A few questions, as I'm trying to develop a new machine, and maybe a
little informal market research. (NOTE - I am NOT trying to sell anything.
I'm trying to develop this little machine in my own basement, and am a
LONG way off. I'm just trying to get a sense of what "serious amateurs" to
"smaller professionals" think of the idea.)
A) How much are y'all frustrated by the current situation -- that is, that
you need a jointer to flatten one face, and a planer to make the other
face flat-and-parallel to the first?
(And - you need two machines that do *just* about the same thing, but take
up 2x as much space, and one's heavy as heck, and both need their knives
sharpened and then adjusted.... Oh, and a jointer's usually 6" whereas a
planer's 12.5" or 13" -- unless you take the safety guard off the jointer
and do 2 passes....
(And, the planer snipes, and both of 'em scallop your wood...?)
B) What do you think about a single machine that'd look a lot like a
Performax-type drum sander, only about 1/2 to 3/4 size, that'd perfectly
flatten even a cupped/warped board on one side, then flip it and it'd
plane the other side perfectly parallel? No snipe, no scalloping. (And,
unlike a drum sander, a smoothly PLANED, not sanded (fuzzed,
C) And, suppose it cost somewhere in the $250-450 range, and would do
boards up to about 13"?
Is that something people'd be interested in? Please help this amateur
Probably...sounds like you would like what you've outlined, right. Burn
the midnite oil and get it to market. Then I'll pop in to my local tool
store to kick the tires. oh, and I'll want to read a review of it in a
major mag or two before I seriously consider it's purchase.
Go for it!
hey, it's not April Fool's yet, is it??
No, it's not a joke. I have some of it working rather nicely,
based on several different power tools you're probably quite comfy with
already. It's the novel combination of those -- plus a key, older idea
that was patented (now expired) -- that's the key.
I know all about "yeah, we'll need to see it, and some reviews, before
we'd believe it".
My point is "SUPPOSE it worked as advertised -- is that something there's
demand for? Would people much rather have a one-machine solution? Do
people really understand that, now, you DO need two machines? Is there
actually "pain" in the marketplace?"
Pretend with me, for the moment, that what I'm saying about the machine is
true, and could be proven -- NOW -- how do you feel about the idea?
On Sun, 20 Nov 2005 19:52:32 -0800, David wrote:
Understood -- and looking at existing approaches to jointers and planers,
your skepticism is pretty reasonable.
However - the approach I'm taking is very different. Probably about 3/4 of
the parts (motor, castings, power-transmission & speed control, etc.) are
directly comparable to a very common shop tool that I can buy right now
for $90 - RETAIL. I avoid a lot of the expense since I don't need the
heavy castings of a jointer, or the complicated infeed/roller system of a
And - for some validation of the technical idea, a MAJOR tool
group patented a hand power tool with a very similar approach (I won't say
which, but it's either Bosch, DeWalt, Hitachi, or Makita), but never made
it. (And, no, their patent doesn't actually interfere, for subtle reasons.)
Isn't it the X5 or one of the other "All-In-One" wonders that has the 12"
joiner/planer combo? But to answer your question, Yes, I do believe a lot
of people would be interested. You should contact someone like Jessem in
Canada that has come out with some recent entries in the woodworking market
in the past couple of years and talk to them about what it takes to get an
idea through to fruition.
You may be better off selling the idea to some company that has the means to
develop it and market the product. There are a lot of good inventions
sitting in peoples shops simply because they don't know what to do next.
Build a prototype to insure the idea works, document it and get a patent for
it. It took my brother 3 years to get his patent finally approved but that
involved chemicals. His lawyer and the patent searches were not cheap but in
the end, he paid the bills and made a few bucks but nothing to brag about.
He said he could have made more money selling it to the company that first
offered to buy it from him....
Point being... If you can't patent your idea, you have little protection
from it being copied and brought to market even before you have a single
model to sell. How will you manufacturer it and market it?
When it's all said and done, you might be able to manufacturer these
yourself and capture a niche market of "Built to Order" but I wouldn't quit
my day job just yet. Sorry to be so doom and gloom but I've been a part of
that process in the past. Not easy, not fun and it takes money and hard
work. Should you make it though, I'd sure like to see one...
On Sun, 20 Nov 2005 22:45:24 -0500, John Wilson wrote:
I've seen that Inca machine, and there's been a Hitachi "over-under" combo
on the market way back when.
I note a couple of things, though. Most of
the references I see (including the review you pointed out) are from about
8 years ago. The Inca is pretty tough to buy, at
least in the U.S. I did some pretty extensive Googling and finally found
one for about $2,300.
That's getting more into the pro-shop category, and
a for that money you CAN get a pretty decent jointer and planer. I'm
looking at something you might see on the shelf near stuff like DeWalt and
Makita, maybe at a Woodcraft, or in the catalog Amazon sends us all.
Doh!!! That's pretty funny! So much for researching the existing
market. Really, this idea could be a really good one but I don't
think Rikon executed it very well. Maybe the OP could do a better
job. The problems I see with the Rikon is that the tables are way
too short compared to most other jointers, especially the larger
capacity jointers. And, the tables are made out of aluminum instead
of cast iron. And, only a two knife cutterhead. But maybe it works
just great. Rikon supposedly makes pretty good bandsaws but I've
never heard about anything else they sell.
The idea of passing a board acrossed the top of the
cutter head of a planer to face join one face before
planing the other face parallel has been around for
a while and the combination is available on several
currently available machines - and at a size and
with jointer tables long enough to handle furniture
sized stock. Felder/Hammer, Robland, Rojek, Mini
Max and others all have such units, all with 3+ HP
TEFC motors. The combination will let you flatten
one face, regardless of whether it's bowed, cupped
Your description of your idea begs several questions
1. can it do the job on a TWISTED piece of stock?
2. what's the max depth of cut per pass?
3. what feed rate at maximum depth of cut?
4. will it work on green or resinous wood
without gumming up?
5. what is the functional life expectancy of the medium
used to remove the wood?
6. what is the cost of replacement of whatever
it is that removes the wood?
7. How thin can the stock be goiing into the unit?
8. will it produce a straight, flat edge that is
square to one flat face?
9. can the planer set up be kept when going
back to joining one face?
10. joining and planing generate a great deal
of "waste" - can they effectively be removed
with a dust collector?
11. how complicated/complex is the set up?
Plus the one I've had w/ the automated "planer as jointer" machines--how
do you control and drive a non-flat piece of material past the cutter
head w/o distorting it to get the initial flat reference surface?
That's the reason for the jointer initially and why working a piece
through the planer first (unless it's so thick as to be essentially
rigid) doesn't work.
These combination machines have a jointer to straighten and flatten the
stock. Then after flattening the stock you run it through the planer. Have
you seen the Rikon? The Rikon has short beds but has a 10" jointer capacity
and then you run the flat on one side wood below the bed area to plane to
That's what I was talking about--although perhaps I didn't write it as
clearly as I could have :)
To drive the material across the planer/jointer as OP suggests seems to
me to be describing an automagic drive that would have sufficient
support to prevent kickback and drive a wide work piece against a
rotating cutterhead w/o compressing the workpiece. Seems a mean trick
if he can arrange it.
It takes a significant amount of force to do that. I suppose one could
rearrange it to use something like a router in a plane and not move the
workpiece or make the cuts w/ such a cutter that works a lot less
material at a time, but that doesn't sound like what OP has in mind...
On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 10:28:57 -0600, Duane Bozarth wrote:
VERY well put.
Everyone so far is stuck in thinking about their existing jointer/planer
designs, which (a) scallop and (b) kickback, which means (c) they need a
particular type of power-feed.
If you don't have kickback, you don't need powerfeed. (And - hey -
jointers kickback, but DON'T HAVE A POWER-FEED -- right?
Note - this is a TOTAL red herring -- it's not the approach I take --but
it's worth thinking about!)
Assume, for the sake of argument, that kickback ain't a problem. And,
thus, the powerfeed, and compression of the workpiece, ain't a problem.
Pretend there's, say, Luke Skywalker's lightsaber suspended in there, and
all you have to do is run the board through on a flat table, slice the top
off perfectly level, flip it over, lower the lightsaber to
spec'd thickness, and run the board through again. BINGO! (Except for the
Does that idea make everybody's conceptual problems go away?
Now, let's assume, as the old joke about economists goes, that I actually
HAVE a lightsaber....
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