I read the other post on planers some good info.Are the bench top
units ok for a home shop if you bolt them down.Does a larger unit
have enough advantage to justify the cost.
I would also apreciate input on set up and saftey for resawing
Mark has a bench top and uses it a lot, I have a stationary unit and like what I have as well. I looked at the bench top units and didn't buy one. But then I didn't have anyone to ask if it was good enough. I think I would agree with Mark, if you are a weekend wood worker then it should do the job.
If you are going to try to run a unit every day and for years then it won't last, but then you could buy a few of these unit before you would pay what a new full size unit would cost.
I have a DeWalt portable (bolted down)that does an outstanding job. It will not take a large amount of wood on a single pass, particularly if the board is >8" wide, but the surface is outstanding. Snipe has not been a problem unless I try and take >1/16" off in one pass. It developed an alignment problem between the cutter head and the table last week and is headed for the repair shop tomorrow. I have had the planner for a year and hopefully it isn't a serious problem.
A planer is not a "bulk material removal" tool. It's a "surface finishing" tool.
If you're having to take off a *LOT* of material, you don't want to plane it all off. This will take forever, generate a *ton* of sawdust and beat the hell out of your planer. You should RESAW the piece to the approximate thickness first and then plane the last 1/16" or so. This will greatly speed your shop operations.
You can resaw on a bandsaw if you have one or on the TS if you don't. Most TS's will give you 3" of blade without problem and this allows you to resaw up to 6" stock without difficulty (in several passes). If the stock is wider than this you can cut as much as you can on the TS and then finish with a handsaw. In either case you'll be much further ahead than if you try and plane all of it off on the planer.
Got the Ridgid 13". Is nice, solid unit. The head lock greatly reduces snipe and the depth of cut indicator is a very nice feature. The scales are accurate and easier to read than the Delta/Dewalt. It also has a top mounted scale for initial depth setting. The side mounted crank has spokes embossed into it with reminders of the depth, ¼ = 1/64". The depth presets are accurate and allow you to concentrate on feeding without having to worry about accidentially going too thin.
It comes with tools for blade changes and spare set of knives (in keeper under outfeed tray) The knives are double sided you you effectively get 4 sets of blades. I've run all sorts of hardwoods thru it, things like Jatoba and mahogany without problems. It chews thru oak like buttah!
Over all I give it high rank. Just be sure to get the dust collector attachment, wear hearing protection, bolt it down and keep the feed trays and base well waxed.