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The key to what you are looking for is "well cared for older iron"

Get the biggest you have room for and can afford. I've got an old 13" Delta 22-401 and it does a great job.

You can definitely have problems finding replacement parts, etc. for older machines but they used to build 'em better.

I was at an auction where a Parks 24" planer in good shape sold for $150 - I didn't have the room for it or I'd have bid.

The heavier the machine, the better imo. Less vibration, less chatter, bigger motor, segmented feed rollers, adjustable bed rollers, etc. etc.

Of course with all those moving parts there is more maintenance and adjustments to deal with.

If you get an oldie, check out http://www.owwm.com for info on it and copies of manuals, etc. There's also a forum over there with a wealth of info. Be careful though - you can get sucked in to reading for hours just like you do here on CT
 

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I like Green things
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wish I could find some autions that had that stuff around here.

I have plenty of room for what ever.

I dont want to mess with a 3 phase though. I could do 240/480.

I hate to say it but when you dont buy the biggest/best the first time, you seem to have to buy again.

24" might be overkill but, why not have the extra capacity availible.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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I don't have a specific favorite as I have not done all the homework yet. But...

I will be looking for a helical head when I go for a larger planer. You can get 4 blade changes out of one cutter. Something like this.

Product Auto part Metal



The powermatic looks like a good tool.

.http://www.newwoodworker.com/reviews/pm15hhrvu.html

Seeings how you are a tool addict beyond hope, I pass this info on with no guilt as to the financial hardship it may cause you.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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Aww Gus, me a problem with tools?

I have seen the helical heads and have been really looking at the powermatics.
I just dont think a brand new one is for me right now.
Well you don't have to buy new.

Evidently you can outfit all kinds of machines with one of these cutters.http://www.byrdtool.com/

I'd love to see you do so you can post all the do's and don'ts

Come on boy jump in and swim
 

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It's a bit smaller than the others mentioned... but I've been using a DeWalt 13" 3-blade planer for my stuff and have been fairly happy w/ it. I bought it new for $500. Extra blade packs are $60 +/- but blades are double edged so you get two complete sets for that price. Obviously, the helical cutters are much better (more pricy though).

I built a 4' long outfeed table to support the wood. I still get snipe on both ends...I just plane before cutting to final length.

Mac
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gus are you trying to spend my money and use me as guinea pig to see if it works out?
If thats the deal, then I'm in!!:shifty:


Mac- I have been told by a lot of people that the DeWalt is about the best portable out.:thumbsup:

So Gus, how wide of a planer do you want?:whistling
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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The way I see it, I could do well with about 15". Nice to go to 20". Luxury to go to 24"

Very rare that I need a lot out of a planer but wider and more power is never regretted.

I have 36" worth of a sander that compliments a planer very well. But rarely do I need all 36" at once. It just gives you more time between paper changes. I suspect a wider planer would be the same.

That is just me and the work we do though.

If you were to buy all your of stock in the rough, I would be hunting big and powerful.
 

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Helical cutterheads are awsome if you plain alot of wood, or work with abrasive lumber like jatoba and teak. When I worked for a big shop, our first experience with the Helical was on the jointing head on our 6 head wienig molder. This is the first bottom head on the machine, so putting rough lumber through the machine, this head used to get killed. The helical carbide insert head was well word the money here.

As the neixt upgrade, when running S4S stock, we used terminus insert heads, they were aluminum, much lighter than the stock heads, and used disposable insert blades that were self indexing.

We finally got a deal to go all Helical and those heads are probably still on that machine today.


As far as a good planer, I would look for an old school powermatic, something like the model 180. These are excellent US made machines with quality Baldor motors. The typically have a sectional infeed roller which allows you to feed multiple thickness stock through with minimal chances of a kick back. Most of them also have a sharpeing frame build in which allows you to sharpen the blades in place and not have to re-calibrate the blades in the head each time you sharpen.

http://www.redmond-machinery.com/powermatic_180.htm


I don't know if you have 3ph power available to you, but there are also alot of Minimax and SCMI units out there that are very solid.


As a low cost option, the Grizzly 20" is based on a taiwanese design that has been around for 25 years and words quite well. Dollar for dollar, its a good machine.
 

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if you can get a well cared for 20" and have the space for it that would be the ticket.

I personally have the powermattic 15s which is more then enough 95% of the time although it would be nice to have a 20"
 

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I also have the Dewalt 13" and am fairly happy with it. Works great for soft woods, Azek and other incidentals, but has a hard time with wider hard woods. The blades can be touched up at least twice if your sharpener doesn't get carried away. I never built an outfeed table for mine, just catch it coming out. This relieves some of my sniping problems as I can either let the end drop or raise it up coming out.

It is very portable and I take it to the job site quite often.
 

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You are going to have a hard time finding a very big machine that isn't 3 phase.

I'd love to have a big wide planer, but I don't right now. There is a shop not too far from me that's got a wide abrasive planer. I've taken stuff too wide for my machine over there and they get it done quick and it comes out really nice. Rates are good too.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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Space is not a problem, 3 phase is the only problem. I can do 240/480.

I like the old powermatics.

Gus, that one looks like the boat anchor from the Mayflower!!
I show you new, you turn tail on the price. I show you used, you turn up your corprate nose to the lack of trendy beauty.

Friggin kids:laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I show you new, you turn tail on the price. I show you used, you turn up your corprate nose to the lack of trendy beauty.

Friggin kids:laughing:
Actually, 2500 is not bad at all. I worry about only getting a 15" though.

If you want to know the truth, that old one is cool, I would be afraid to break it though!!

I have seen a bunch of 240 1 phase.
 

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Space is not a problem, 3 phase is the only problem. I can do 240/480.

I like the old powermatics.

Gus, that one looks like the boat anchor from the Mayflower!!

Alright then, if you happen to find some good old iron beast in 3 phase you can always grab a good quality rotary phase converter.
 
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