I need to replace the 1x4 trim on my front door with trim that finishes
about 1.25" for hanging a storm door (basically, plain brick moulding that
finishes 1.25x3.5). Next summer, we will add siding to the house and I will
need to replace all of the 1x4 trim (11 windows, another door, and the
garage door) with the same material. So, I am looking for a basic planer
that will let me square off the rounded corners of kiln dried 2x4s to 1.25"
I shopped the box stores and online, and I am leaning towards the Delta
TP305 from the box store. I don't really need a integrated stand as the
garage is full and I can use the universal table that is under the chop saw.
Is the Delta a decent choice? Are there any other planers in the $200 to
$300 range I should look at? Everything under $200 on display had parts
falling off or broken and I don't need two speeds and some of the other
things the more expensive tools seem to offer.
Thanks in advance,
Wood magazine recently did a review of planers. They said the Delta
305 left a smooth surface, but very deep snipe at the end of the cut
and was missing a lot of extra features and accessories. So if you're
willing to cut the ends off all your boards, it'd probably be OK. They
gave "best value" to the Ridgid at $380, and "Top Tool" to the Dewalt
DW735 at $500. So if you're willing to spend the $380 for the Ridgid,
they say you'd get a better cut quality, less snipe, easier setup/use,
5 thickness stops, longer tables, a longer cord, extra knives, a stand,
a dust collection hood, and a longer warranty.
No affiliation with Ridgid or Wood magazine, just a woodworker who's
been satisfied whenever he's spent a little extra for the
Just noticed I missed one - the Ryobi at $200 was also given a "top
value" award, with good performance except for snipe (no extension
If it were me, I'd still go for the Ridgid or maybe the Dewalt 734
($319 shipped from Amazon after their $50 "special offer" discount).
No affiliation with any of them either.
Thanks for the advice. I'm afraid too many parts of the Ryobi look like the
same quality as the Ryobi table saw I threw away last weekend (dead motor,
stripped plastic teeth). I'll look into the Dewalt from Amazon.
There is serious flaw in you plan. Construction grade lumber makes some
pretty nasty trim. Even KD studs are sopping wet by millwork standards.
This means that they will want to warp as they continue to dry. They also
have lots of knots. Knots not only encourage warping but they require
special attention to seal to that they do not bleed through the finish. Even
if you control the bleeding, knots tend to chip out and will telegraph to
the finished surface .
Budget for better material and consider outsourcing the millwork. Using
2x4's to control costs will, in all likelihood yield an amateurish looking
Don't get me wrong; I use 2-by lumber for lots of applications, but it works
much better if:
1. it's been laying around for 6 months, so it's dry and therefore stable.
2. I can joint it to make it flat again...did you say a jointer was in your
3. I need shortish (< 4' e.g., not trim)) pieces, so there are not
unreasonable stock losses in the jointing process
4. Not a showy application where knots are unsightly
Don't do it.
Not to mention a 2x4 is actually 1.5x3.5.
I have the Ridgid planer and I'm quite happy with it. Granted I haven't run
anything but pine through it but it's done everything I've asked of it.
Leaves a nice smooth surface with a bit of snipe at the end but
I have a couple of co-workers that have the two Dewalt Planers. The one who
has the 734 swears that it leaves no snipe.
Okay, one of the local yards has a separate stock for trim and facia - we
used it for our 2x10 fascia in 2004 and it looks fine after 2 winters at
7,600 feet in the Sierra. I could use their 2x fascia stock as a starting
point with some careful selection - they are pretty good about cutting the
best (i.e.) 8' out of a 16' piece.
Not using 2x4s to control costs - considering them because they are the
right width and thicker than I need.
We started off trying to outsource the millwork. Even with the real estate
slowdown, nobody in northern Nevada / Lake Tahoe will return a call let
alone consider such a small job.
I know this. In the original post I noted that I need to replace 3.5 inch
wide 1x4s with something over an inch thick finished.
To answer your question directly... the first generation lunchbox planers
did not have a locking cutter head. This was a recipe for snipe. I believe
that there are some of these still on the market at the low end of the price
spectrum ($200)... avoid them. Whatever you get, make sure that it has a
locking cutter head.
Personally,I have a Dewalt 733 (the predecessor to the 734) and I have been
really happy with it. I like it because, with decent technique you get 0
snipe and the bade change tools/system/procedure is exceptional (quick and
adjustment is foolproof).
There are other good lunchbox planer on the market but this is the one that
I can personally vouch for.
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