powermatic problems


My nearly new powermatic 412 portable planer has two problems, either one of which makes it into worthless junk. The non-sharpenable blades have gone from $24 to $67 per set in the past few months. This means it costs hundreds of dollars a year to keep your planer sharp. Not too sharp an idea! In addition the flimsy blade holder flexes. This allows wood chips to buuild up under the blade and bending it. This means the planer no longer cuts a straight line but a shallow arc. This is why I will never buy from WMH tool group again. Burned once shame on you,
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Have you contacted the WMH tool group?
I have had good luck with everything I have purchased from them, but most of the purchases I have made have been higher end toys. That said in my experience, both in my own purchasing and from reading this board often, there is no company that doesn't occasionally have a product that sucks. It's part of the joys of spending money, or something.
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They are the ones who told about the wonderful new price for the blades. I agree about their other tools. I have several excellent JET tools. They are all ten or more years old, they date from the era before WMH tool group. I didn't pay that much for the planer, thereby by proving that it is the cheapskate who pays the most.
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I'm unfamiliar with the blade holder configuration of this unit but could you replace the blades with some real blades. I'm thinking thicker material maybe less likley to flex and allow chips to migrate and sharpenable.
Just a thought.
BW
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The blades fit onto a registration pin and are only available from WMH. It would require rebuilding the whole blade holder apparatus from scratch.
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Let me try and help....first a couple of questions? 1. Where-whom did you buy the unit from? 2. How old is the unit? Warranty? We all know what steel prices are doing...so the cost of the knives can be expected.....do not get so discouraged,,,you will find that the knives last for some time. Good luck... Mike.
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A price increase of that magnitude you blame on steel prices? Try again.

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Blame the Chinese! They're buying up any and all steel (so they can make crappy planer knives and ship them back to the USA). The cost of steel has been skyrocketing for the past year or so and probably the stock of already produced blades are gone and thus serious inflation. Anything made of steel costs more now. Flimsy I can't answer for because I would have thought Powermatic's blades would be of a better quality than you got. Is there any possibilty of returning it? That quote about never being disappointed with quality failed this time. Robert Smith
prettygoodcarpenter wrote:

blades
too
chips
no
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I got stung buying a Powermatic Model 64 saw several years ago. It is a piece of Asian Junk. The shame is that Powermatic used to be a serious manufacturer of industrial equipment; now its just another also ran. Dave
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too
chips
Well, I got to looking, because I hadn't seen a Powermatic portable planer offered for sale in the last several years. The 412 seems to be a machine very similar to a number of other low end lunch box style machines, with other badges on them, and is NOT in the current line-up of machines offered by WMH, at least not as a Powermatic. The 412's documentation is offered as an 'archived document'.
There is a similar looking machine offered as a Wilton, and another as a Jet.
Have you tried taking the blades to a good sharpening service, to see if they can be sourced elsewhere?
Otherwise, I'd look for a replacement machine. Be aware, however, that the cutterhead design, with chipbreaker as you mentioned, differs only slightly from brand to brand, and requires more maintenance than say, a circular saw.
Good luck.
Patriarch
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I was wondering the same thing. I've never seen a portable planer from Powermatic. I wonder how old this model is and where it came from.
Bob
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I bought it new 18 months ago. It was a floor model, sold without documentation, so I don't know manufacture date. It came from a Powermatic retailer, a tool store. I will sell it.
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Where did you buy this planer? It appears that its no longer manufactured. The price for blades is probably high because of the cost normally charged to stock parts for machines that are no longer supported.
Bob
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This isn't an isolated problem. I have one of the old Ryobi 12-5/16" machines and it continues to do a great job. However, about a year ago I discovered the price of knives went from $19 for Ryobi parts into the $60 - 70 range for aftermarket parts. This also had me wondering if I could afford to keep an otherwise good machine. Luckily a rec.woodworking poster informed me that a set of Delta knives duplicated the Ryobi's except for an unneeded center pin hole. They cost about $24. I won't buy Ryobi again.
A couple of suggestions:
1) Google for replacement blades from other sources. You might find them cheaper but you might also find knives that fit other machines that can also be used on yours - Long shot but it worked for me.
2) Try a local tool shop with the same strategy,
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I lit a pretty hot flame with this group about 6 months ago over Powermatic Publications. I purchased a 54A 6" Jointer and the machine itself is wonderful. The handbook absolutely sucked. It appeared to be compiled from another book (or a translation) and was full of problems. Apparently a lot of woodworkers don't believe the manuals are very important - an opinion I do not share.
At any rate I went after their product support pretty hard. First contact was all defensive. They initiated the second contact with an apology and acknowledgement that the handbook needed an update. I even got a call from one of their project managers. They also knew I was using this forum to express displeasure.
Go after them - a lot of other woodworkers might benefit if you can get their attention.
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