|Review by rwyoung||posted 01-08-2009 05:57 AM||3473 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
For the same reasons I wanted a benchtop jointer, I wanted a benchtop planer. There are a few reviews of the 13” model around and looking at their manals on line, the 12-1/2 is quite similar and somewhat cheaper.
The unit came well packed with two pieces of form fit styrofoam and a nice heavy poly bag to protect the planer. Also in the box was a chip collection shroud with a 4” port in addition to the stock deflector. As near as I could tell, the collection shroud is a “bonus” as I didn’t see it listed on the web page. Also included in the package are all the hex wrenches, open end wrench and screw driver you would need to setup and adjust the machine. A knife setting jig is included. It is not magnetic but does look like it will do a good job.
One issue I was a little bit concerned about was the review of the 13” version found in FineWoodworking found the cutter and bed to be far out of parallel. My test found that it was about 0.003” which seems very reasonable. The unit is adjustable in steps of about 0.125mm (close to 0.005”) to fix such an issue but it doesn’t seem necessary on my unit.
The infeed and outfeed beds include rollers and their heights are adjustable.
After setting up and checking everything I made some test cuts in birch and pine. After a slight adjstment to the infeed bed I was able to reduce my snipe to about 0.002” and sometimes I couldn’t even “find” the snipe. This model does NOT have a cutter head lock. It will be an issue I watch as the planer gets more use.
So far I’ve fed maybe 10 linear feed of material in widths from 3” to 6” with no problem. Tested with pine (2×4), cherry, birch and walnut. All cut quite well, most tear out in the birch but that is somewhat normal (I’ve heard) for birch. This isn’t to say the tearout was severe, just a few bits and a few minutes with a card scraper made it dissapear.
So far I’m quite satisfied with the planer and at $189 it seems to be a very good deal. The test will be after the first 100 board feet of cherry have passed the knives.
-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.