I have a question about the bigger planers. I am considering the purchase
of a new 15" stationary planer. Is there an advantage to the motor being
under rather than on top and or the cutter head moving up and down rather
than the table. I realize that with a moving table that the in feeds will
need always out of whack if used. In particular I am looking at a Jet
JWP-15cs with motor on bottom,with the table that moves up and down, closed
base with wheels, rollers on top for sliding the work rather than carrying
it back for the next pass and the X5 Delta. The Delta 22-780X has the
motor on top the cutter head moves and it has long swing down roller in feed
and out feed extensions. They look twice as long as the Jet in feed and out
feed rollers and no wheels for mobility. So far the Delta looks real nice
when considering the long fold down roller extensions.
I don't recall the model number (380?), Leon, but the 'motor-on-top'
Delta has been my work horse planer for over 20 years. The guy who owns
the shop now, still works it pretty hard. That 3HP isn't going to waste.
I replaced the out-feed roller, a chain, a set of bearings and a hand
wheel. Mine did not have the fancy-pants roller tables... that would
have been nice.
If I ever find myself looking at production again, I'd do it all over
again. (Assuming the quality is still there...and nowadays.. who knows?)
I took a job which included 800 sq-ft of cherry floors, and bought a set
of carbide knives for it.... I cannot imagine a better finish from a
After that thing, I cannot stand the sound and wind-up of those
universal motors you now find in all those lunch-box planers.
That was a tool done right.
I confess that the last time I was around a large planer was in school. I
have been using an original portable, The Ryobi AP -10 since 1988. You
mention sound wind up noise on the portables, is the Delta quieter? IIRC
the school shop monsters were unmistakable noisy.
Mine had an induction motor. There's the noise of the air getting
churned by the blades.. some gears and chains.. but none of that
screamin' demon of the AP-10. I used to have one of those as well. Very
handy on a job site. One of the very early ones. It was a great solution
for a lot of aspiring woodworkers in those days. I think it pretty much
put Ryobi on the map.
Maybe if you took a dB reading on either planer, there may not be a big
difference other than 'balls'. The pitch is different.
I also wanted to add something which I tend to think is important.
Universal motors on a planer is not the best choice, because they will
slow down as you load them up. Induction motors continue at the same
speed (up to a point ..an obvious point) and I think feed-rate is an
important component whenever you're cutting anything.
There are electronic solutions to constant speed in the world of
universal motors, but I don't know if any lunch-box-style planers have
that much sophistication.
Well for sure the planer will be the larger stationary style with the
induction motor. Ever since the portables went to disposable blades I have
had a bad taste in my mouth about them. My old AP-10 is still using the
same original set that I resharpen. I bet the savings of blade replacement
and sharpening alone will pay for the difference in price between the 2
planers. Typically new disposable blades run in the 30 to 50 dollar range.
Also the 30 fpm rate to get the stock close to thickness has to have its
advantages over the 16 and or 20 fpm max portables.
we have a top of the line planer from woodmaster ($4000) and it has an
induction motor, the only thing that will slow it down is a board coming in
too fast but it came with a roller control box so your can control the speed
of your rollers but the motor will still be at a constant speed
Usually the cheaper planers have a brushed (universal) motor mounted
directly onto a moving head. The better ones have a fixed head driven
by an induction motor underneath. Industrial ones are similar, but the
bed stays fixed and the head moves (this needs a more complex belt
An induction motor is quieter and cooler running, giving a longer life.
Unless you're really going to hammer it, and your chip collection is
already remote and quiet, then you might never notice the difference.
Yes but the larger 15" Deltas have the induction motor on top. The salesman
seemed to believe that the motor on top would wear out the adjustment screws
faster than the the one with the motor on bottom. I believe that this may
be true but not while I am alive.
When I'm planing really long material, well, 8 feet or longer actually.
I like to have an out-feed support. I don't want to have to adjust it
all of the time. I like moving cutter heads and stationary feed tables.
Set it all up once and get busy!
.02 from a new guy,
I've been using the ancestor of the top-motor types - RC 33 - for the last
twenty five or so at home, and various at shops at my school and others.
I like the motor up top in a small shop. Fewer clearance surprises that
way. As to the rollers in and out, they're more trouble than they're worth.
People try to use them as handles, which throws them out of line, because
they're flimsy as hell. A moment's inattention will trap a hand between the
end of an outfeeding board and the roller, which is even worse. The
business of rollers up top to "return" a board being planed is plain stupid.
If you have two people, you hand the board. If you have one, you walk.
For one-man operation, go top motor. For two, doesn't matter.
With the particular Delta model that I am looking at, the rollers have steel
between them so that there is not a chance of getting a hand trapped and the
extensions are quite solid. It is more like a flat table with openings just
large enough for the largre rollers to be exposed. Otherwise I totally
agree so much that most any other planer I have seen with in and out feed
rollers do have large gaps that could lead to a serious injury if one is not
Take a look here and click to enlarge the picture.
The business of rollers up top to "return" a board being planed is plain
The more I think about it the more I agree. It seems like it would be more
effort to raise the board up there and push it half way, walk to the other
side and grab it again. It actually sounds like more work in the long run.
I have been walking the wood around for 15+ years with out any problem.
You mean "balance them," don't you? Asking for trouble. I set up left and
right using tablesaw and RAS table, moving from side to side with each pass.
They lay easier with a couple-three feet of support, which is why we rolled
a table up beside the one at school for the purpose.
How often do you run the same board through the planer at the same depth
of cut? It seems like you are saying you take the just-planed board from
the outfeed, walk back to the infeed, and feed it through again. If I
only have one board, I will move it from outfeed to the rollers on top,
leave it there while I adjust the depth, pick it up off the top and run
the next pass. I guess I'm wierd or I'm not understanding your method.
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