Woodmaster 25" planer vs. Powermatic 24"


Woodmaster sent me a flyer saying I could pick up a 25" Model 725 planer from Wisconsin (about 4 hours away) for $2400. This model can be used as a drum sander and as a moulder, but I primarily want to use it as a planer. Every once in a while, a used Powermatic 24" planer comes up for sale in my area for under $2000. I was wondering if anyone had experience with both types of machines and could comment on their capabilities. The Powermatic weighs around 4000 pounds while the Woodmaster weights only 800 pounds. I have a hard time believing they can both do the same work. Do I have to take super thin passes with the Woodmaster? Do I have to plane one board and then let the machine rest? Any comments?
This is what I mean when I say a used Powermatic 24":
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categoryg229&itemu12967546&rd=1
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The used Powermatic has a 3 phase motor. Do you have 3 phase power?
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Yes I have 3 phase power. I also have access to a forklift so I'm not worried about the weight either.

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Al,
Based on your descriptions, the PM 24" seems to be a better fit for your needs. It is significantly better machine than the Woodmaster.
You are so lucky with your 3 phases and forklift. I could never convince Swmbo that I need those. I can still dream =)
Cheers, Ollie

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"Ollie" <Olivili at Hot Mail dot com> wrote in message

Heh! Even if you had 3 phase and a forklift, do you have the shop space to put them to use? I'm thinking of a single car garage/workshop that will hold the forklift and nothing else. :)
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"Ollie" <Olivili at Hot Mail dot com> writes:

It isn't the SWMBO you need to convince to get three phase power. Power companies generally won't run three phase power to a residence.
If I ever build a seperate shop, I might try to convince the power company to give me three phase power. I am pretty sure the lines at the street are three phase.
Brian Elfert
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wrote:

Unless you live in an industrial park, that's highly unlikely.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:

There is a huge public works facility a block or two down the road. I can't imagine a facility of that size not having three phase power.
I can't imagine I'll ever see three phase power in my lifetime. Power companies simply don't want to supply it to residential properties.
Brian Elfert
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Brian Elfert wrote:

Not really...it's driven the other way 'round--few residential customers have the need and would be willing to pay the cost.
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I asked once. They wouldn't even give me the cost. I don't thing they even looked up any info on my location and the feasability before they said no.
Brian Elfert
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Brian Elfert wrote:

I suspect that's a function of them knowing the cost of the transformers and other requirements and knowing a priori a single user wouldn't find it cost-effective.
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writes:

I asked, and the electric Co said "sure, how much you need?" so I told them 600 amps of 480V:-) It wasn't too bad to have it hooked up I think about $800 for the wire to my CT box. Then a $42 charge for the transformers per month (with that I get the first 400kw of juice "included"), and $23 per month for the "service" charge. With taxes it's about $72 per month for minimum charge...
William...
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Actually, it is *widely* variable by locale.
I've forgotten whether it's Philly, or Pittsburgh, but the local electric utility makes a point of it on their web-site, that some residential areas are served by single phase, and you get 240/120 "single phase", and that other areas are served by three-phase, and you get 208/120 ("two-of-three" phase), _and_ that you do *not* have any choice in the matter, as to the kind of service that you will get..
I _know_ that the town I grew up in had almost exclusively 3-phase local distribution in residential areas by the mid 1960s. Twas _really_ easy to identify -- two feed wires on one side of the cross-arm, and one on the other. With the 'safety ground' running directly above the top of the pole. Typical config was three pole 'cans' on each pole, Delta arrangement, feeding 2 houses on one side of the street, and one on the other. lots were 'staggered' with a 1/2 offset to the opposite side of the street.
In fact, the house I grew up in got the street distribution wiring upgraded. and went from single-phase to three-phase in the process.
The territory was a post-WWII development (not tract developer -- almost all construction was individual builders).
In the early- to mid-60's, *lots* of people were putting in air-conditioning. multiple big window units, for those who couldn't afford 'central'. _and_ forgetting to tell the electric company.
*LOTS* of pole transformers 'let the magic smoke out', on hot summer nights.`
Once, in a _single_evening_, *eight* of them went _in_our_block_ in the space of about 2 hours. Lots of folks were standing out in the front yards, watching the "free fireworks". Especially those who had lost their own power. <grin> (We had completed a major remodel/upgrade of our house a couple of years previously, *including* having the utility service upgraded appropriately, so _we_ didn't have any problems. :)
The utility eventually resorted to actual door-to-door *in*person* survey to establish who all was drawing all the juice; ran new three-phase feeders, put in bigger transformers, and cut everybody over, house by house. It was all carefully scheduled and choreographed. *somebody* had to be around, to provide the utility access to the residence, when the cut-over was done -- they had to replace the meter head as well as make the pole-based changes. 208V required a different shunt in the meter, vs the 240V one, to get the 'correct' billing figures.
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Now the question is: where is the three phase in relation to the location of the machine in your shop? I have three phase in a panel three feet away from the machine, but it has taken almost three months to get the machine hardwired into the system, and the work hasn't even been done yet (we got the bid yesterday). It's a school shop, so getting approval is a major PITA.
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