One thing that I have long felt lacking among my group of tools was a thickness planer. Since I tend to look for discarded wood (I.E. free) to use for projects very often the wood is a bit rough. Mostly it will have a previous owner’s finish on it which I am forced to remove. I’d also like to utilize pallet wood, since it’s free in my area, but my list of ‘rustic’ projects is a bit short.
So some time ago, I started saving my pocket change towards buying a thickness planer. I consider it a voluntary tax on myself with a benefit at the end. I also got some additions from other sources. I’ve been shopping around and narrowed it down to two choices. The unit that won offered a dust collection hook up while the other did not.
So Monday I picked up my new toy and unboxed it. I did not have time to try it out beyond certifying that the motor ran. I read the manual multiple times and checked that the blades were not loose.
This morning I had some time so decided to try it out. I ran some drawer fronts through it. (Did I mention I collect dressers and such for the wood?) The planer ran fine. The gears didn’t fly off, the belts didn’t snap, the wood wasn’t thrown across the room. I did get some snipe, about 2 1/2 inches worth, but drawer fronts tend to have holes in them on the ends where the knobs were attached, so I don’t consider this a biggie, plus I have not yet begun to play with adjustments of the tables. And giving some light support to the piece as it enters and exits the planer is supposed to help. The surface I got is very smooth too, not like in the reviews.
I discovered that several of the drawer fronts are some kind of good wood. They are a dark red/brown color with a nice grain. They aren’t even glue ups! What sort of musical instruments might I make from them… Hmm.
Oh, and the planer is a Craftsman 12.5 inch x 6 in. and it looks very much like the one from the ads below.
The runner up was a Porter Cable 15 amp model. My Craftsman is actually more expensive, but it was on sale. The blades are cheaper too. Yay!
-- Ni faru ion el ligno!