Upgrading to stationary planer

I'm looking at Several Planers in the 15" 3HP class from Jet, Grizzly and General Int. What I'm finding in my research for added capacity is that more of the higher end units I'm starting to look at have a stationary overhead cutter and the table raises and lowers the stock (unlike my current dw733 which moves the cutter head). I have no "hands on" experience with this style planer. Any informed information about the difference what to look out for etc would be welcome. The only tool reviews I have found are pretty superficial other than folks generally are disappointed with documentation provided by General International.
Thanks, EJ
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Eric Johnson notes:

There may be some very tiny stability preferences for a moving table instead of a moving cutterhead, but if you feel a need for an outfeed table, you sure as hell want the moving cutterhead. With 4 massive corner posts and the motor mounted on the cutterhead (to save Rube Goldberging the drive), there should be few if any problems, if the unit is well made.
Charlie Self "Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." Dorothy Parker
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Charlie Self wrote:

Yeah, I've been going back and forth on this myself. I like the idea of the stationary table (for streamlining the infeed/outfeed process), but the "return rollers" on top of the stationary cutterhead models seem like they could be a real back-saver when huffing heavy boards back to the infeed side. Any thoughts on this trade-off from those in the know would be much appreciated.
FWIW, I've pretty much decided on the moving cutterhead design, but which brand to buy is yet another problem for me. As far as I can see, there is no difference in the core design of the following machines:
http://www.wilkemachinery.com/Yorkcraft.tpl http://www.deltamachinery.com/index.asp?e 6&pF53 http://www.deltamachinery.com/index.asp?e 6&p9 http://www.general.ca/product/inter/30115an.html http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G0551
I think there are others...
They all look like the same basic "made in Taiwan" machine to me. Perhaps there are big differences in the quality of the motors? Who knows? I'd sure like to see some good reviews on the various families of "near identical" machines like these to see what the differences are. I can't see dropping $1200 on the Delta if the $675 Grizzly is the same dang machine.
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On Wed, 14 Jan 2004 02:49:06 GMT, Steve Turner

I've got those on my portable. Theyd be great, except that they're only the width of the cutter and they aren't raised above the top of the case at the sides. As it is, they're useless, because anything other than a narrow board is getting dragged over the case top anyway.
Some time they're coming off and going back on with some new raised-up brackets.

Most thickness planed timber is something like 3/4" thick. Yes you _can_ move the table up and down a lot, but you rarely do so. The adjustable height being on the table rather than the cutter just isn't a problem in practice.
What you're more likely to notice is that the table is higher up in the air than a typical setup with a portable. You might find this means less bending down, or you might find it means more reaching up while carrying a heavy board. OTOH, it's all a lot easier than a Euro-style combination machine where you really are grovelling on the floor to feed it.
-- Inbreeding - nature's way to ensure you always have enough fingers to count all your cousins.
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Andy Dingley writes:

Finished at 3/4". My luberyard (actually, a sawmill) tends to provide 5/4 rough, which requires 1/2" of table movement, which is enough to really screw up the ends with snip. On top of that, I've got a pile of 12/4, 14/4 and 16/4 cherry that needs planing. Most of the boards are 13-14' long, 5" to 8" wide. This isn't common, but it isn't that unusual either, so I would opt for a stationary table, adjustable head, and build an outfeed table...in the current case, I'm going to cart the boards over to a buddy's shop. My 13" portable just ain't gonna hack it, though it's a pretty good one.

I doubt it will be higher than my current (lousy) set-up for my portable. Swing that little backbreaker (about 105 pounds) up onto the workbench, clamp it in place and go.
Charlie Self "Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." Dorothy Parker
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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You rarely, OK _I_ rarely plane one board at a time, so the rollers are useless. Left of the infeed is the RAS table, right is the TS in my shop. Those boards on the same pass go from lying on the right to left after the pass then reverse. At school it's sawhorses for same. No huffing, no chasing rolling boards.
I own the prototype of the moving cutterhead planers, the RC 33, and the newer ones are more lightly constructed in every aspect. That said, the Grizzly 15" at school has been a solid performer. The only one of five Grizz tools purchased with a grant which has been. Might be a fluke, might be a more proven design.

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I have a moving table planer (Shopsmith from 1982). It is fine until you want to use infeed and/or outfeed tables and then it is just a PITA. Personally, unless the deal is just too great to pass up or unless someone can show that the mechanics are just better, I would want a moving cutterhead planer.
Dave Hall
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Thanks for the input I think I'm going with the Grizzly g0551. It has everything I'm looking for and the price can't be beat. The one thing I have discovered from this is that the Jet cs-15, Powermatic model 15 and the Grizzly g1021z all roll off the same assembly line they are identical except for price and where the power switch is mounted (and that PM gold paint must cost alot to apply). The price makes me somewhat skeptical as the lumber I am working with is more along the lines of what Charlie is working with direct from the sawmill and needing major cleanup. What the heck Branson is nice this time of year, time for a road trip anyway.
EJ
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Eric Johnson wrote:

Call the Springfield warehouse before you make the trip. My Dad's on the way here (Austin TX) from Missouri, and he's stopping at Grizzly on the way to see if they have any G0551's in stock. If so, he's bringing me one (saves me that $125 freight charge!) but he called there last week and they were out of stock, so I'm afraid he's going to get here empty-handed... :-(
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I just recieved that email from customer service. Damn just when I think I have it all figured out.

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