Planer gets to finished surface?

Will I get an adequately smooth surface using a portable surface planer? Once that I could sand with hand sander if necessary?. I was looking at drum sanders and they are very expensive. Some planers say they are finish planers.
Any thoughts?
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I'm using the new DW735. If there is a planer out right now that eliminates the need for sanding, this is it. The finishing mode runs at 179 cuts per inch resulting in a glass smooth finish. Take small bites and provide good outfeed support, you'll get NO SNIPE at all! Of course, after your blades acquire a few nicks, you need to do some work with a scraper.
Some feel the 735 is over priced at $479, could be but I see no equal...yet, at under $500. Delta must have something to compete in the wings. Look for them to introduce something sooner rather than later. Also, look for the DW735 to come down a little and on sale more often near the $399 price point.
Love mine.
DexAZ

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The short answer.....yes! I use the Ridgid portable planer and do very little finish sanding. Actually if I use a card scraper there is no need to sand at all.
-- Bill Rittner R & B ENTERPRISES Manchester, CT
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Most any portable electric thickness planer will leave you a smooth finish. That said, you should always sand or scrape after using a thickness planer. Thickness planers are designed to bring your wood to a particular thickness and most all will leave a smooth surface for a while. Before long all will develop a small nick or 2 or 3 or 4 and will ultimately require finish sanding or scraping. I personally would not get too hung up on a 2 speed portable planer. This is useful on a floor model planer but the regular speed is plenty slow enough on the portables. The slower speed is soon a waste of time. The second speed on these planers is sorta like the spoilers than come on new cars. A neat feature but has little long term effect if any.

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VERY little sanding/scraping needed for a perfect surface even with the old venerable DeWalt 733 planer. The new one is even sweeter...sigh. :)
dave
trents32 wrote:

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No.
Now you're talking. <G> I can easily remove the mill marks on oak, ash, birch, maple, etc... left by a DeWalt 733 with 120 grit on a block. If I'm staining, I don't normally go past 120 at this stage, so the process is very quick.
Barry
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Close! I have the Delta 22-580 and the finishing speed (which I like very much!) does put a nice surface on things. You must sand afterwards, however. Where the real time saver is in how much sanding you have to do. Normally I start off with 120 grit, but since I've gotten the 580 I may start of w/ 180 or 220 depending on the type of wood I'm using (some woods plane naturally smoother than others or at least it seems that way to me). I hear the new Dewalt will put an even better finishing surface on a board!
Joey in Chesapeake

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Your best shot at a planer that will most often give a near finishing perfect surface is one of the new Delta or De Walt two speeds. I lean heavily towards the De Walt myself.
However, depending on the grain of the wood, the direction you feed it in, wood type, depth of cut, sharpness of the blades, and whether your astrological sign is in a cusp or not, most thickness planers will give you a good final surface a good percentage of the time.
--
Mike G.
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I picked up the Dewalt 734 last month for $299. at Woodcraft in St. Louis. Not sure if they still have it at that price but it's a great machine. Even some of the projects that I use pine from the borg take a lot less sanding then before.
--
Mike S.
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trents32 wrote:

Sometimes. When the blades are new and in perfect condition, yes. After a time the finish will not be as good or nick show up and you have to scrape or sand.
--
Ed
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What's "adequate" ?
Watch out for planer marks. My thickness planer doesn't leave them, but my jointer does. Regular scallopings don't show up on plain timber until you put the finish on and start looking in detail. Check your outfeed adjustment scrupulously before starting. Use a bright low-angle light to inspect it afterwards. Getting these marks out is hard work.
Nicked blades are OK. They leave a tiny ridge, and a moment's work with a card scraper shifts them. -- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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I'd have to opine that, a jointer being considered a finishing machine (one that leaves a finishable surface), if your jointer is leaving tooling marks something is amiss in Denmark.
I can think of only three reasons a jointer would scollop. One blade is too high, Too deep a cut, or you are using the improper (too fast) irregular feed speed for the species. Well, make that four reasons, the fourth being any combination of the above.
All things being equal (properly set up machine, sharp blades, correct feed direction) clean cuts are related to CPI (Cuts per inch). and on a jointer it is the operator that determines that It's one of the reasons Delta and De Walt now produce variable speed planers. It's also the reason the De Walt would be my first choice since it's slowest CPI figure is the same as the Delta's fastest speed thanks to the third blade..
Just an opinion of course but....................
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Mike G.
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On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 19:42:33 -0500, "Mike G"

Try an insecure outfeed table adjustment with a tendency to creep downwards if you don't check it.
I could probably do some enormous engineering exercise to fix this, but I'm thinking of upgrapding the jointer to something wider and more solid anyway (old Wadkin maybe)
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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thank you all. Thats great input. Ill keep an eye out for a portable planer on sale.
thanks again

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