However, it had been a while since I had put new knives into the planer. I am good about keeping track of when I install sharp knives, but not so good at actually installing them it seems.
Obviously well past time to do something about it. However, the cutterhead has four knives, each 24" long, that is a lot of knife setting. So rather than spend the rest of the day putting in new knives I thought I would screw up my courage and try out the planer's blade honing system. These big planers often came with built in grinders and honing stones, and this Jonsereds did. Unfortunately the built-in grinder was damaged in transit to my house when I acquired the planer, and it runs on 575V 3 phase anyways, but the honing stone is intact.
To hone the blades you remove the dust hood, then turn the silver coloured wheel until the stone is just kissing the blades, then turn a handle at the other end of the acme rod, thus moving the stone across the length of the blades. This puts a back bevel on the knives and takes out any minor nicks, good as new! Simple! Oh, did I mention the planer needs to be running to do this?
Next step was to mount the slab on on a tornsion box. This allows me to effectively 'joint' the first side of a slab up to 24" wide on the planer, as my jointer can only handle up to 12". I apply hot melt glue liberally to hold the slab to the torsion box, and to hold wedges in place under the slab to support it. Here is the slab after a couple passes.
And after a couple more passes it is almost done.
Oops! I let the cyclone's garbage can overflow.
I took out about 5 garbage cans of chips and put them into my garden waste recycling bin. Luckily tomorrow is collection day so the city will dump my bin and I can make more chips. All this was from a single slab that was just under 3' long and max 2' wide. Once you are cutting close to a full length and full width the chips fill up quickly. I got less than two passes before the garbage can overflowed.
I had to end the planing early as the neighbour complained that when I ran the planer it made the lights in his house dim so much they went out. Since the planer is in the garage at his house, and him and I both rent from the same landlord, it seemed wise to maintain the neighbourly peace. So I agreed to only run the planer when him and his wife are away so it won't bother them. That will crimp things a bit, but since I don't really use the planer much it should still be OK.
So back to the boxes tomorrow.No more chainsawing until the new year.