Help me choose the next machine :-)


Several years ago, I made a tool list that seemed like a mountain. But thanks to some overtime, I'm down to only four large tools left. (before I start doing other things like upgrading to a cabinet saw or maybe a large resaw or cyclone DC). The candidates are:
Grizzly G0453 15" planer with cast iron infeed/outfeed tables Grizzly G0512 edge sander with the big melamine table Grizzly G1071 oscillating spindle sander Performax 22/44 drum sander
I should add that I already have a delta benchtop planer and a delta 6x48 belt/disk sander.
I've already bought rough-sawn wood for several large furniture projects I'm about to embark on. And the overtime mixed with the sale of a car should allow the purchase of one or two of the machines listed above.
I'm not looking forward to planing the wood I have, and I don't have the dust shroud. i could make one, or it may still be available. Or I could just replace it. That's a vote for the planer.
The edge sander won't get much use in the projects I'm about to do since they don't have drawers. But the doors I make are likely to be set into the frame. If I screw up the size of the doors, or even if I don't, the edge sander will really help to dial in the fit.
The OSS would really help to take advantage of the band saw, as would the drum sander. I can think of a couple places where I could use both in the upcoming projects. If I had the performax, I'd be more likely to attempt to venir some curly maple onto the panels in the door.
So which should it be? Feel free to suggest a different machine if there's a good price/performance ratio or other cool feature. I already have most of the other normal shop power tools.
brian
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brianlanning wrote:

I built lots of stuff before I had a cabinet saw. Even before I had a RAS. Or a bandsaw. Or a joiner. I had no effective way of doing what I can now do with my Performax.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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So your vote is for the 22/44? I'm thinking about mainly sanding table tops and cabinet doors. David marks uses his to sand small stuff like inlays or veneers, I can see doing that also. What else do you use yours for? Where do you get your sandpaper?
brian
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brianlanning wrote:

Not necessarily, depends on what you want to do and whatever you already have. But personally, I'd rather swim underwater in a pool of panther piss than give up my sander. _____________

I use it for everything except finish sanding...surfacing rough lumber, flattening (removing "cup" and to a lesser degree bow and crook), reducing to a desired thickness or width (within machine limits), sanding glue-ups to a uniform thickness... _______________

http://www.econabrasives.com /
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Thanks for the visual. :-)

I would probably leave the dimentioning to the planer, but maybe I would like the performax more once I had it.
Why not finish sand? can't you put 320 grit on it and take an ultra-light pass at the end?
brian
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brianlanning wrote:

Maybe, dunno, never bothered to try. The finest grit I normally use is 120. I have used 180 on occasion and even that needs a very light touch. For me, finish sanding would be more trouble than it is worth...rather do it with a 1/3 sheet sander or by hand.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
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probably don't need a tool; you just need to use the ones you have more. Then you will find out what is missing, if anything.
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Actually, I sort of need (ha!) them all. At this point though, it's a matter of priorities. I'm finding that I'm limiting projects based on tools I have or don't have. I'm building the shop I plan to have for the next four decades and I sort of want it to be complete. I can also see buying a tool now if it's on sale or something because I'm likely to find new uses for it once I have a chance to play with it.
And I guess I'm half-way fishing for ideas that maybe I hadn't thought of or maybe for someone to suggest a machine that I hadn't considered.
brian
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With me it would be a bandsaw if I couldn't borrow use of one.
But if you want my opinion, my latest acquisition is a 16/32, and I love it. I got by before, but finished products were never really flat.
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I bought a 14" delta bandsaw with the riser block so that I could cut curves and resaw stock down to get 1/4" stock without having to plane most of it away. I also wanted to be able to do veneers when I was ready. Then I discovered that to really do veneers, you should be running them through a drum sander after you cut them because the planers usually can't go down that thin. I also saw david marks running thin stuff like inlays through the drum sander to make them the right size. I suppose I could have flattened/sanded/scraped those things down to the right sizes, but it would be so much nicer to have the machine.
I haven't made any tables yet where the top was entirely wood. I've set tile in the middle and bordered it with wood. It's going to happen sooner or later though since my wife is already asking for a new kitchen table. Like I said, I hate sanding. And anything to speed that up can only help.
As for the curve cuts, I think the oss would make them much more enjoyable for me. I'm about to make an over-the-toilet wall hanging cabinet type contraption. I had considered different ways of working a magazine rack into the bottom of it. I thought the best way would be to continue the sides of the cabinet down and attach some angled boards to hold the magazines upright. I thought it would be a good design element to curve the cabinet sides at the bottom to follow the boards that hold the magazines. The oss would help that situation a lot, but without the oss, I found myself thinking about ways that I could get away from the curved cuts. I guess with the combination of the BS and OSS, I'll want to experiment with something other than straight lines.

There have been a few votes for the performax so I'm sort of leaning that way.
brian
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Before I make suggestions, as usual you should probably not buy a tool if you cannot decide. You will always need the other one in the list. However this is how it worked out for me.

A large planer is nice to have however IMHO the small ones do a good job slowly. I used a single small planer for 15 years and finally upgraded to a larger 15" Delta . What I was most concerned about over greater capacity was planer speed. Many of the larger stationary planers are not much faster than the portables. I see that the model that you are looking at goes up to 30 fpm. IMHO that is good. I saw a lot of big ones only go from 16 to 20. Not a real improvement IMHO.

After tweaking my TS and using a premium quality blade I seldom have to edge sand at all. Some times a quick pass or two with my Steve Knight Smoother and all is well.

A luxury item that I thought would be nice. I bought one last year and use it more odd ball situations than I would have imagined. Not only on wood.

Nice if you build lots of panels or cabinet doors. I have redone probably 10-12 kitchens and bathrooms and still don't have one.

If you have a LOT of rough cut lumber the bigger planer will make the work easier and some what quieter.

I think I planed 6 boards on my small planer out of 50 rough cut Oak boards and almost immediately bought the larger Delta planer.

I always use the TS to clean up the tops and bottoms of the cabinet doors where the rails and stiles meet. Build the doors slightly bigger than the opening and then trim to fit. This removes clamp marks and glue ooze. Typically you do not notice a door rail or stile being 1/8 to narrower.
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Brian,
I think that your question is flawed. If you don't know what you want next, it's just speculation. Wait until you are in the midst of a project (or planning something specific) and you say... This would be so much faster/easier/accurate/possible if I had an XYZ.

Upgrading from a lunchbox to a 15 is going to get you throughput and a very marginal increase in width capacity. It's not going to get you a cleaner cut. A pro shop can justify this based on time savings. I sure can't. What's this about no dust shroud on your current planer? I used to plane on the absence of dust collection... I really don't want to do that again. Replacing a planer to enable dust collection seems a bit extreme to me.

This too, strikes me as a production tool that saves valuable time, but does not provide a unique function. As far as trimming is concerned, a table saw or a hand plane will do a pretty good job in that department.

If, you do a fair amount of curved cutting on your BS, this can be worthwhile. But, you yourself have said that need is a bit speculative.

I can't think if another way to do veneer prep. Otherwise it's also a time saver. Although I have never owned one so it may have applications of which I am unaware.
I think you should keep you wallet in your pocket for now. Sooner rather than later, a project will dictate the answer to your question.
Cheers,
Steve
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I got my Performax 22x44 drum sander about 10 years ago. It came with a 2 inch dust port, that's how old it is. I make furniture, and do a lot of turning. The biggest problem that I had with it, was that it would constantly bog down on wider projects. I fixed this on a recomendation from my dad, who is a mechanical engineer, and has a smaller model. It comes with a 1 1/2 hp motor, and runs on a 110v circuit. I had the motor rewired for 220 (note this requires a separate on/off switch for the motor, and keep the old one for the feed belt drive. No bogging down ever. If I am doing several tables at once, I will take them, and have them comercially done because it is so much faster. In 30 minutes, they can do what will take me about 2 hours or more with my machine. I do use it a lot for final sanding of all of my stretchers, and rails. I do run the pieces through a couple of times (2 to 4 times) before lowering the thickness, especially for the final grits. I don't consider the machine to be a production machine, but it really helps in the shop. The planer is the roughing machine, and the sander is the finish machine. robo hippy
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half of the 240v for the 120v? If so, are you using a neutral or the ground? The ground works for my clothes dryer and oven, but I can't bring myself to do it elsewhere.
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Yeah, like leon said, it should be quieter and a little faster. I guess that's my real goal. I'm not really in a hurry though and I should be wearing ear plugs anyway.

When I first started woodworking, I picked up half a dozen benchtop tools. Most were junk, but the planer was good so I kept it. I never got the dust shroud though because I didn't know any better. I had constant problems with chips passing under the roller and denting the wood. Five years later, I know what the expect and have a dust collector. I'll have to look for the dust shroud. Maybe if I hook that up i'll be happy with the planer.

That wouldn't be the only reason. I don't really need the extra capacity, except maybe to run boards through at an angle if I need to. The guess my point was why spend time/money on the dust shroud for the portable if I'm just going to get the bigger one.

I'm starting to lean toward this machine now.

I guess I'm going at this with a different attitude. Rather than get stuck because I'm missing a machine, only buying it when I absolutely need it, I tend to avoid certain things if I don't have the right machine. For example, I haven't gotten anywhere near the use out of my bandsaw that I thought I would because I don't have the performax or the OSS. I really hate hand sanding so I'm more likely to cut things square for example than put a nice curve into a table leg or apron or something. So I can imagine the types of things that I would be able to do more efficiently with the new tool, which affects when I buy what.
brian
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If you don't have a project that requires a new tool, and are looking to spend money, I would invest in wood. Find a good supplier and purchase some quality wood in the species that you like working with.
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My advice is forget about all the sanders....get the planer, however go for a general 15" instead, its cheaper and has fixed table height with the head moving up and down....the benefit being that on longer planks you can set up some outfeed side rollers to catch your boards and not have to constantly adjust the height. If you must do the sander get a general 24" dual drum....the drums are supported at both sides and the machine will do a better job and have less bearing problems, its also a good price and it has a rubber belt not sandpaper. The reality is after you run your boards through the planer you wont have to sand them anyway.

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