Planer or Drum sander?

I am a novice woodworker who has so far constructed all my projects of dimensioned pine. Now, I want to move on to hardwoods, but have realized that the local stock of hardwoods is not truly 3/4", as was the pine I have been using. It appears most of the hardwood I have checked is from 13/16"-7/8" (4/4), and to get it to a uniform 3/4" I am not sure what is the best tool or procedure. The woods I have been looking at are in need of a bit of surface finishing, seemingly a little more then a ROS would provide. Any information to help a struggling novice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
TC
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A drum sander would be nice but get the thickness planer first. With a drum sander you are going to need a dust collector also.
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Thanks for the input! I do have a dust collector that I use with my other equipment (thankfully). So, the thickness planer will be able to remove as little as 1/16" to get me to the 3/4" I would like?

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Yes, you can take off 1/64 if you'd like.
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Once you have the planer you will want to buy rough sawn lumber that will be close to an inch thick at 4/4. The extra thickness will allow you to take out cup and twist in the boards after they adjust to the humidity levels in your shop and end up at your desired 3/4 thickness. It seems whenever I buy S4S 4/4 lumber it ends up closer to 1/2" thick by the time I get it flat and square.
Roger
TMC wrote:

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\Or less than that if you need. Just be sure to finish sand afterwards.
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TMC wrote:

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Get the planer. I have both and the drum sander is rarely a substitute for most planing tasks Joe
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As others have said, get the planer first. - Second, try making projects that would benefit from a different dimension. 3/4" is very boring.
Dave
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It is good that you are getting away from strictly pine. You will not regret that move.
For Oak, pine and any other not-so-figured wood, a 12 inch single speed, two bladed planer is ok. If you get into Birds eye maple, Curly Maple and figured woods, it helps to get one of the newer two-speed planers. Three blades would be a definite plus.
Word of caution, even with the two speed planers, you will still get tear out on some woods, for example, high grade birds eye maple and curly maple. That's where the drum sander comes in handy; you plane down to within 1/32 and then finish up on the drum sander.
I do not dimension wood on the drum sander; it takes too long. AND, you don't want to put pine thru a drum sander anyway, it gums up the sand paper.
Bottom line, get a nice planer and make some pretty pieces.
H. Smith
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Two other observations:
I haven't seen anyone mention a jointer in this thread, and that tool is every bit as important for dimensioning stock as the thickness planer. I know it's easy to spend someone else's money, but you'll never get cup or twist out of a board with a thickness planer alone.
And, unless you REALLY like to sand, you might think about obtaining one or more good, quality hand planes. That lightly scalloped surface you'll see after wood comes off the planer or jointer isn't really a decorative effect - it, too, needs to go away. You will save a ton of time (to say nothing about the dust, and the noise) in your final surface preparation by doing a good job with a hand plane before you get out the sandpaper.
Good luck!!
Jeff
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Jeff wrote:

While I did buy a jointer last december for myself, and it makes quick work of making a board flat, I went 2 years without one, and many times cup or twist can be elimated by running the board through the planer a little bit on each side, flipping it back and forth.
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Before you buy anything, take a woodworking course and find out what the various tools do and how they apply to whatever it is you want to make.
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Well, my thanks to all for your input! It was extremely valuable and gave me something to think about. Looks like I'm going to get a nice 2-speed planer (Delta 22-580, I think). My birthday is coming soon and my fiance was asking what to buy (she already has gotten me a spindle sander, dust collector, and 1/2 sheet PC sander), so I think I have an answer! I have made some furniture and other items already, though only in pine, so I am looking forward to working in maple and oak now. My thanks again-a great bunch here in the rec!
TC

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http://www.knight-toolworks.com/ The coffin smoother would be my first choice.
For when you want a finish that's glass smooth. Not a lot of money, and a real quiet joy to use.
You could send her there for many birthdays to come.
Patriarch
yes, power tools have their place, too.
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On Wed, 09 Mar 2005 23:04:04 -0600, the inscrutable Patriarch

I have one (in Bloodwood) coming with a Japanese iron RSN.

Whenever you're too tired to Neander. Unfortunately for me, that's becoming far too often...
========================================================= I drank WHAT? + http://www.diversify.com --Socrates + Web Application Programming
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Forget the sander...a name brand planer would be my tool of choice.
Once you go that route I would strongly advise you to be looking for at least a 6 in jointer...then you can buy rough sawn lumber at 1/2 the price or better then the price you are now paying for S4S hardwoods...those savings alone will pay for the Planer and the Jointer...
Lots of luck...hope you enjoy the hobby as much as I have..
Bob Griffiths
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I would recommend the DeWalt DW735 model. It's 13", two speed, three blades, and it works quite well even on figured woods like birdseye and flame maple with no tear-out so far. I've put a fair amount of maple, rosewood, walnut, koa, and purple heart thru it in the 7 or 8 months I've had it. Excellent machine. More expensive than most of the "portable" planers, but it was worth it to me for extra width, slower second feed rate, and three-blade cutter head.
The suggestion someone eles made is a good one--take a woodworking class, or do some careful independent study so that you understand what each of these power tools is capable and not capable of. Also, focus on safety--these things can remove a finger (or a hand) so fast you wouldn't believe it! There have been more than one story told on the Wreck about how one careless moment has been a life-changing event for one of us. Not me so far--praise the Lord!
--Steve
Bob G wrote:

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