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Soliciting advise on planers

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Tom Hansen, May 16, 2020.

  1. Tom Hansen

    Tom Hansen

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2020
    Messages:
    62
    Location (City & State):
    Portland, OR
    I've been wanting a planer for years. I think it's finally time to get one but now I will need it to be able to handle hardwoods for segmented stuff, cutting boards and other projects. Is there any advice AAW people have for me? I assume it'll need to be a 3 blade machine. Beyond that, I have no idea. It's not going to be used like a construction site machine would. Low hours are expected. I'd probably just go buy a dewalt or a jet or some such but wanted to check in here first.

    Thanks in advance.
    Tom
     
  2. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Messages:
    261
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, Missouri
    DW735 is the “gold standard” for flatwork bench top. Doubt you need it. I never considered The surface finish for segmenting lumber to be important - flat but not a great finish. Ring tops and bottoms need flattened and that smoothed them up enough - I make the lumber ~1/6-1/8” oversize. About any lunch box planer will work for your described need. No need for a shelix type cutter head or anything, and the broad 4 post design of the 735 is overkill for your app. Lot depends on your budget. Might find a used one - check blade condition and take some wood with you for testing it out.

    Would a drum sander be better for you? I mention it because unlike a planer, it could be used for ring flattening. If starting with rough lumber it wont work for you.
     
  3. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
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    1,886
    Location (City & State):
    Nebraska
    I use several different sized sanding disks that quickly mount to a lathe chuck to sand most of my segmented rings flat. A typical planer will also work for this application for the smaller diameter rings that will fit through the machine. There are plenty of used planers sitting around collecting dust from weekend warriors that run out of time and dedication to the craft. I prefer a sanded surface for gluing segment rings together over a blade cut surface, they seem to make a better bond.
     
  4. robo hippy

    robo hippy

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
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    2,945
    Location (City & State):
    Eugene, OR
    I will be getting one of the helical head planers, probably the PM 16 or is it 15 inch ones. You can run figured wood through them with out getting tear out or sniping. Several hundred pounds. I have a lot of furniture to make for the next few years. At some of the tool repair shops, you may be able to pick up a used planer cheap. I prefer heavy duty. My old one is one of the cast iron Delta 12 inch planers, and it is really heavy too. When I got it, I don't think the bench top models were out, or if they were, they were just starting and needed to get a lot of bugs worked out. They have come a long way since then. If you search old wood working magazines, you might find some good reviews.

    robo hippy
     
  5. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2018
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    Location (City & State):
    Wayland, MA
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    About a year ago I upgraded from a Delta DC-33 13" three knife planer to a MiniMax combo jointer/planer with a segmented head, primarily to gain a wide jointer (I acquired a truckload of wide cherry and walnut lumber, my 6" jointer was killing me!). The improvement in cut quality with the segmented helical cutters is fantastic. Tearout has all but vanished. It doesn't snipe either, but that's another story.

    Whatever kind of planer you get I'd strongly recommend the helical insert cutters over straight blades.
     
  6. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    668
    Location (City & State):
    Jasper, Alabama
    I don't plane much but when I do I have a three blade table top Wen planer that works for me. I come across some rough cut black walnut boards and the Wen did a good job.
     
  7. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Messages:
    131
    Location (City & State):
    Hoschton, GA
    The planer is the ideal tool for getting all your strips of wood the exact same thickness. This is really helpful when using different woods to construct a single ring. The planer is also good for making thin spacer strips. If you use a backer board, you can make the strips really really thin. I use a Rigid 13" thickness planer. It works pretty good but you can get some snipe so put the waste end of the board in last.

    I don't feed glued up rings through the planer. I use the drum sander for that.
     
  8. John Hicks

    John Hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2020
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    221
    Location (City & State):
    Hoodsport, Washington
    I have an older Jet 16", and it has been very reliable, and with straight blades I can sharpen on my tormek. The trick is getting the bed rollers (bottom) set right for rough vs smooth lumber. Those helical cutter heads are just too expensive.
     
  9. Russ Braun

    Russ Braun

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Location (City & State):
    Torrance, CA
    I’m a segmenter. I have a planer that is used for collecting dust now. I just use a drum sander for flattening rings, boards, just about anything. I recommend looking at drum sanders first.
     
  10. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Oh, it wasn't one of the helical type planers, it is one with the many carbide heads. 4 faces on each one. Then cut more cleanly than the standard blades.

    robo hippy
     
  11. GRJensen

    GRJensen

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    188
    Location (City & State):
    Bay Settlement, WI
    I have a DeWalt DW733 ... put a ton of stock through it back when I was doing flat work.

    Then I got into segmenting, and bought a Jet 16/32 drum sander. I couldn't tell you when the last time was that that planer was even plugged in.

    If I need to reduce stock thickness by any appreciable amount, I resaw on the bandsaw and keep the off-cuts for future use ... no sense in turning it into sawdust.
     
  12. Ken Loy

    Ken Loy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2020
    Messages:
    7
    Location (City & State):
    Arlington, VA
    I used to have a "lunchbox" 13 inch Rigid planer that did fine. As I also do a good amount of flatwork, I got the Dewalt 735, and I really like it. Less snipe, more powerful, good dust exhaust. I'm a fan.
     

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