thickness planer


Has anyone had any experience with Shop Fox thickness planers? I see they are offering a 15" planer with a spiral cutter head and I am considering it. Just wondering what your thoughts are.
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From what I understand Shop Fox is the Grizzly brand that you buy at a local dealer. You may be able to save by buying direct from Grizzly.
Something to consider, I just read an article in the latest Wood magazine that tested 8" jointers. Half had some type of spiral cutter vs. the straight cut knives. None of them gave as smooth of a cut as the standard straight knife cutter. Wood contacted the manufacturers about this and apparently the manufacturers have indicated that to get a cut as smooth as a straight knife blade that the spiral cutter has to be with in a .0005" tolerance. Apparently those with spiral indexable cutters that can be clocked 90 degrees 4 times for a refreshed edge can be thrown off by a film of oil. The test did however indicate that the advantage of a spiral cutter is that the machine is quieter while milling and the motor does not have to work as hard.
I just purchased the Delta 15" planer with 3 straight knife cutters and am very pleased with the results. That said however I do not ever expect the surface out of a thickness planer to be my final step in preparing the surface for a stain or varnish. I will always follow up with a sander, hand plane, or scraper.
Just something to think about.
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Leon wrote:

would opt for both types of cutter equipped jointers. I'd previous assumed that the spiral would cut more quietly and smoothly in all types of wood. apparently that's hardly the case. Now I don't feel left out by having "just" a 6" straight knife jointer. My jointer NEVER seems to be working hard, but my DeWalt planer bogs down on wider cuts that aren't all that deep. I switched circuits last year and found that the first circuit I had it plugged into was starving the planer for current, causing a more radical decrease in cutter head speed.
Dave
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Check out the planer. It's too pricey for me, but the idea of "corrugated knives" sure is appealing.
http://www.rbiwoodtools.com/s/static/woodplaner_one/woodplaner_one.htm
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Well just keep in mind that these are Thickness planers and not final surface planers and you should be happy with just about any of them regardless of what type of cutter it has. AND speaking of which, I am about to post a summary of a sled for my planer that I built to flatten rough sawn boards.
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On Sun, 15 Jan 2006 05:26:27 GMT, "Leon"

I know several people who talk about the "finish" left by their thickness planers. I think they need new glasses... <G>
Jointers and thickness planers are dimensioning tools. To me nothing screams "amateur" louder than mill marks visible through a finish. I also see them often on routed edges. If a machine cut or formed it with a blade and it's going to show, it's going to need SOME sort of sanding or scraping before finishing.
I have the black and blues on my shins from where my wife kicks me to bite my tongue...
Barry
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The new DeWalt and Delta planers have been advertised as providing a good finish.
Quote from Delta about the 13-580 Finishing Planer: . Two-speed material feed rate system: dimensioning speed (60 CPI) to quickly reach desired thickness; finishing speed (90 CPI) for an ultra smooth surface on final pass.
DeWalt is more cautious and calls their models thickness planers:; Three knife cutter-head provides 96 cuts per inch, one of the finest finishes of any portable planer
None of this matters once you get a nick on a blade though.
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On Sun, 15 Jan 2006 12:51:40 GMT, Ba r r y

You should look closely at more commercial work!
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In that case that screams "crap furniture". ;~)
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Andy Dingley wrote:

I see it on commercial trim and business furniture, like hair salon "cash wraps" and bank counters all the time. It looks terrible.
The salon "or Spa, as they call themselves" where my wife gets her hair cut has a dark cherry counter for the receptionist and cashier. Take a closer look and it looks corrugated. <G>
Barry
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Some of the wisest words ever spoken... in here at least. <G> A planer, IMHO, has nothing to do with the 'finish' of a job. All it HAS to do, is to take a piece down to the dimension I want, without it damaging the material. Preferably, it will do so quickly and predictably.
So many people seem to want more than that. 100/120 in a decent 6" ROS and off you go.
(Got to love that SpeedBloc too!)
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