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":
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 =)
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.
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.
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...
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
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
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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