Planer/moulders are customized versions to handle the moulding
head/knives. I don't think it's feasible/possible to grind knives for an
ordinary planer for moulding. Someone else may have some "trick" I'm
Actually, the Williams & Hussey is the best, followed closely by its
Shopfox clone, but you have to be willing to put up with a 7" planing
width. Blade changes for knives take about 2 minutes with 2 more added
to set up the guides.
I have the Jet planer / molder and just for the first time this week made
some moldings. Jet makes a multitude of matched set knives for the molder
but I needed a custom knife. I originally started thinking I was going to
need a matched set of three but when I talked to Ballew in Springfield MO,
they had a great deal of experience with the Jet and convinced me that a
single knife would suffice. I was making a 4.5" wide piece of molding so I
had to remove the planning knives (for widths 2" and under the Jet provides
you the opportunity to install the molding knives w/o removing the planing
knives. Anyway, Ballew set me up with the custom knife and a gib for it as
well as gibs and weights for the other two spots in the cutter head. Price
was < $100. I was using 5/4 Cherry and it came out very nicely. It took me
about 1 hour to set everything up but I needed to make the bed board and the
guide rails. If I didn't have to do that, it would have been about 15
minutes. I'm not sure how long it will take me to put the planer knives
Ballew was against trying to make 3 knives because they didn't have the
ability to create a custom set of knives that were perfectly matched and
balanced. They also said that most folks with the Jet, only order a single
knife unless they're running over 600 feet of molding. But if you're doing
that, then the Jet probably isn't the machine you want anyway.
When I ordered the Jet, I had a Delta 13" planer. I originally thought I'd
sell it but I have both now. Since I work mutiple projects at once, I'm
glad I kept the Delta. I'm still not finished with the molding as I ran out
of Cherry but instead of running to buy more (don't feel like making the
trip in this St. Louis heat), I just changed projects and am using the Delta
to do the planing instead of removing the molding knife from the Jet.
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