Looking for input on planer for a bit of a unique setup


Hello all,     I have been reading the archives researching a planer purchase that I would be interested in all of your input on.     We own a small band mill and saw quite a bit of lumber. Mixed hardwoods and some sofwoods. We are finishing up a small (1500 bd') kiln and are going to have to deal with surfacing on a medium scale.     What I am planning is a surfacing/edging station which will be trailer mounted. There will be times that I will want to presurface (before going to the kiln) or finish lumber right at the kiln/mill or on a job which is why I want the mobility. On rare occasions I will power the station from an 8kw genset.     I have already built an edging station that will edge and joint 12' boards in one pass but now am looking to purchase a planer for this setup. 15" would be fine but what I am looking for is input on a planer which will handle slightly air dried but very green lumber (for presurfacing) as well as the finish planing to follow. Additionally I dont really need a stand as it will be sitting on the trailer.     I had always planned on a powermatic but now I am wondering if I could get away with something less expensive? Is the spiral cutter a must? Green lumber? Was looking at the 16" Jet? Noise is not really a concern (spiral?).     I would appreciate all of your input and foresight.
Thanks, Mark
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amount of planning. The one thing I recall (as a child would) is the screaming after he found an imbedded rock, nail, old bullets, ect. He would have to stop the line and replace the planer blades. I would suggest that what ever machine you decide on, buy the next size larger and make sure the blades are easy to change. I would not consider spirals for this reason. I know he should have used a metal detector and maybe he did, I just don't remember.
Dave
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wrote:

What about those indexable insert cutterheads Grizzly sells? Seems like that'd be the thing for heavy use where there might be imbedded nails or rocks.
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It would, unless you bash the seat for the insert. In that case, send it out for repair (or replacement).

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Teamcasa wrote:

Thanks Dave,     I have yet to come into much contact with metal in logs but its bound to happen. I dont saw much in the way of yard logs or road side logs. Just about everything I saw comes from deep woods but that doesnt rule out bullets, slugs, shot, and so on. Unfortunately its something that will just have to be dealt with.     We dont run metal detectors at all but if I ever had someone bring me some yard trees I would definately give them a scan after every couple passes.     I have some similar memories to yours. One of the scaries was a buddy of mines circle mill. 52" blade, big CAT diesel power unit. He was flying a big pine log through the mill when KABLAM!!, log screeches to a hault, belts smoked, all hell broke loose. He gets the mill shut down and looks over his shoulder and there is a hole in the side of the mill house. He goes outside to find a piece of a power company cable eye on the ground outside the mill. One of those big forged jobbies with 3/4" threaded stud comming off it. After thinking of what that would do to a human, he looked at a $5K blade wiped out beyond repair.     Thankfully my little band mill will just stop cutting and I trash a $15 blade. Worse would be a $100 set of knives but again, its just a risk I have to bear.
Thanks again for the input, Mark
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Mark, When visiting a friend who works at the Palco sawmill in Scotia, CA., he showed me the huge bandsaw blades destroyed by spikes in the trees. They have a very intense metal detection/sonar system but sometimes it just slips by. BTY - Its an amazing place to visit! (They were had stopped tours for a while but I think they have resumed.)
One other thought- moisture. Wet wood leaks when planning and cutting. Consider this too when looking for a machine.
Dave
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Teamcasa wrote:

    Right, I had thought of that as well. The planer will be slinging a lot of water, or extremely wet sawdust at the least, all over the place. As I mentioned in another posts, I am planning on air drying the lumber a good bit before presurfacing or going into the kiln. This would allow the outer shell of the boards to dry a lot before being planed. I had planned on doing a lot of waxing and or spraying of the planer especially if it was going to sit a bit between uses.     My plans for the mobile trailer and its cover have a lot of ventilation incorporated however this would only keep the equipment at outside moisture levels. Surface rust will be a real battle.     I guess its a toss up between having to saw every board, load it to a trailer, unload it to a shop, surface, load it back to a trailer, unload it to the kiln, etc.. As opposed to being able to presurface right at the kiln and right out of the kiln eliminating a few of the handling steps.     We will see how it goes. If it turns out to be a bad idea the equipment will go in the shop and stay put.     As for the big band blades, yes, I have seen those mills many times. Really impressive. The days of the mill being able to claim that they surface 1/4" of material away in the finishing process are over. Even with our little mill we are able to saw well under an inch and still come out with 3/4" finished lumber.
Mark
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I have the 16" Jet, JWP-16OS. I wouldn't call it very mobile. Two strong men can just lift it via built in steel rods that extend from the main casting. It has 3 blades that are fairly easy to change. It has the power, 3 HP 220 VAC, to take 16" cherry and oak. The chip extraction would be a problem for your application. I had to buy an 1100 CFM dust sucker to keep up with it. Running it without the dust/chip hood might be possible, but I would ask JET first.
Jim

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Woodhead wrote:

Thanks Jim,     I had my eye on that planner because of the attractive price. The weight issue isnt a biggie for me as it will be trailer mounted so there will be no handling involved. We have a small endloader to offload it from the truck and help with assembly.     I mentioned in another post that I have a good sized blower but I am not sure of the CFM. I will have to look into that. It was definately a concern and I was thinking it would be nice period to have a chip blower on the trailer just to get all the chips away from the work area.
Thanks a lot!! Mark
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Motor on top will take care of a bit of the size problem, definitely not a spiral, waste of time on wet lumber, though what purpose do you hope to serve by skip planing prior to the kiln escapes me. Are you planning on air drying for a couple of weeks or more? Only makes sense that way.
OSHA would scream, but the portion of the top which covers the chipbreaker and forms the top of the shaving duct could be removed for shaving flow. I've seen it done, though it's not as good as using a duct and blower.
Any of the iron clones with the motor on top should do. Easily adjustable bed rollers would be a good point, so the wet could be elevated easily off the table, and dry run almost flat.
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George wrote:

George, thanks for your reply. I will definately air dry a bit before presurfacing or even going straight into the kiln for that matter. The presurfacing serves several purposes. While its not such an issue with band sawn lumber, presurfacing helps to reduce surface checking. Additionally it makes for 100% contact with stickers in the pile (thick and thin boards result in some boards floating here and there). Lastly, it removes thick wood which is handled and dried just to be removed later. Getting this extra wood out of the process sooner saves on kiln time, handling, and of course with 100% contact on the stickers the boards will dry better/flatter. Lastly, the presurfacing means that boards comming out of the kiln should need only a single pass through the planer and edger to finish them.
I dont plan on presurfacing everything that goes through the kiln. Only the best material.

This has been one of my concerns. I do however have a pretty decent size blower which was given to me. It was one of the style that had a disk attached for mounting it atop a 55 gallon drum. I think it may have been used for dry cuttings extraction in a machine shop. It really moves the air. I thought I could just attach that to the planer and blast the chips into a pile.

Great info, thanks for the input. I have yet to see one for reasonable $$ that had any sort of knob adjusted bed rollers. Most seem to be a couple wrenches, allen bolt, and a dial indicator or something. Will keep looking.
Thanks again, Mark
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Some on cams. I know the 15" Grizzly was. Piece of cake compared to my Rockwell.
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