Stationary planers - fixed head or fixed table?

I've been thinking about dispensing with my portable planer and moving up to one of the larger stationary models, probably a 15 inch. If you have experience using these animules, I'm curious as to whether you think a stationary table offers any significant advantage. I like the fact that the Jet and Powermatic planers both have the motor mounted in the lower cabinet, but that means the head is stationary and the table moves up and down when you adjust for thickness. Problem? I can imagine that it would be handy to have auxiliary stationary infeed and outfeed platforms, but not with a planer of this design.
I'm kinda leaning towards the Delta 15"; comments on this model?
And what about those "return to infeed position" rollers on the tops of the stationary-head models? Those look kinda handy, and you can't do that with the Delta; you have to carry the board back around to the front of the planer to refeed.
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wrote:

I'm very unimpressed with these. It probably varies between brands, but the combination of feature-competition on the "suitcase" models and cost-reduction on the cast iron 15" four-posts means that there's little between them now.
I'm using a 400 suitcase and have already refused a few modern Taiwanese four-posts. When I do upgrade it, it's going to be to a S/H Wadkin or similar, costing best part of 1000. I just don't think there's anything in the middle worth having.
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I've got a stationary table Rockwell Invicta, and the one up at the school is a stationary table Grizzly. In a small shop the stationary table is a nice feature, as you can build your own tables, stands and such to allow operation with minimum rearranging. In a large shop, not so important, as you can allow a permanent two foot by say 24' area for the planer.
As to return rollers, I've never used them much, even on the planers which have them. Best lay boards on sawhorses on one side, table on the other as the passes are taken. Unless you lower the feed to an uncomfortably low level, you'll screw up your back hefting the long and thick to the top for return rollers, which, BTW are for one board at a time operation, not one project's worth at a time.
Any planer with an honest-rated induction motor and bed rollers beats a lunchbox type.

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George wrote:

And that's really the main thing for me. A nice, smooth, beefy induction motor with lots of power that doesn't scream like a banshee. I'm assuming that the fixed head vs. fixed table thing is a minor decision point, but I'm just curious if anyone has strong feelings one way or the other.
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I wanted a stationary table, but Greg Leneave at Leneave Supply talked me out of it, because of more effort in changing the knives. After three years, I still haven't changed them, so I'm not sure I made the right choice. I would like an outfeed table, but have done OK with a roller stand.
You'll love the 15" if you have any heavy/hard work to do. It really throws the shavings!
I use the top rollers all the time, with a helper and without!
Greg is a good source...much cheaper than Delta. Wilson

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I have used several 15" planers of various manufacture, none of them had return rollers. I have little Jet 12" portable that's about 5 years old with rollers. I've used a couple of 20" planers with rollers. I would vote for rollers, especially if you tend to tag team with someone else -- one person feeding and one person catching to skip plane large stacks of long stock. If it adds heaps to the cost, however, you can always build/buy/mount a set rollers to the planer yourself.
hex -30-
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