Surface planers... worth the investment or not?

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I'm considering my next tool purchase (after a dust collector) and I'm decided to either upgrade my TS or buy a planer.
My TS is a Sears 10" model, bought it 2 1/2 years ago, before I became more serious about WW. Using a thin-kerf blade has helped, but, the fence leaves a lot to be desired, doesn't have a very large cutting surface and is top heavy. But, it does cut wood.
Planers... FWIW, I use mostly Red and White Oak on projects to be stained or Poplar for those that are to be painted, however I'd like to start using Cherry and mahogany.
I buy most of my wood S2S or S3S, currently paying $3.25 - $3.90 bf for ROak, however it ranges from 3/4" to 13/16" thickness. Since, I also glue-up a lot of panel and passing them though a planer would also be very useful.
I just found a nearby source of kiln dried rough cherry for srounf $3.00 bf.
That all said...... is a new planer the better choice? I've read a lot of reviews and the Dewalt DW735 is the current top dog Amazon has recond units for $300. very tempting... Any other units under $350 worth considering?
What woods are the worst on blades? Average blade life?
How much wood would you need to be surfacing per year to may this cost effective?
ThankX All, Ron
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So you already know the answer.

Teak, Ipe
Average blade life?
6 to 12 months, but depends on use.

It is not about cost. It is about doing thing right. None of my tools have ever been justified from a $$$ point of view.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Hell, I use that rationale all the time. <G> "This XtXoXyX...tooool will make me some money" is the 'reason' *I* go for all the time.
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wrote:
snip

Jeez Ed, wish I could get my wife to agree to that! I have to use the normal method of new project equals new tool or build up credits from her hobby purchases. Maybe in a few years she'll give up and I can have your luxury! :)
Allyn
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So all woodworking prior to electric surface planers was done wrong?
--
You can't trade cash for skill. Sadly, I have neither.

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writes:

No, but you can spend as much for a quality hand plane as you can for an electric one. Same equation will apply. Comes down to choices. Mine (as a hobbyist) are not made on money alone.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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wrote:

I've had the DW 735 for about a month now. I've probably enjoyed that tool more than most of the stuff I have 'cause I've discovered the fun of buying scraps from the local wood purveyor, especially the flitches, the first pieces cut off the side of the log.
Some of the figure is really pretty, even though the scraps are small and thin. At 3 for $10 it's cheap! Then it's just a question of what to do with it. An example is the free hand routed nut tray at:
http://web2.airmail.net/xleanone/index.html/Tray /
Pretty wood and a few hours of playing. No way I could have handplaned that wood in the Teaxs heat, at least not in any reasonable time.
Regards.
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How wide are these trays? I'm guessing the planed part was 6-8" wide. I don't doubt the usefulness and value of your planer. However, I do believe those pieces could have been hand planed in 6-8 minutes with a sharp #8 jointer plane and then a few passes with a smoother.
Bob
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Bob:
6" - 8" and about 24" long. The bottom of the tray was solid bark, heavily crenellated, rough as a corn cob. That's why I felt handplaning it would have been a real pain.
Don't misunderstand me, I enjoy the hand plane too. Both top and bottom were smoothed off with a #3 Bedrock with a "nasty sharp" Hock blade. Just getting the wood from rough cut to reasonably dimensioned looked to me to be a pain. Maybe next time I'll throw the scrub plane then a #7 at it (don't have a #8). 90+ degrees in the gar-, uh shop, makes me lazy.
Regards.
On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 22:48:58 GMT, "BillyBob"

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I live in Texas, too and understand. I tolerate the heat pretty well with a fan. Its the parts of the day we have a thunderstorm and liquid air that get to me. Oh, well, it will be behind us by the end of September and I can look forward to those glorious fall-winter-spring days where woodworking is a pleasure.
Bob
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Bob:
I hear that! Late dove season, dear season and duck season interfere with some of the great woodworking weather - it just ain't fair to have to trade off between pleasures!
BTW - local Frys electronics had a super sale on a portable (rolls on casters) AC unit, 9600 BTU, that exhausts through a 5" hose. It's also a dehumidifier and ceramic heater (haven't use those). The AC cools my uninsulated double garage enough to be tolerable, but main advantage is dropping the humidity - that thing runs about 1 gal an hour out the drain hose in AC mode.
Cut a hole in the garage door to fit pipe exhaust, backed with plywood and a little door and I can actually stay out there 'till 1500 or so. By that time the heat build-up in the attic overhaed overwhelms the BTU output of the AC. I also stuck a 20" box fan up in a corner and cut an exhaust hole into the attic to try to reduce the hot air build up at the ceiling. It helps some.
Come fall, I'll clean out he attic and drop in some fiberglass batting between the joists - I expect that will make a huge difference.
Regards.
PS: I'm waiting on one of Ron Knight's coffin smoothers. That will be a wispy treat (I hope).
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On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 19:43:34 -0500, the opaque Tom Banes

Oh, deer!

Sounds like a great little unit.

I hadn't heard about the Hock/Knight wedding, Tom. Details, please?
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Don't know about any nuptials. My Hock iron is on a Bedrock, the Knight coffin smoother is on order (Ron had/has a 1/2 price sales I couldn't pass up).
Regards.
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You missed his (somewhat veiled) point. Ron Hock. Steve Knight. To the best of my limited knowledge, they don't sell each others' products.
I own some of each, too, however. Both are good folks with whom to do business.
Patriarch
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Duh - stoopid attack hit me again. The veil lacked translucence for my poor mind.
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On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 14:36:25 -0500, the opaque Tom Banes

Ron is a Hock. Steve is a Knight. Got it? ;) Your tuse is a bit ob today, Tom.
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My tuche is just fine even if my tuse is obverse.
Good play on the words.
Regards.
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On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 19:23:54 -0500, the opaque Tom Banes

Tendjewberrymud.
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Aswan
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Hi Ron,
I bought the Delta 12" planer about 15 years ago. I still had a TS that was not very good (like yours). Still, I have to say that I get a lot of (hobbyist) use from that thing. It has certainly earned its keep ($200 IIRC). It will pay for itself if you buy your wood from a hardwood supplier (not a BORG).
As an example, HD currently is selling red oak for about $7+/BF. My local supplier is under $3 (S2S). It's about 13 steenths. It takes a little effort to plane it, but the flexibiliy of size/thickness and wood types is worth it. I like to plane it to 12 (i.e. 3/4) or less, depending on the project or look I'm after. It's amazing shaving (say) a 16th or 8th will do to the look of a project.
Bottom line. If you can spring for a real TS upgrade (say in the $1K+ range) then that's prpbably a good way to go. If you are thinking of adding a few hundred $ to your current saw, it is probably not worth it. I'd get the planer in that case.
Blades? I've gone through several sets (at only $15+/set) in the years I've had the Delta. If you are a hobbyist, I don't think that it's a major factor. I work with mostly oak/cherry/poplar.
FWIW.
Lou
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