1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: New Tool–Dewalt DW734 Thickness Planer

As I learn more about woodworking, I’m finding that I need more and more toys tools. This time around, I got myself a new thickness planer. I decided on a Dewalt DW734 as a new tool-of-the trade, and I’m happy with it so far. But after problems I had with snipe when using an old Delta planer, I decided to make an infeed-outfeed table extension. Snipe is the unfortunate removal of precious wood that happens when the lumber isn’t fed into planers perfectly in line with the planer table. There can be several different causes of snipe, including cutter head movement, shaky hands, short infeed/outfeed tables. When the board doesn’t go in straight and smooth, the blades dig out a little hollow a short distance from the ends of the board. It can be cut off or sanded out, but it’s better just not to have snipe to begin with.

My brand new Dewalt DW374

This unit has a lot of slick features that are a huge improvement over the old Delta: three blades vs two; bigger integral in- and out-feed tables that fold up rather than storing separately; a locking mechanism for the height adjustment; much better dust collection; real handles; and a very handy cut depth gauge.

Out of the box, the feed tables needed adjustment

The gap under the straight edge indicates the extension isn’t in line with the main table.

Gap’s gone…good to go

Material Removal Gauge is pretty slick

One pass cleans up some old mahogany

Two passes makes it look nice!

This piece of mahogany was part of the accent strip that goes around the cabin top exterior. It hadn’t been varnished in 30+ years. The planer took off the oxidized wood and left a very smooth surface that’s ready for varnish if I wanted. I was pleasantly surprised to see no snipe even with just the factory feed tables. But this is a lightweight board and I’ll be working with long pieces of 8/4 (~2″) thick mahogany for some of the things I’ll be making soon. A proper feed table should help ensure I get no snipe.

One sheet of 3/4″ pine plywood will become the extended in- and out-feed table

I ran the side pieces through the planer to make them exactly the same height.

Pocket screws will hold it all together

That’s a lot of pocket screw holes front and back

I use the interior screw holes to attach the sides to the bottom. Then I put the top on and use the exterior screw holes to fasten it.

Boom…done

I think I’ll end up using epoxy on these joints and also to seal up everything but the infeed and outfeed surfaces and the surface where the machine sits. The height of the table top perfectly aligns with the planer now. I’m concerned that a couple of coats of epoxy could throw it off, which could lead to snipe.

Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Making Solid Mahogany Corners for the V-berth Cabinets

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4 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: New Tool–Dewalt DW734 Thickness Planer

  1. haylands says:

    You extravagant person, what’s wrong with some sandpaper to thickness a piece of wood…!!!!

  2. Kent Sassen says:

    Where do you find time to Blog?? Always enjoy reading it though– Thank You..

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