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eddiefletcher
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ive been looking for a while now and found this model...

2012nb.jpg

Makita 2012NB here are the specs..

• 1,650W motor. (240 Volt)

• Speed: 8,500rpm.

• Cutting Width: 304mm(12”).

• Feed Rate: 8.5m/min.

• Table Size: 304mm(W) x 771mm(L).

• Weight 27kg.

• Accessible Blades for easy replacement.

Its retailing for $1160.00 AUD. Normally I wouldnt spend that kind of money on a machine however I know this will get its fair use and is something I really do need. However does anyone know more abt these? are there any better more suitable models around with the same specs? any advice would be appreciated. Also how often do you need to change the blades on these babys? Is it an easy bit of kit to maintain and so on and so forth. Cheers :D

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My honest opinion is, a thickness planer is nice if you have an excess of money, but a thickness sander is WAY smarter of a purchase. Thickness planers don't really work all that nice with figured woods, they tend to tear out even with the sharpest of blades.

11" wide renders it fine for a bookmatched top, but most often I want to be able to run a finshed (but over thickness)body through in one piece, so to me, 11" is worthless.

My recommendation (after having owned both) is skip the planer, and buy a thickness sander. I only have the sander now, the planer never got used.

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Thanks for that input Jez, i have also heard that thickness sanders are a lot more reliable and cheaper to maintain. Not sure if this is true but definately something to look into.

Also on your experience do you find that the sander does exactly the same job in the same amount of time or does the planer by definition produce lesser quality work but faster? I'm just curious here...

Also which model do you personally use? Do you know any to reccomend?

Thanks :D

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Well, the planer is faster in some aspects, slower in others.

With the planer, if you're using a nice clear piece of maple, or straight grained wood, it's faster, it can take a far bigger cut in one pass. However, then it still needs sanding. If you try running say a piece of quilted maple through it, you'll probably end up with a significant amount of tear out, then you have HOURS of sanding ahead of you.

For me, the sander is just as fast, I resaw my wood to within 1/8" of the thickness I need, do about 4 passes through the sander and I'm done. If you have to take off a huge amount the sander will be slower, but with some woods it's your only option.

Woods like Ebony, Snakewood, Iron wood, etc, can't be run through a thickness planer, they will shatter into a billion pieces, you have to use a sander for them. Not only that, but they would kill your blades instantly.

That's the other hassle with the planer, when you are running very hard woods, your blades need sharpening much more frequently, this is added expense and time. With the sander, the belts last a long time and take only a minute to replace, my belts are 10 feet long to wrap the drums and there are 2 of them, costs me about $18 for the 2 belts together.

I personally use a General Dual Drum thickness sander, they aren't cheap but they're phenominal.

sander.jpg

I've used the Delta open end 16" thickness sander and as long as you don't try to take to big of a pass they're decent for less money.

As for thickness planers, I had a delta, I think it was only 10" wide or something, pretty useless for bodies, I learned about the problems with figured woods with neck blanks and fingerboards. Bought the sander and haven't looked back since :D

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Oh yeah, and it's Jeremy :D, you can call me Jer, but I'm never sure where you get Jez from LOL

..my bad sorry jeremy :D

Thanks again for that the advice is great. I had heard the same nightmares with the blades and brittle woods breaking however the sales rep was really trying to push me towards getting this model, something I'll not be doing now. So I'm on the hunt for a cheap sander. I'll let you all know what I find!

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i've never used a thickness sander though i'd love to have one. but i will agree with lgm guitars..if you're going to spend the money and you're planning on making solid body guitars buy a 16" model. i've got a 12" delta from before i started building guitars and it's useless unless i'm edge joining different woods to make the body. fortunately i have a customer that has a cabinet shop and we trade my repairs for his surfacing my blanks.

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My shop has a 15" planer, and it's nice for thicknessing, but I prefer drum/belt sanders. I have a friend that has a drum sander, and he works at a place that has a 4 head drum sander. Now that's a machine! Usually with figured woods I ask him to run it through his drum sander for me. I'd definitely recommend a drum or belt sander over a planer

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I wouldn't even consider that particular planer if you're going to build solid body guitars.

The small portables don't do a bad job with some figured wood, because of their speed, but some stuff they just can't handle. And they only do 12" wide.

We've got a 18" Delta in the shop equipped with carbide blades and it's really dialed in nicely, but I use a Performax single drum sander for a large percent of the weird grained woods. The big beast will sometimes just tear stuff to shreds.

If I could only have one machine and I had less than $1000.00 US to spend I'd get a single sided drum sander. Mine will do 32" wide in two passes and I paid about $750.00 for it two years ago.

If you have access to Fine Woodworking magazine check out the articles they have run in the past on building one from scratch. There are also a couple of kits available.

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i've got a delta 12 1/2" planer and love it, mind you I have never used figured woods so... but my planer cut so smooth its amazing. a weel kept and used planer should require almost no sanding after planing

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You might check out grizzly. They have a drum sander 16" wide for 850 bucks. There is also someone on MIMF selling one secondhand that is probably nicer. For the price of that planer you could get grizzly's middle grade drum sander.. I think their variable speed conveyor model is 1175 or so.. 24" wide.

Do some research on grizzly tools.. you'll find some of their high end models are highly praised and some of their low end models are ridiculed as worthless junk. I think their cheap stuff is all mass produced import garbage but their industrial grade stuff tends to be ok.

*edit* my bad.. you were referring to AUD. I have no idea what the exchange rate is.. or if you can get grizzly stuff shipped to AU for a reasonable amount of $$

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I agree on the planer/drum sander issue and that the 12 inch planer is too narrow to do guitars. A 13 inch model would be the minimum for most electrics. You can sometimes lessen the amount of tearing in figured wood by lightly dampening the surface with water. The idea is to swell the grain just a little bit to make it lock together, then run it through. You can still have problems, so I would never try to plane down right to the desired thickness. That is what the sander is for.

So, I'm about half way through building a drum sander. When I get around to it, I'll try to post some pics, maybe a tutorial. As to the time/skill it takes, if you can build a guitar, the sander is not hard. With some scrounged parts (1/2 hp motor mostly) it will be well under $100 USD.

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DannoG,  I'd be very interested to see your work on the thickness sander

Me too. I've wanted to build one for a while, just haven't through through it yet.

For a good laugh, or just to make yourself feel as inadequate as possible.. go to the thread on shop tours and view James Olsen's Shop Tour and the photo spread on his homemade thickness sander.. :D

Hey I just found this tutorial a guy posted. http://www.ukuleles.com/BuildingHowTo/sandthck.html

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My sander has a 17inch wide drum, and is otherwise basically the same idea as the Uke builders. I checked around for quite a while before gathering up what I needed. The MIMF has several threads that deal with thickness sanders and also some plans, mostly in CAD formats. There was also an article in an old Fine Woodworking that showed how to make one. Mine will have a 4 inch diameter to the drum, I've seen plans with really big drums (like 12 inch diameter!).

Until I can get something in other formats, I have the general plan in Mac Freehand. Mledbetter, you should be able to deal with that (graphic designer to graphic designer, if you're an Illustrator dude, I could save it that way). I can also do a a pdf. The file is quite small in digital size, but the layout is full size (over 36 inches tall) and has a side and top view. PM me if you'd like me to pass it along now. Once I get a tutorial or at least some documentation, I'll post a link or two for general sharing.

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