobly-Do Wood Works has considerably more space available, a production schedule that must be met and the need for quick, accurate repetition.  Yet, we still do this same cost-benefit analysis before we make a jig or a machine for our shop.  That last part is also the value analysis of any jig: Accuracy, Repeatability and Speed.  The cost analysis is:  Time, Space and Usage.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”  — Abraham Lincoln


Creating a (proper!) jig for an operation drives out variability in the resultant parts.  This makes for better glue-ups, tighter finished assemblies and overall higher quality products from your work.  Just as a novice learns to cut all the pieces of the same dimension from the same tablesaw set-up (for example) so the pieces are identical, a jig basically freezes that ‘set-up’ in time, so it can be used over and over again.


As with accuracy, the ability to do the same operation over and over again, the same way over and over again, is an often overlooked benefit to using jigs.  In a production woodshop, it is absolutely invaluable, but the weekend woodworking warrior can employ these same principles.  In fact, if you are producing anything on a regular basis, say for an Etsy shop or an Ebay shop or a flea market stall or a shopping mall kiosk, I would argue the hobbyist’s need for repeatability is identical to a production shop.


The weekend hobbyist has the luxury of time.  When one is making a project for themselves or their own home, it’ll get done when it gets done.  But attach a monetary incentive to the production and suddenly, “how fast can I produce how many,” becomes an all consuming question.  Even in personal projects, speed is valuable (even if misunderstood).  If you get this one done faster, how many other projects could you get done in your limited, valuable time?

But what will Accuracy, Repeatability and Speed cost you?


Assuming you don’t buy a jig from a manufacturer (ew!) and you have useable materials on hand, a jig will cost you time to design and build.  A jig isn’t intended to be a show piece, so form can be ignored for function and expediency, but it still takes time to build.  This means you aren’t working on the project you intended while you are building the jig.  But will the time saved making the remainder of the parts be worth the time spent making the jig?  The hobbyist must answer this for themselves, but for the production shop the answer is almost always a resounding, “Yes!”


A jig, once made, must be stored, and this means it will take up some amount of space, somewhere, in your shop.  If you are working in a basement or a garage workshop, real estate is at an insane premium.  But even if there is more space available like in a production woodshop, the business discipline against waste in all its forms makes the calculus the same.  The decision to make and store a jig, and therefore sacrifice the space the jig will use up, is also tied to the last cost, Usage.


The most important cost aspect of a jig is the question, “How often will I use this jig again in the future?”  If the part the jig makes will be regularly produced, then the space is well spent to make and store the jig.  If the jig is a single-use case, then there is no sense in storing the jig and it should be broken down back to scrap when the intended purpose is complete.  This means the Time factor becomes the controlling factor in the jig-making decision process.

Parting Shot…

If you do decide to spend the time and space to make a jig to perform an operation with fast, repeatable accuracy, give one last thought to the future usage of the jig.  Even a single-use jig could be worthwhile based on the decision factors enumerated above; however, if the jig is ‘one-and-done’ then I would suggest forgoing glue and just using screws during assembly.  The jig can then be broken down back to scrap when the operation is complete.


Visit our social media pages, including our videos on YouTube, to follow the projects that are under production at Doobly-Do Wood Works.

Mike @ Doobly-Do Wood Works

Busy! by Doobly-Do!

By   17 Mar 2013

Hello again, Friends!

I apologize for our long absence from the communications array.  The Wood Works has been hopping lately, with our biggest CBTO project yet coming to completion and another just like it about to kick off.  It is truly challenging to keep up with everything the Grand Doobly tasks us to do, but there is nothing like finishing a project and seeing the client smiling.

With the Woody Bookcase finished, our next project is the Morgan Bookcase… considerably smaller, but with a few more custom details that we think you’ll find interesting.  Make sure to visit the gallery often for updates and to see the progress.

Mike @ Doobly-Do Wood Works

Welcome to Doobly-Do Wood Works!!!

By   24 Nov 2012

Welcome, and thank you for visiting our website!

After such a long time bringing the Wood Works into the digital age, we are finally…FINALLY proud to present to you our website, as humble and meager as it is.  This has been a herculean effort for our business, which tends towards the ‘Old School’ way of doing things.  However, our master woodsmith, The Grand Doobly, prides himself on trying new things with an open mind, and so we begin.

Keep checking back regularly to see what new and exciting products we will be offering.  At present, we only have our two Project Services (Design Services and CBTO Services) advertised on the website, as we are still learning how to organize our Ready-To-Ship (RTS) products on our website and mechanize / operate the shopping cart, payment and shipping modules, etc.  The weeks ahead promise to be filled with hard work and lots of learning, as we fill our pages with all the wonderful wood creations we make and ship nationwide.

Coordinated with our website launch, we have also become more social… specifically, you can now follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Links are in the lower right of the page.

Again, we can’t tell you how happy we are to see you here.

Mike @ Doobly-Do Wood Works