A oncave depression found at the leading and/or trailing end of a board after it is passed through a planer (thicknesser) or jointer. There are many causes of snipe, including bed height, feed roller pressure/alignment, and the weight of the board itself. Consequently there are numerous ways to prevent snipe. Here’s a great tutorial on preventing planer snipe. Keep in mind that in some cases, no matter what you do, snipe will be a fact of life. In those cases, the only thing you can do is either use another tool to finish the boards or simply cut off the ends of the board after milling.
To Mill or Not to Mill?
That is the question! Buying lumber in the rough and milling it yourself has lots of benefits. First of all, its cheaper. Second, you can keep your boards as thick as you want. And finally, you can be sure that your boards are always flat with nice straight sides and 90 degree corners. But, you need to have the budget and the room for the main tools involved in milling: the jointer and the planer. So if you do decide to go that route, check out this video: The Wood Whisperer – The Jointer’s Jumpin’ – A basic review of the milling process and a few alternative milling methods for special circumstances.
Since a planer and a jointer represent such a huge investment, most folks can only get one at a time. So, should you get a jointer first, or a planer? This Question of the Week deals with that exact topic: Which Comes First, Planer or Jointer?