had the Dewalt (12-1/2") for about a year now and I
love it. I haven't used any other bench top planers
but I couldn't ask for anything more. The one thing
that I have found though is that I absolutely have to
use a DC with it. Without the dust collection, any amount
of planing results in an ankle high pile of wood chips
all over the place. Other than that, have fun with the
price sounds is the main consideration, check out some
of the reconditioned tools. Check with Harbor Freight.com
and see what they have available. You can save 30% or
more depending on brand. Also, check with Makita repair
centers. Last time I check you could get the old model
for $300. Its by far the best planer I've ever used.
Knife changing takes all of 10 minutes on a slow day.
It also uses the double sided disposable knives for
about $30 a set.
are the basics:
A planer will clean up rough faces and create
a uniform thickness. A jointer will actually square
and flatten stock.
The tools are used in conjunction with the table saw.
1. First, face joint your stock with the concave face
down, making sure the fence is perfectly square to the
table. (This step can be omitted if your stock is perfectly
flat; check with a straightedge) Then, place the jointed
face against the fence and joint one edge (concave down).
2. Now move to your table saw. Place the jointed edge
against the fence and rip the other edge. Now you have
a flat face and two flat, parallel edges.
3. Finally, move to the planer and run the stock through
with the rough face up. Use as many passes as required
to get the right thickness. Do not necessarily trust
the thickness scale (mine is about 1/32" off).
4. You can plane the last face with a jointer, but it
is tricky. You have to check and make sure the thickness
is consistent all the way down the length of the board.
you run boards that have painted or varnished through
the planer without damaging the blade? You can,
but finished surfaces will gum and dull the blades.
Beware of old painted wood due to risks of lead content.
Stuff newer than the 70's is ok.
you don't have a whole lot of room for larger tools,
the hand held power planer should work real well for
you. It takes a lot of practice on scraps to get the
technique down to avoid snipe. I use mine on pieces
that are just to large and/or heavy for the stationary
jointer such as doors and tabletops.
for planers, I would like to suggest as others will
is the Ridgid 13" Planer. Several people have them.
just bought the RIDGID 13" planer, and it's terrific!
As stated above, wood isn't always uniform, and hardwood
is expensive ! I occasionally can run across a packing
crate or palate in very nice shape, but planing these
is a must ! (Well, you COULD sand it for a few hours)
I have preset thickness settings for uniformity, and
the finish is absolutely beautiful.
- Ed Hugus
a huge difference having a proper planing machine. I
got the 6" Taiwanese one and it is fine for my level
of work - home hobbyist. But if you can afford a bigger
one (8" plus) I would get it. You'll always find an
item to plane that is just a bit wider than your 6"
jointer table! Better still get one with a thicknesser
[used to create a desired thickness
in the timber] as well!
- Andrew Armstrong
for getting a planer, I would go for a jointer first,
so you can glue up boards edgewise. I personally don't
have a planer and really have yet to need one, since
it's easy to buy wood that's already planed.
- Larry Cook
reason for a planner is not just to plane wood. Yes,
you can buy wood that is surfaced, but if you check
out that wood you will find that 90% of the time they
are not the same thickness. Most of the techniques you
use when making joints depend on finding the center
of the wood...mortise, dowels, biscuits, whatever. When
all your stock is the same thickness the rest of the
job goes very quick.