Jump to content

Tips For The Beginner

Recommended Posts

I've actually had quite good luck so far with flame maple on both a jointer and thickness planer, as long as you're patient and take off the barest minimum of material on each pass. Making dust really, rather than shavings or chips.

My thickness planer (Rigid) actually gives slightly better results than the Rigid jointer, even though both sport 3-blade cutters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Setch is on the money. I re-saw and surface a lot of sets. If you try to use a planer the only chance you will have is to take very slight passes and move the material through as slow as possible. Its like gamdling though with every pass. If you have a very nice pice that is valuable. I would recommend taking it to someone with a drum sander. If you plan on doing a lot of tops invest in a drum sander. They are very useful, especially if you make a lot of your own parts (binding, purfling, rosettes, drop tops, body blanks, laminates, fretboards, headstock veneers, bracing, kerfing, sound boards, acoustic sets and on and on....). Best of luck!


P.S. Just ask a guy with a thickness sander if they would trade it for a thickness planer. Probably won't get many takers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The majority of the planers that get discussed here are not up to the task of planing highly figured, brittle wood. I currently don't own a thickness planer that is up to the task on a predictable basis so I use a drum sander. I build twenty or so commission pieces of furniture a year and the bulk of them are figured wood. Nasty brittle figured wood. For really fussy customers.

Thickness planers have a doo-dad called a chip breaker. It has springs that hold it tight to the wood and prevent tearout. Most non-industrail planers are a little light there. The stationary Taiwanese units were really bad in this regard when they first hit the country 25 years ago, but they have improved by leaps and bounds. This is why the older Grizzly's, etc are so cheap and do such a bad job. The high speed portable planers with new blades do an adequate job, but look out as soon as you get a little wear on the cutting surfaces. There is no such thing as a wear guage. Instead you just plane till you ruin a board.

Williams and Hussey (look 'em up on the web) makes an open side molder-planer that you can set up to thickness plane up to 14" wide stock in two passes. I had that and an 18" helical head c.1960 Delta in the shop until the guy I split it with died on me last year. (His estate sold everything, one money, to a tool hustler.) They both would sail through any type of wood, glass smooth. The W+H is a really versitle tool only limited by it's width. They run about 2 grand.Also lets you run off trim and stuff for your house or custom builders. (That's how you can pay for the sucker)

For cheap, get a decent portable planer (Dewlat, Delta, Rigid Etc) and a Performax drum sander. Plane it close and then sand it to size. The two together will set you back less than $1500 including stuff like outfeeds, stands, and wheels.

Oh, Rich,

I'll trade two thickness sanders for that old Delta with the 18" helical cutter head. Can we do it tomorrow and where do I need to truck them two?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...