Do drum sanders have the same issues with snipe as a planer does? And is there anything other than getting longer boards that I can do about snipe in a planer? – Joshua Cole
Chris Marshall: I don’t own a drum-type panel sander, but I can certainly respond to your second question about planer snipe with my own solutions to the problem. There are several easy options: if you’re feeding more than one board through the planer, butt them end to end. The adjoining ends will be snipe-free, because you’re maintaining even feed-roller pressure from board to board and not giving the cutter head opportunity to dig in. If you make the first and last boards sacrificial when planing many pieces of lumber in a session (and butt each piece end-to-end in the series), all of your “keepers” will be snipe-free on both ends. Only the sacrificial boards will show snipe on the infeed and outfeed ends of the run. If I only have a single board to surface in my planer, I’ll stop short of planing it when I’m within about a 1/32-in. of my final thickness. Then I head back to the jointer, set it for a very shallow pass and skim off both faces to produce a snipe-free workpiece. It works well for me.
Tim Inman: Yes, drum sanders will snipe just like a planer. Same cause, same effect, just different cutters. As with a conventional surface planer, correctly adjusting the tables and cutterhead positions will eliminate the sniping effect. Using longer boards with some sacrificial end material also can be done – and often is. Learning how to adjust your equipment will be more rewarding, and cheaper, and less wasteful in the long run, though. Do a search on this site, and you’ll find lots of information about sniping and its cure.