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willliam_q

Titan Planer thicknesser

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I've got a few titan tools and they're good. But I wouldn't buy that - reason being that all the titan tools I've seen have a really cheap base and fence, and the fence on a planer is crucial, if it's not square then it won't give you square joints. I've got the Triton thicknesser which I highly recommend, it's not a planer though so I do my right angles with a no7 plane or a router along a straight edge.

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I hate sounding snobbish or being perceived as such, however I have to say that expectations have to be managed with machinery such as this. £160 is not that much money in the grand scheme, but the jointed edges are unlikely to be as clean and flat as one could manage with a hand plane. In fact, I would hazard that chasing them with a handplane after coming off this machine might be wise. In the context of making instruments, this machine (I used to own a similar one years back) can joint a body, but will struggle producing satisfactory laminates for necks. I'd even be tempted to suggest that a table saw blade with a good 90°C to table angle would produce better results. The fences aren't easy to adjust and may flex in use, as may the beds.

Like I said, I think if you go into the purchase with a clear mind of what to expect then it'll meet them adequately. It won't surpass unless your expectations are low.

Tricks for using these include gang jointing body blank halves as a bookmatch so that any misalignment in the fence with respect to the beds will cancel itself out plus/minus. Light cuts only....pushing heavy cuts involves a lot more controlling force, which increases the likelihood of accidents or at the very least deflecting the beds/fence out of alignment/flat.

Spend time making sure that the machine *can* be set up. This means aligning the beds so that they are still parallel when increasing cut depth (dropping infeed bed height) and that the TDC of the cutters aligns with the outfeed bed. Any lack of parallel here means you'll be inducing concave/convex cuts.

Like I said; being able to chase jointing up with a hand plane is the best way to get the finish off small machines closest to being actually true. Used as part of a jointing process it'll provide a shortcut and works most of the distance....just not as a single operation magic bullet. 👍

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Thanks, I was thinking of it mostly for neck laminates.  I have become accustomed to hand planes and can do seamless joints but to do it on all the individual pieces involved in neck laminations takes quite a bit of time, particularly when also trying to thickness 2-3 pieces of wood.

ill stick to the hand planes, I’m not likely to be making money at guitars or have much other use for it so can’t justify spending more for a better quality planer.

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You can cheat with neck laminates, that's for certain. If you're trying to achieve thin straight laminates, a jointer will be a nightmare. Often you can laminate thinner to thicker stock and joint from there, but the trick is then in getting the taper right down the length. I started out hand planing my laminates years ago, bought a jointer, hated the fact it made things less reliable (and more dangerous in some cases) and stuck to hand planes. The gold standard is a thicknesser rather than a jointer for things like this, but even then you can't really beat creeping up on your dimensions using a plane. Same as the cheat I touched on earlier, glueing a laminate to a known straight thick outer piece and then planing it is far more reliable than small jointers.

I mentioned in a Triton tool review (they're in the same sort of bracket, pricewise I think) that the gap between benchtop tools like these and larger "light trade" freestanding equivalents is pretty large. It makes purchasing the smaller cheaper machines more attractive in comparison to having nothing at all, but doesn't always work out that way. Again, it's useful to weigh out what return a small benchtop machine can guarantee you as a minor investment. Often it's cheaper (with better results) for occasional projects to befriend a local workshop owner and bribe them to do small tasks for you in return for beers, packets of coffee or cash. Even an entire term at a community college shop or evening class can return more value from large machine access than buying a sketchy small machine. Worth considering if occasional projects are the order of the day.

For what it's worth, I'd happily do small jobs at my workplace for people if it worked out that way. I'm a filthy socialist, that's why. 😀

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