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Compact thickness planer cabinet

fusion360

#1

First project cut on the Maslow so there are many cutting errors as I figured out how to use/fix/optimize Maslow.

TLDR:
Made compact, moveable, cabinet for thickness planer used for long pieces in small workspace.

Project pictures:


Compact folded planer cabinet.


Cabinet extended with in/out feed leaves. Lower drawer, glued up but not fitted, on floor.


Lifting lever up with cabinet feet on floor. Took a while to work out the CAM curve which gives 2" of lifting travel with proportional lift to lever movement.


Lifting lever down, with cabinet raised 1/2" on caster wheels, above surface.


Lifting lever down showing cabinet raised with 1/2" clearance.


One of the fold-down adjustable legs that supports the in/out feed leaves. The legs are adjustable so that they can fold up into the cabinet and also account for my uneven floor.


Fancy concealed door hinges that keep the leaves level with the top surface of cabinet when folded down and extended.

Background:
I have a small workspace at home but often find myself working on big woodworking projects. To maximize available workspace I have try to make all woodworking machines moveable, using various simple caster mechanism, so that I can put the machines diagonally in the middle of room and be able to work with ~12’ lumber.

Also started milling my own lumber, using custom ‘Alaskan chain saw mill’, since I have many trees on property, that are already downed, or need to come down for safety/fire prevention. Bought a DeWalt 13" planer to parallel plane the milled wood, in combination with existing trusty Craftsman 8" Joiner (from the 60s) to make it square.

Have been using the planer on the shop floor, which is very physically exerting, as the feed rollers are not always effective, and I often have to help them by pushing the wood in, and pulling it out the other side, even on minimal 1/16" depths. Often working with hard woods such as black oak that are very hard. This meant I had to do multiple squats each time I planned a piece, moving between front of planer, to back, which caused my legs to give out after a few hours. Also had issues with gouge cuts, at start, and end of planed wood piece, because the distance between in/out feed surfaces and rollers were too short.

Thought this whole process could be greatly optimized if I raised the work surface up to workable elbow height, and provided long in/out feed surfaces. Hence this planer cabinet.

Parts used:
Not endorsing any of these, but they were easily purchased/delivered, and worked well enough.


This hinge has positive lock when extended and is simple to collapse with lever press. When extending the leaves, the legs fold out ‘automatically’ due to gravity, locking in place, and then require manual height adjustment to make the leaves in line with the planer. I have marked default leg lengths but my shop floor is very uneven so I have to adjust this every time.


These fancy hinges keep the folding leaves level to surface when up or down.No small feat.


Had identical wheels to these on hand. The ball wheel works better in this tilting mechanism than standard circular wheels.

CAD/CAM:
Created this project in a NURBS based 3D program I was familiar with as the relational Fusion360 modeling had a step learning curve. Exported as IGES which imported correctly into Fusion360 for CAM G-Code generation. Now realize that Fusion360 has amazing modelling tools and am learning them. Really wanted this to have quick and easy assembly so added pockets, dowel holes, and dog-boned interlocks.


Cabinet extended with the leaves up.


Level mechanism mid movement.


Caster wheels modeled to calculate the CAM angles needed to raise them.


8x4’ CDX Ply board layout in Fusion360. This board was for internal pieces that did not need high quality wood.


8x ~2’ CDA ply board. This layout used basically half the full board which left enough wood to cut the fold down leaves on table saw.


1/2" Carriage bolt recess so that bolt head is fully contained in the wood and does not turn.

Problems:
Since this was the first project cut on the Maslow I had numerous problems.

  • Z-axis errors - Fixed using Cheap Z-axis fix.
  • Very bad cuts in left/right 1’ on 8x4’ board. Ended up having to recut a number of pieces. Later switched to half sheet cuts only.
  • All bores and pocket cuts ended up 1/32" undersized on each edge (1/16" overall).
  • Oval bores - re-calibrated and double checked measurements using laser measure.
  • Wonky/wobbly straight lines - Sled balance, sanding sled and later sanding stock, waxing sled.
  • Rounded corners when they should be sharp - Feed optimization to slow down on corners. Reduced overall cutting speed to 30 IPM.

Project of the Week / Community Gardener for December 12, 2018
#2

Very nice work! I have the same plan(n)er( ok grammar police… my bad! Go do something productive like build a troll cutout) in my shop on a horrible old base. Where can I find the fusion 360 files? My Maslow should ship in January so I am lining up projects for when i get it dialed in.


#3

Planer.


#4

Fixed typos.


#5

The only Fusion360 files I have are of the CAM part, with pieces laid flat for 8x4’ board. There were many problems with Maslow cutting so I made many versions. I found that Malsow had big problems cutting in the corners of work area. e.g. top left 1’x1’, top right, bottom left etc. The fusion360 file should be laid out again for 6x3 or 4x4 boards to avoid this.

Don’t have the time to do this right now but remind me when you get your Malsow and I will see about providing the files.