My question is this: I have just ordered the Delta 2-speed "portable" planer from Amazon and I was wondering how hard it would be to use it as a jointer as well. Obviously, I can't do any boards over 6 inches wide and they can't be too crooked. But can anyone recommend a homemade jig that I could run boards through with to keep them on end. Or should I just clamp a few together and run them through at the same time. This is all just hypothetical, I am still waiting for the thing to arrive.
Also, if anyone has experience with this planer can you give me a rough guestimate on the lifespan of the blades. I work mostly with softer woods like pine and fir (all I can afford after spending $420 on a new planer).
I have been running boards through on edge for a long time.... I know it seems like a 3/4" board on edge would tip over... but it don't. I have a jointer now, so I don't do this anymore, but it's not a problem... (DISCLAIMER! It's never been a problem for ME eh...)
I've even tried to deliberatly tip a board over as it went through (after reading on a forum where someone said it was dangerous) and I couldn't knock the board over...those rollers hold it real well...
As to the life of a knife (hey! That rhymes!) depending on how much wood and what species etc. and if you don't plane pallets with nails, asphalt chunks, etc you will probably get more than a couple years out of them.... just a WAG eh... (Wild Assed Guess)....
If you're looking at edge jointing why not use a Stanley #7 hand plane? It's not that difficult to do or time consuming to learn. If you need help keeping the jointer plane perpendicular to the board face then use a Stanley 386 jointer gage or similar units from St. James Bay or Veritas. You will quickly be able to edge joint any width board quickly, easily, quietly, and with a quality superior to a powered jointer.
As to the Stanley #7 . . . they can be had for a reasonable price (under $100 for a clean 'sweetheart' model and under $50 for a a later user quality model) on ebay and you'll get every penny back should you foolishly decide to sell it when you do go for a power jointer.
Educate yourself on the types though, see this pdf for more info . . . the best 'users' as the chart says are the type 10-15 era . . . you wouldn't want an EARLY model without the lateral blade adjustment . . . most of those early ones in a #7 would be overpriced due to collectors interest anyway . . . FWIW, I have a type 19 #5 that I LOVE . . . YMMV
Yeah, I paid around $25 for a #7C some time back. A little work to clean it up and tune it and it works great. Not real pretty, but the work it does is. Picked up several other handplanes including some transitionals and those are the only ones I like better than the #7. Wood against wood just feels better.
" Wood against wood just feels better."
Have you ever tried a Japanese plane? They leave a sheen like you ain't never seen. (that rhymes)
You don't need to spend a mint on one, you can get one for about $30.