New tool idea -- need your opinions! (Hint: one machine instead of a planer AND A jointer)

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A few questions, as I'm trying to develop a new machine, and maybe a little informal market research. (NOTE - I am NOT trying to sell anything. I'm trying to develop this little machine in my own basement, and am a LONG way off. I'm just trying to get a sense of what "serious amateurs" to "smaller professionals" think of the idea.)
A) How much are y'all frustrated by the current situation -- that is, that you need a jointer to flatten one face, and a planer to make the other face flat-and-parallel to the first?
(And - you need two machines that do *just* about the same thing, but take up 2x as much space, and one's heavy as heck, and both need their knives sharpened and then adjusted.... Oh, and a jointer's usually 6" whereas a planer's 12.5" or 13" -- unless you take the safety guard off the jointer and do 2 passes....
(And, the planer snipes, and both of 'em scallop your wood...?)
B) What do you think about a single machine that'd look a lot like a Performax-type drum sander, only about 1/2 to 3/4 size, that'd perfectly flatten even a cupped/warped board on one side, then flip it and it'd plane the other side perfectly parallel? No snipe, no scalloping. (And, unlike a drum sander, a smoothly PLANED, not sanded (fuzzed, micro-scratched) surface.)?
C) And, suppose it cost somewhere in the $250-450 range, and would do boards up to about 13"?
Is that something people'd be interested in? Please help this amateur inventor!
Thanks, Andrew
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Nobody wrote:

the midnite oil and get it to market. Then I'll pop in to my local tool store to kick the tires. oh, and I'll want to read a review of it in a major mag or two before I seriously consider it's purchase.
Go for it!
hey, it's not April Fool's yet, is it??
Dave
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On Sun, 20 Nov 2005 17:54:18 -0800, David wrote:

No, it's not a joke. I have some of it working rather nicely, based on several different power tools you're probably quite comfy with already. It's the novel combination of those -- plus a key, older idea that was patented (now expired) -- that's the key.
I know all about "yeah, we'll need to see it, and some reviews, before we'd believe it".
My point is "SUPPOSE it worked as advertised -- is that something there's demand for? Would people much rather have a one-machine solution? Do people really understand that, now, you DO need two machines? Is there actually "pain" in the marketplace?"
Pretend with me, for the moment, that what I'm saying about the machine is true, and could be proven -- NOW -- how do you feel about the idea?
Thanks, Andrew
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Nobody wrote:

low of a price point, though.
Dave
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That's easy. He'll have made in China.

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CW wrote:

Dave
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in large quantities...
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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On Sun, 20 Nov 2005 19:52:32 -0800, David wrote:
[snip]

Understood -- and looking at existing approaches to jointers and planers, your skepticism is pretty reasonable.
However - the approach I'm taking is very different. Probably about 3/4 of the parts (motor, castings, power-transmission & speed control, etc.) are directly comparable to a very common shop tool that I can buy right now for $90 - RETAIL. I avoid a lot of the expense since I don't need the heavy castings of a jointer, or the complicated infeed/roller system of a planer.
And - for some validation of the technical idea, a MAJOR tool group patented a hand power tool with a very similar approach (I won't say which, but it's either Bosch, DeWalt, Hitachi, or Makita), but never made it. (And, no, their patent doesn't actually interfere, for subtle reasons.)
Andrew
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Isn't it the X5 or one of the other "All-In-One" wonders that has the 12" joiner/planer combo? But to answer your question, Yes, I do believe a lot of people would be interested. You should contact someone like Jessem in Canada that has come out with some recent entries in the woodworking market in the past couple of years and talk to them about what it takes to get an idea through to fruition.
You may be better off selling the idea to some company that has the means to develop it and market the product. There are a lot of good inventions sitting in peoples shops simply because they don't know what to do next. Build a prototype to insure the idea works, document it and get a patent for it. It took my brother 3 years to get his patent finally approved but that involved chemicals. His lawyer and the patent searches were not cheap but in the end, he paid the bills and made a few bucks but nothing to brag about. He said he could have made more money selling it to the company that first offered to buy it from him....
Point being... If you can't patent your idea, you have little protection from it being copied and brought to market even before you have a single model to sell. How will you manufacturer it and market it?
When it's all said and done, you might be able to manufacturer these yourself and capture a niche market of "Built to Order" but I wouldn't quit my day job just yet. Sorry to be so doom and gloom but I've been a part of that process in the past. Not easy, not fun and it takes money and hard work. Should you make it though, I'd sure like to see one...
Bob S.

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Sound good to me but what about edge jointing for panel glue ups?

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I'd buy it tomorrow; but, as Wayne pointed out, you would still need a jointer for edge jointing.
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Check this link out
http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/inca_570.shtml
John
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On Sun, 20 Nov 2005 22:45:24 -0500, John Wilson wrote:

I've seen that Inca machine, and there's been a Hitachi "over-under" combo on the market way back when.
I note a couple of things, though. Most of the references I see (including the review you pointed out) are from about 8 years ago. The Inca is pretty tough to buy, at least in the U.S. I did some pretty extensive Googling and finally found one for about $2,300.
That's getting more into the pro-shop category, and a for that money you CAN get a pretty decent jointer and planer. I'm looking at something you might see on the shelf near stuff like DeWalt and Makita, maybe at a Woodcraft, or in the catalog Amazon sends us all.
Andrew
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Snip

It already exists and The street value is about $695 from Rikon. http://www.rikontools.com/images/SellSheets/PlanerJointer25-010.pdf
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Doh!!! That's pretty funny! So much for researching the existing market. Really, this idea could be a really good one but I don't think Rikon executed it very well. Maybe the OP could do a better job. The problems I see with the Rikon is that the tables are way too short compared to most other jointers, especially the larger capacity jointers. And, the tables are made out of aluminum instead of cast iron. And, only a two knife cutterhead. But maybe it works just great. Rikon supposedly makes pretty good bandsaws but I've never heard about anything else they sell.
Bruce
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The idea of passing a board acrossed the top of the cutter head of a planer to face join one face before planing the other face parallel has been around for a while and the combination is available on several currently available machines - and at a size and with jointer tables long enough to handle furniture sized stock. Felder/Hammer, Robland, Rojek, Mini Max and others all have such units, all with 3+ HP TEFC motors. The combination will let you flatten one face, regardless of whether it's bowed, cupped or TWISTED.
Your description of your idea begs several questions 1. can it do the job on a TWISTED piece of stock? 2. what's the max depth of cut per pass? 3. what feed rate at maximum depth of cut? 4. will it work on green or resinous wood without gumming up? 5. what is the functional life expectancy of the medium used to remove the wood? 6. what is the cost of replacement of whatever it is that removes the wood? 7. How thin can the stock be goiing into the unit? 8. will it produce a straight, flat edge that is square to one flat face? 9. can the planer set up be kept when going back to joining one face? 10. joining and planing generate a great deal of "waste" - can they effectively be removed with a dust collector? 11. how complicated/complex is the set up?
charlie b
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charlie b wrote:

Plus the one I've had w/ the automated "planer as jointer" machines--how do you control and drive a non-flat piece of material past the cutter head w/o distorting it to get the initial flat reference surface? That's the reason for the jointer initially and why working a piece through the planer first (unless it's so thick as to be essentially rigid) doesn't work.
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These combination machines have a jointer to straighten and flatten the stock. Then after flattening the stock you run it through the planer. Have you seen the Rikon? The Rikon has short beds but has a 10" jointer capacity and then you run the flat on one side wood below the bed area to plane to thickness.
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Leon wrote:

That's what I was talking about--although perhaps I didn't write it as clearly as I could have :)
To drive the material across the planer/jointer as OP suggests seems to me to be describing an automagic drive that would have sufficient support to prevent kickback and drive a wide work piece against a rotating cutterhead w/o compressing the workpiece. Seems a mean trick if he can arrange it.
It takes a significant amount of force to do that. I suppose one could rearrange it to use something like a router in a plane and not move the workpiece or make the cuts w/ such a cutter that works a lot less material at a time, but that doesn't sound like what OP has in mind...
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On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 10:28:57 -0600, Duane Bozarth wrote:

VERY well put.
Everyone so far is stuck in thinking about their existing jointer/planer designs, which (a) scallop and (b) kickback, which means (c) they need a particular type of power-feed.
If you don't have kickback, you don't need powerfeed. (And - hey - jointers kickback, but DON'T HAVE A POWER-FEED -- right? Note - this is a TOTAL red herring -- it's not the approach I take --but it's worth thinking about!)
Assume, for the sake of argument, that kickback ain't a problem. And, thus, the powerfeed, and compression of the workpiece, ain't a problem.
Pretend there's, say, Luke Skywalker's lightsaber suspended in there, and all you have to do is run the board through on a flat table, slice the top off perfectly level, flip it over, lower the lightsaber to spec'd thickness, and run the board through again. BINGO! (Except for the burn marks.)
Does that idea make everybody's conceptual problems go away?
Now, let's assume, as the old joke about economists goes, that I actually HAVE a lightsaber....
Andrew
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