Looking for Molder / Sander / Planner

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I've been specifically looking for a Mold making machine but figured that since I also need the planner I might as well jump off the cliff and get a molder / sander / planner combo. What brands do people have experience with? Thoughts on the Grizzly and WoodMasterTools units? I can't see either of them locally so it's buying blind.
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HotRod wrote:

Would help to know what you intend/need to do with the unit--stuff like size/type of mouldings, wood species used, typical size/frequency of production runs, etc., etc., etc., ...
In general, though, for a combo-moulder/planer, I'd consider it probably only if do relatively infrequent but moderate-sized runs owing to the changeover. If, otoh, it's hobbyist, only, then the time/convenience factor is probably reduced significantly compared to initial cost.
Now for the specific question--I don't have either of the two, but from what I know in general of the equipment--afaict, the Grizzly units don't have optional sanding heads (but I could possibly be wrong, but don't see any reference to them in the catalog) while the Woodmaster does (for at least some of the models) so if that's a mandatory, it's worth checking w/ Grizzly on. Same thing about convenience applies except now in triplicate except duplicate. The Woodmasters as a plus are variable-speed, Grizzly are single or dual. As a negative, standard they use single-knife cutterhead whereas Grizzly is dual. They do have optional dual-knive heads and the indexable replaceable "spiral" planer heads as options, as well. Not sure Grizzly does on these combo machines (although do on some dedicated planers, of course).
Based on what I know, for an envisioned usage similar to what I could foresee, I'd probably look at the Woodmaster more than the Grizzly w/ the options. (Of course, I already have industrial planer so I'd be looking at it more as a dedicated moulder rather than combo unit and when I think of mouldings in general if I'm going to run something that would use a moulder for as opposed to hand shaping or the shaper for, it would be architectural and typically pretty sizable amounts. Certainly not a direct answer, but some thoughts that hopefully provide some thinking fodder...
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In this case you got the use right or "hit the nail on the head", the initial purchase is to re-mold an entire victorian house. This includes door, window and base board trim. For this specific project I'll be using rough cut 1x12" pine so I need to first plane it down, then run it through the molder to make the trim pieces I need. Some of them will get a quick sand at some point depending on the mold profile.
I currently have an indistrial 16" planner but was thinking about selling it and looking at a combo unit. Less space to take up in the shop and it will honestly not get that much use outside of my weekend projects. This is for personal use not really business persay.
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HotRod wrote:

SonomaWP pretty much reinforced my thinking from what I know and have been told re: Woodmaster. I think if I were in your position I'd try to hang onto the planer through at least the bulk of the housing moulding project was complete, then reevaluate. But, I think I'd go as large a Woodmaster as the budget could stretch to cover.
Sounds like SWP is using the 1-knife head and pleased--wonder what feedrate he's using for the red oak?
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My current 16" planner is industrial and has two nice blades on it but it won't accomidate molder knives, the only reason to get rid of it was to get some space back, I have way to many tools. Doubles and Triples of some.
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HotRod wrote:

I understand, was just thinking of the logistics of running a lot of moulding could be enhanced significantly w/o the need to switch. Plus, if for any reason weren't really satisfied w/ the dual-function, could make the decision on which to keep based on hands-on.
Not knowing what else are duplicates/triplicates, of course, nor other work habits or planned/scheduled work/projects, just my thoughts (for what they're worth, which is, of course, _every_ bit of what they cost! :) ).
And, of course, imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., ... :)
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HotRod wrote:

If you have the cash, I'd keep the big planer and use the combo machine as a dedicated molder until you finish all the molding. Then, when you are finished, sell one of the machines.
Just to tell you what I did.. I bought the 13" Jet Molder/Planer. I plan to buy molding blades for it, but I haven't yet. I was previously using a portable planer, and I am kicking myself in the ass for not upgrading the planer a long time ago. My rationalization is that the place I buy crown from is very expensive, and the molding cutters would pay for themselves quite quickly. So the purchase was worth it to me to speed up the planing process.
I have a seperate drum sander. You might want to consider that route. I have the delta 18/36 model. I have used the performax models as well. The nice thing about the delta is that you can buy an pnuematic drum accessory. That's a really nice feature to have available. Again, I wish I had bought that accessory years ago.
I know you mentioned you are pressed for space. I don't know how much a combo unit costs vs a seperate sander and planer/molder. It is nice to have the drum sander all loaded and ready to go, because all my solid wood goes through that. It might be a PITA to have to change from planer head to sander head every time wood was prepped (although maybe that changeover time is minimal).
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I have an 18" Woodmaster planer\sander\molder\gang ripper. I opted to upgrade the motor to a 7 1/2 horse power. I can plane an 1/8" off a 12" wide whiteoak board without even hearing the motor change sound. I cut 4" wide crown molding from red oak and it is so quite you just hear a little buzz. I also bought the optional outfeed flap sander. The moldings came out so clean with a fresh knife that I never even set up the outfeed sander. I also bought 6 saw blades. I once feed 500bf of 1x12 pine, sliced into 2" wide planks and the thing was like a fricking pasta cutter. I've never used the sanding drum (I have access to a 24" wide belt) but assume it works as nicely as the rest of the operations.
Considerations: 1. It does take some time to do a switch over, although is pretty easy. To go from molding to planning probably take 15 minutes. To go the from planning to sawing or molding takes longer because of the setup for the knives, blades and bed.
2. I bought the slick bed and it's well worth it. You need to do some custom work to really make it work well. If you want to run moldings with both front and back blades side by side or multiple knoves of the same (or different) profiles at the same time, you need to build some simple but custom fences to hold the part sin place. I have a plan for a spring loaded fence if I start doing lots of gang ripping so it's easy to deal with variable width stock.
4. laner works great, zero feed problems and nice clean cut. The only problem is severe snipe. I can't stop it no matter what. So you'll sacrifice 3-4 inches or have to hand fix it. For me it's not a problem. I take rough stock through this thing like butter and if I am worried about material I can clean up an end piece once I cross cut it.
3. Finally, the folks at Woodmaster are great. They barely hassle me for my continually late payments. They are alwasy running some deal. I got mine with free shipping, just had to pick it up at a central truck terminal and also free accessories.
BW
HotRod wrote:

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I have an 18" Woodmaster planer\sander\molder\gang ripper. I opted to upgrade the motor to a 7 1/2 horse power. I can plane an 1/8" off a 12" wide whiteoak board without even hearing the motor change sound. I cut 4" wide crown molding from red oak and it is so quite you just hear a little buzz. I also bought the optional outfeed flap sander. The moldings came out so clean with a fresh knife that I never even set up the outfeed sander. I also bought 6 saw blades. I once feed 500bf of 1x12 pine, sliced into 2" wide planks and the thing was like a fricking pasta cutter. I've never used the sanding drum (I have access to a 24" wide belt) but assume it works as nicely as the rest of the operations.
Considerations: 1. It does take some time to do a switch over, although is pretty easy. To go from molding to planning probably take 15 minutes. To go the from planning to sawing or molding takes longer because of the setup for the knives, blades and bed.
2. I bought the slick bed and it's well worth it. You need to do some custom work to really make it work well. If you want to run moldings with both front and back blades side by side or multiple knoves of the same (or different) profiles at the same time, you need to build some simple but custom fences to hold the part sin place. I have a plan for a spring loaded fence if I start doing lots of gang ripping so it's easy to deal with variable width stock.
3. Planer works great, zero feed problems and nice clean cut. The only problem is severe snipe. I can't stop it no matter what. So you'll sacrifice 3-4 inches or have to hand fix it. For me it's not a problem. I take rough stock through this thing like butter and if I am worried about material I can clean up an end piece once I cross cut it.
4. Finally, the folks at Woodmaster are great. They barely hassle me for my continually late payments. They are alwasy running some deal. I got mine with free shipping, just had to pick it up at a central truck terminal and also free accessories.
BW
HotRod wrote:

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BW I was looking at the 18" or 25" though I'm not sure if I'd use more than the 18". Would it be possible for you to just make a list of the upgrades on your 18" model and which ones were worth it? Also how did you find out about the "deals"?
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I got the bigger motor. In my case I got it because I "may" use the unit for gang ripping oak, etc. I have products that use 3/4" square pickets and some others that use 3/8" wide ripped pieces from 3/4" stock and I will create some custom spacers and run 6 or 8 blades at a time. They told me with the 7 1/2 HP motor I could run 10 blades and I believe it. Probaby overkill for most situations.
I got multiple knife holders. The typical setup comes with one knife holder so you have this 18" wide machine running a 3' wide molding and you can't even run the back side at the same time. So two or more knife holders are worth it.
I got a selection of about 10 knives (molding shapes). Pretty nice but typically I keep buying more because I couldn't guess exactly what I would need.
I got the out-feed mount that holds either a router or a flap sander motor. I also bought the sander motor. If I was running lots of molding the sander would be a nice addition plus having the router mount lets me run a shape on the top of the board and maybe a tounge or groove on the edge. Nice addition if you can use it.
I got several ripping blades. Again, nice if you can use it. The setup is a little tedious so using it for standard ripping is sort of out of the question but if you need to do some gang ripping it is about $15k cheaper than any other solution. I plan on building a set of custom spacers. The mounts that come with the blades have a coller that is about 5/8" on each side (if I recall correctly) so I can't rip my 3/4" or 3/8" pieces. I talked with their engineering dept and they said they have seen it done with custom spacers so I am thinking of getting a setup with some thrust washers or custom machined spacers to allow for absolute positioning and fast setup.
They send me promotions all the time. They were real good about helping me take advantage of special pricing. The free shipping was something I think they do once a year to several locations around the country. I think a call to them and asking about upcoming specials or just asking for a price break will be a positive experience. Nice folks.
BW HotRod wrote:

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I've contacted woodmaster about all of your suggestions and what it's going to cost to get an 18" machine all setup. I guess we'll see what the response is. Otherwise I should be getting a new machine before Christmas.
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HotRod wrote:

I didn't realize this thread was still going on.
My 2 cents.. I agree with Sonoma that a slower planing speed with make a better surface. On the other hand though, my thought has always been that a planer is for rough dimensioning, and then the drum sander gets it nice and smooth. So I plane my stuff a bit on the thick side, and then I run each side through the drum sander about 6-8 times.. Might be overkill, but I get a real nice finish that way. I don't bother to hand sand or random orbital sand. I agree that it would look better, but for me, the drum sander is good enough.
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The thread was probably dead a long time ago but I'm sure some poeple might ahve it on their "Watch list" like me and I thought it might be nice to let people know what I've decided to do.
Funny thing I was looking at the website for the US version and the Canadian districuter and the price difference is noticable. The first price is US then Canadian
PRO PAK 712 - $1800 & $3100 718 - $2300 & $3000 725 - $2900 & $4900
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"HotRod" wrote

Don't keep us in suspense.
You told us "it might be nice to let people know what I've decided to do". Then you list some prices.
But you did not tell us what you did or why.
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HotRod wrote:

So, are those the prices for the woodmaster combo unit (forgive me if I got the name wrong).
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Congrats. I hope they give you a great price. If you're like me you'll be nothing but pleased with the unit.
Like another poster mentioned, since I have separate planer and sander too (I don't need to convert the woodmaster from planing) I use my wide belt sander for my final dimensioning.
Using the sander for dimensioning is not quite as precise so I usually run it through twice on the same setting once I get to the final pass and I sand out any of the dimensional thickness variance. This is really important if I am cutting tenons or doing other dimensional milling operations that work from both sides of the material.
HotRod wrote:

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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

using the gang ripping for making glue-ups? Specifically, how straight are the cuts and how smooth? Could you glue ripped pieces directly without any further sanding of the edges?
Thanks, Lou
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Sorry, I've been away.
Unfortunately the only gang ripping I did was piles of Pine for some Adirondack chairs where I needed slats, lots o' slats. I never checked the edges. Not even sure if I had blade marks, just didn't care.
My impression is if I devised some featherboard concept it would be clean and straight enough for glue-up but I haven't tested it.
snipped-for-privacy@highstream.net wrote:

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So now that I've had some more time to think about it I'm trying to figure out what is going to be better.Can anyone help answer these questions. I'm looking at the woodmaster 18" unit.
1) The current planner I have is a single motor unit, the molder/planner I was looking at was also a single motor unit. Does the variable speed belt on the bottom that pulls the wood in actually make the cuts that much better? Or will both planners do the same job? Is more cuts per inch that much better?
2) The other option is to go with my Craftsman Molder/Planner and a seperate drum sander. The big difference between the woodmaster and the rest is that the woodmaster only has a single drum. Are there advantages and disadvatages to this? Or can I get the single drum to do the same job?
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