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Forum topic by bruce1 posted 07-17-2015 09:42 PM 841 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bruce1

6 posts in 506 days


07-17-2015 09:42 PM

I am in the art business. I am going to begin printing on wood. I will probably do some on softwood lathes and some on band sawn 2×4s. In either case I need to kiss the wood – remove maybe 1/16”. I do not want the final result to be completely smooth. It can still have some tear. This will be production runs, several thousand feet per month. Maybe 14,000 feet.

Should I buy a sander or a planer. Obviously, I need to feed the material quickly. Labor costs are a killer for me. If you respond, can you also tell me why? As I said, I am completely ignorant on this and would like some understanding as to the thinking. Once I determine what machine, I will have further questions on companies to look at and knife costs or belt costs. But, first I need help on what machine.

Thanks to any and all who respond.

Bruce


25 replies so far

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jmartel

6565 posts in 1611 days


#1 posted 07-17-2015 10:11 PM

Either one you get, make sure you get a power feeder if the machine doesn’t already have one. A large planer would be able to take off 1/16” in one pass. A sander would take a couple passes I believe.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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rwe2156

2190 posts in 942 days


#2 posted 07-17-2015 10:58 PM

Forget about a power feeder.
There is no planer or drum sander I’ve ever seen that doesn’t feed the material itself.

To answer your post:

Drum sanders typically have very low feed rates.
DS will give a smoother surface than a planer. That is its job. It is not intended for thicknessing, although with rough grits it can perform that function more or less.

Planers can leave planer marks like a washboard effect unless you’re anal about adjusting the blades.

My suggestion: Planer.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View fisherdoug09's profile

fisherdoug09

121 posts in 2136 days


#3 posted 07-17-2015 11:13 PM

I woulld suggest a planner since you said it could be a little rough. The drum sanders are very nice but quite a bit slower in my experience. If you do get a planner I would also suggest a helicoil cutter head.

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AHuxley

493 posts in 2783 days


#4 posted 07-17-2015 11:59 PM

This is actually a fairly complicated question. We are talking production here so knowing things like the size of the individual pieces could be very important in the decision, especially if they are what in terms of these machines is short.

Your budget and what electrical service comes into this as well.

People mentioning drum sanders haven’t considered your numbers, there isn’t really a drum sander that could run 14,000 lineal feet a month, month in and month out, the only sanders capable of this full time are wide belts. Depending on width of the individual boards you can have multiples running at one time, but you are going to need 2 people feeding and catching all the time.

To do this month in and month out you are going to have to have a serious industrial machine. I am going to assume your budget is over $10,000.

Give us more information about the size of the pieces and what type of electrical supply (single or three phase, how many amps you have available and if you already have dust collection and what type). I hope you have a lot of power and hopefully 3 phase.

This may well me a job to be subbed out…

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jmartel

6565 posts in 1611 days


#5 posted 07-18-2015 12:52 AM

I’ve seen sanders that don’t have feeders in them. Not often, but they are out there.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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bruce1

6 posts in 506 days


#6 posted 07-18-2015 01:08 AM

power is not an issue. I have 3 phase. I need to get it wired though. I tried to find industrial planers and have not found them. I did find grizzly via google. Since speed is an issue It looks like a planer. I will be putting multilples through it. If I use lathes they will be 1.5” wide. If I use 2×4s they will be 35 inches wide. The thickness is about 7/16 inches.

Machine suggestions?

View AHuxley's profile

AHuxley

493 posts in 2783 days


#7 posted 07-18-2015 01:40 AM

I should have been more clear that length is a VERY important dimension in choosing a machine, they will have a minimum stock length. Also just to be clear this is an ongoing process and not just a one off need for this correct?

View ClammyBallz's profile

ClammyBallz

309 posts in 598 days


#8 posted 07-18-2015 11:57 AM

Keep in mind, pine will gum up the paper on a drum sander, especially if you’re looking to run it through faster.

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bruce1

6 posts in 506 days


#9 posted 07-18-2015 12:50 PM

Yes, this is an ongoing project. I would hop 3 – 5 years. Laths are 4 feet. the 2×4s will be 6 & 7 footers.

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Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1113 days


#10 posted 07-18-2015 01:34 PM

35” wide? That is a very serious machine and very limiting. At that point you’re forced to either plane the 2×4s before gluing them up to 35” wide or buy a wide belt sander to sand full width parts. Either one may suit your needs but without even more information about your process it’s hard to recommend anything.

Fyi, I checked on a 37” grizzly belt sander. It will run up to 60 feet per minute. Assuming 80% uptime, this machine will run 14,000 feet in about 5 hours, so I wouldn’t worry about throughout with either machine.

-- -Dan

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2324 posts in 1758 days


#11 posted 07-18-2015 01:42 PM

“Labor costs are a killer for me.” So too, will be the equipment and electricity and glueups and rough wood and maintenance. Have you investigated having someone else who has the capabilities make your panels? Or adjust your product to utilize sheet goods or pre-made panels? Knowing what your product is would help.

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2321 days


#12 posted 07-18-2015 01:59 PM

I have a feeling the 35 inches is a typo and should be 3.5 inches, since that is the typical width of a 2×4…

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1113 days


#13 posted 07-18-2015 02:33 PM

Herb, that makes perfect sense. Can’t believe I missed it.

In that case, I would hump on down to lowes and buy a dw635 and a stand for it to sit on. You can be up and running in a few hours on standard wiring with decent chip extraction for probably less than $800 all said and done. 14,000 LF isn’t that much in a month and the planer should last a few years with that use. If it dies, buy another. Just make sure to change the blades out when it starts bogging down on cuts. Knives should last you a couple months before flipping, and another few months before changing them out for new. You’re probably looking at $150 per year in new blades, maybe $300.

-- -Dan

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AHuxley

493 posts in 2783 days


#14 posted 07-18-2015 03:03 PM

OK the 35 inches or 3.5 inches makes a HUGE difference. If we are talking about 35” x 7’ that is widebelt sander area unless one wants to give Yates American a call and have a planer built for them.

If it is 3 1/2 inches (nominal 2×4 size) a lower end planer would probably be the call. Actually, at that size the Dewalt 735 might be a low cost option especially if all the wood is not going to be run at one time. I would be concerned about running that universal motor planer for 8-10 hours straight. If the wood is being done in smaller batches over the course of the month then it may well be a viable option.

Assuming the boards are only 3.5” which seems the most plausible here are some other considerations.

How competent are the employees using this with machine setup? The less they know about woodworking machines the more I would recommend a machine that is easy to setup and the knives are easy to change and align. This would be machines with disposable blades like the Dewalt, Tersa heads and segmented heads like a Byrd.

How important is sound. The Dewalt is a screamer, induction motored planers will be quieter and ones with segmented heads will be even more so.

Dust collection is also an issue, will it be used outside or will it be inside and subject to some governmental oversight. Is true HEPA filtration needed.

Not knowing any more than what I do I think a 15” 4 post planer with a helical head and a 2 or 3 HP dust collector with a Wynn filter and a pre-separator might do the job. But, I am still interested in more specifics.

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bruce1

6 posts in 506 days


#15 posted 07-18-2015 03:08 PM



I have a feeling the 35 inches is a typo and should be 3.5 inches, since that is the typical width of a 2×4…

Herb

- HerbC

Yes, I should not respond before coffee. The laths are 7/16” thick, 1.5” wide, and 48” Long. The 2×4 are 7/16” thick, by 3.5” wide, and 6 to 7 feet in length.

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