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118 Re: Opinions on Thickness Planers


This article is from the Woodworking FAQ Collection 3, by multiple authors.

118 Re: Opinions on Thickness Planers

From: c2k@ham.slc.mentorg.com (Carl Ketchum)
Date: 2 Dec 91 14:34:05 GMT

I have owned a 12" Makita planer for about 12 months. I have run about 200
board feet of oak, mahogany, pine and fir through it. I have gotten uniformly
good results, with a few minor problems.

When feeding hardwoods, (oak) the rollers don't always get an adequate grip.
This results in a good deal of work pushing the stock through the planer. On
soft woods (pine, fir, and most of the mahogany) I had no such problem. Setup
of the planer was minimal. I fastened a pair of twobyfours to the base and
clamp these to some short saw-horses when I am going to do a large amount of
work. I have a set of adjustable roller stands which I bought for use with
my tablesaw (my wife likes 'em, she doesn't eat as much sawdust that way ;->)
I use these with the planer with good results. Without the stands, and without
a *great* deal of care, there is some sniping at the trailing edge. In
the worst
cases, this was about 1/16" deep and 1" long, starting about 3/4" from the
end of the board.

The Makita requires a key (two supplied) to start the motor. The key on my
unit *fell*out* while I was planing, and onto the stock being fed into the
planer. Quite a panic! qq Re: Thickness Planer Summary

From that point forward, the key went 'round my neck
on a thong, and was used to start the unit, then removed. Note - no key is
required to stop the motor.

If I had it to do over? I've liked the Makita fairly well, the results have
been very good. I like the larger planers with the roller tables which eliminate
the sliding friction feed problem. On the other hand, I bought one load of
oak *and* the planer for what I would have paid for planed oak, and I can
get whatever thickness I need. BTW, I bought a used bandsaw and get thin
boards a lot faster than before, once through the bandsaw to resaw it, then
a couple of passes through the planer et voila!

Two thumbs up for the Makita :-)

From: dal@boombox.micro.umn.edu (Dave Larsen)
Date: 4 Dec 91 14:44:15 GMT

In article <1991Aug28.125132.191521@cs.cmu.edu> br+@CS.CMU.EDU (Bill Ross)
> The Delta rep ran a 2x4 through the thing several times
> and couldn't get rid of the VERY noticeable sniping at both ends of the
> board -- must've been 2 inches at each end and 1/32" deep. Not the
> kind of thing I would tolerate in a planer.
I own a Delta. I have run several hundred feet through it. You can
virtually eliminate sniping by careful upward pressure on the far end of
the board as the board exits the cutting head (lift the end so the board
is flat on the extension). I had the same problem initially though.

> I never trust the scale on the planer (I couldn't even tell you if it was
> accurate, because I just won't use it, period.) I always use a dial caliper
> to test the thickness of the board. I get great results that way. Thus, I
> didn't consider the accuracy of the scale when I was buying the tool.
You CAN trust the scale on the Delta. At least mine is very accurate in
the 3/4" range. I too double check, but the board is always as thick as
the scale says it is.

> I roll the table out into the driveway, and run my stock through.
> All the sawdust falls onto the driveway, where it is easy to sweep up.
You neighbors must love you 8*). This thing is loud.

> Man, these things produce lots and lots of sawdust ... its incredible.

Amen! My father uses it to start fires. In addition to the shavings, it
also produces a VERY fine sawdust that is hard on the lungs. It's not
unlike flour. Use both hearing and breathing protection.


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