This article is from the Woodworking FAQ Collection 3, by multiple authors.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Smith)
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1992 16:27:34 GMT
If you want to spend a little extra, I noticed that Trendlines is now
carrying the RBI molder/planer for $799. You can also get it from RBI
directly. This is an American-made unit that can also make moldings.
It's all steel and cast iron. The same basic unit has been sold for
about 20 years, so it should be relatively bug free.
If you want to spend even more, you should look at the Delta 13" unit
If you could live with 7 inch wide blades (the open-sided design
allows up to 14 inch wide wood), look at the Williams & Hussey W7S
(about $1500 with 20A motor and stand). The W&H is a unit that will
last forever under hard use (I have one that was built in 1955 and is
as good as the day it was built), will cut moldings (both straight and
curved, up to 7" wide and 3/4" deep cuts) and raised panels, and
through a very simple system, allows foolproof blade changing in about
Also for about $1600 you can get the Inca planer/jointer, which has a
10.5" capacity and both planes and joints. The Inca has a wonderful
blade holding system that allows blade changing in a minute or less.
In the same price range is the 12" Woodmaster planer/molder, which
planes, molds, rips and sands. Woodmaster also sells the same units
with 18" and 25" capacities.
By the way, these units are considered inexpensive by most industrial
standards. True high-end machines for small shops can be $2500 or
more. For what it's worth, I think the units that sell for $300-$400
are great values if you never have to plane a lot of wood or have to
take off much more than 1/32" at a time. Since this encompasses the
needs of most hobbyists, they should be looked at very seriously.
However, I don't think any of them will last as well as the $1000+
machines. As they say, you get what you pay for.