|Review by elingeniero||posted 01-14-2013 01:21 AM||13010 views||0 times favorited||9 comments|
I ended up getting an Inca model 570 (343.190.03) in reasonable condition.
This is a machine that hasn’t been made in over a decade, and so if you buy one it will be well used. Even so, working units are worth buying. The design and execution of Inca machines is a pinnacle of modern industrial design, and there are a lot of people that feel about their Inca gear the way Apple fans feel about their electronic goodies.
The design of the Inca J/P goes in the opposite direction from old school heavy iron. What we have here is a unit that one 50 year old guy can lift without a struggle. Even so the unit is not cheaply built: vibration is almost non-existent and it has an induction motor and is very quiet in operation, which is one of the reasons I went with it instead of getting a DeWalt or Makita lunchbox planer. If you are a big Festool user, this unit would fit in nicely with that approach: flyweight, mobile and adaptable.
At this point, only wear parts are being manufactured for the jointer/planer. The unit’s one weakness is the nylon gear that transmits power to the feed rollers in the planer. You have to keep it well lubed with lithium grease, and I have heard more about it melting with as little as one hour of continuous heavy use, and most owners will keep a spare on hand (mine came with such, along with spare belts.).
Typically, the Model 570 comes with a Tersa head. Mine did not, it has a 2-knife cutterhead. This is not unknown, though. The other oddity about my unit is that the belt for the roller feed is round, not flat like I’ve seen in all the pix online.
Another downside of buying used is that my unit did not come in perfect condition:
1) the table racks somewhat (I think the factory table was shipped in an Ikea-style flat pack, and was never glued up by previous owner(s)).
2) missing dust hood
2) the knob for setting the planer feed speed is a replacement
3) Handwheel for setting the planer table height is replaced with a bitty little socket wrench
5) The power cord is maybe 18” long.
I put some 6/4 mahogany and 6/4 white oak, about 40” long, through it. The white oak came out perfect, but the mahogany had some figuring where the grain went in reverse and wanted to tear out, so I am going to have to figure out how to deal with that. It’s pretty quiet, less than 95 dB. No snipe that I could see. :)
Presumably the Tersa head would have been the thing to deal with the mahogany, but on the plus side the knives I have are resharpenable.
1) stores in about 40”x30”
2) 10” face jointing capacity
3) very quick (30 seconds or less) changeover between modes
5) flyweight compared to a 10” jointer
6) Much quieter than a lunchbox planer
7) quality results
8) I’ll be able to sell it for most of what I paid for it
1) Duty cycle is probably not more than 1/hr intermittent use per day, max
2) 10” planing capacity
3) Short bed on the jointer, and even shorter on the planer.
4) mobile base from the factory isn’t all that
5) Motor can’t be rewired for 220V operation
I guess some customization is in the offing:
1) bracing or gluing the factory stand to stop the racking
2) adding a small shelf or till underneath the stand for the outfeed table while planing
3) Replacing the power cord with a longer, heavier gauge cord, and adding a place to hang the power cord
4) DIY infeed/outfeed extensions for both jointer and planer
5) cams for locking the outfeed table and fence, instead of screws.
6) I could see replacing the 2 knife cutterhead with one from Byrd and parting out the original to recoup some of the cost, though.