I am hoping to buy my first planner/thicknesser and am somewhat new to this
so would appreciate any help. I am also in UK so model numbers etc may not
always translate to US.
There is a tool show in Exeter this weekend and I hope to be able to compare
the models available.
I am looking at something like the Electra Beckum 260M. My spec is a machine
that is movable around the shop and house, weighs less than 100Kg (say
200lbs) and will plane boards up to 10" wide. Price is obviously of some
consideration and I was thinking around £700. None of these are set in
stone, I want to get a machine that will suit my requirements the best.
I hope that I understand the terminology. The sort of machine I am thinking
of will power feed the stock under the cutter for reducing the thickness and
over the cutter along a fence planning the edge square and flat.
What are good and bad point of design. eg rubber feed rollers or steel?
Are there any models or manufacturers that are best avoided and why?
Thanks in advance for your help. I really appreciate it.
I have used a similar Metabo machine (20 years old) to very satisfying
results. You will want to have a dust collector (i have used the
Electra Beckum one) because of the amazing amount of chips that
planing and thicknessing creates. A shop vac does not work, it thin
hose will be immediately chocked with the inrush of chips.
Do you get the Axminster magazine ? They have a new "white range" P/T
that's going to be at the show. Seems worth a look - nice big heavy
tables that fold up, rather than lifting off (much quicker for
conversion). Jointer fence looks flimsy though. Same price (tenner
cheaper) than the 260M
There are plenty to choose from.
The problem with combined machines in this range is that you're
limited to 10" width. If you spend the same money on two machines,
you can get a more robust 6" jointer and a 12" thicknesser. This is
what I have (CT150 & CT330), and I'm an advocate of the "You can
prepare timber on a budget my using a thicknesser alone" (please
search for the argument in the past, rather than re-fighting it again)
You get a power feed on the thicknesser, but not the surfacer.
Snipe is the issue to worry about on a thicknesser. This is now a
fixed problem on portable thicknessers (movable head). For combined
P/T's (movable table), it depends on the table length,
Feed just works. There aren't many still around that have problems
Surface quality is variable. I get better results from my two knife
thicknesser than from my three knife jointer, yet their speeds are the
same. I don't know why. The jointer definitely cuts deeper "divots"
which have a nasty habit of only showing up after finishing. Make
sure you dampen the surface and allow it to swell back a little
before sanding (If you don't hand plane).
If you're thicknessing, you also need a chip collector. It doesn't
need to get everything and keep the workshop pristine, you just need
to stop chips recirculating and getting pressed into the fresh surface
by the rollers.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
In the US you can get a planer that fits your needs for less than $300. By
comparison, that is much cheaper than what you are willing to spend for a
planer that will handle 10" wide boards. Actually most any planer here will
do that. If you will be using a planer a few hours daily, I would suggest a
more heavy duty and less portable floor model planer. If you are going to
only use the planer a few hours a week, a portable less that 100lbs will
probably work fine for you.
If you go with a smaller "portable" model, I would not buy into the 2 speed
models that deliver a smoother cut. The single fast speed on portable
planers will cut smooth enough as you should not rely on that planed surface
to be your final surface. Planers are designed to cut your wood to a
specific thickness and not to produce the final surface. That is what sand
paper and scrapers are for. If you go with the much faster cutting larger
floor models, the two speed cutting rate is better suited as the fast cut
leaves a pretty rough surface and the slower cut is used on the final pass
to smooth out the scallop marks left by the fast speed pass. Again, this
surface should be followed up with a scraper or sand paper for the final
Most any planer will develop small knacks in the knives in a relative short
time. These will show up as slightly high ridges in the planed surface.
These are easily removed with a scraper and or sand paper.
Only by US terminology though. In the UK, that would be a
"thicknesser" and costs maybe $600 for a really good one
The OP means a European-style combination machine.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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