My Woodmaster Model 408 Planer. Good machine???

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Forum topic by Sailor posted 06-24-2010 02:14 AM 10324 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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543 posts in 3501 days

06-24-2010 02:14 AM

I bought an older Shopsmith when I first got into woodworking years ago and it came with a Woodmaster planer/jointer that works but I am not sure how well. I have never used the thing but I just recently bought about 650 BF of rough sawn oak so now it is time to figure this thing out.

This isn’t mine but it’s identical. I have the jointer attachment that sits on the top also.

Today I got the manual and did some reading. I worked mostly on the jointer since it is the first step in the milling process. It took me probably about 2 hours to get the thing setup decently close because it was way off for some reason. It is still not perfect but is a pain in the rear and will take me much more time.

Anyways, I ran a 2×4 though the jointer many times and it did not get straight lol. I guess if it’s a little off and I keep running it though it just compounds my problem?

I was wondering if this thing is worth keeping? I would like to have a real jointer (used) and possibly another planer if this one turns out to be a pain (I didn’t get to test the planer since I’m pretty sure I need a properly jointed board before I begin planing).

Has anyone had one of these things? Are they any good? What would one be worth?

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2 replies so far

View jofus's profile


1 post in 2731 days

#1 posted 07-28-2011 04:14 AM

Sailor, I bought a Woodmaster 408 for $50. It planed an 8th inch off quarter sawed oak in one swoop. It did snipe the entering end.
It is difficult to start the feed due to the strong downpushing springs of the rubber infeed roller.
I had best results by deliberately feeding the wood in at a 30 degree down angle and when the roller grippped the wood I quickly lower it to flat .
I need a copy of a manual. any ideas?
Joe [jofus]

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3884 days

#2 posted 07-28-2011 05:10 AM

I had a Belsaw combo machine for awhile with a 7” jointer on top and
an 8” planer on the bottom. I liked it as a jobsite machine, but for
shop use a wider planer and a dedicated jointer more are useful.

Warts and all, I like the Belsaw/Woodmaster type machines as planers –
they have a lot of muscle as many have oversized motors… compared
to today’s wimpy planers anyway.

Focus on “skip planing” (light planing) your rough stock through the
planer only. Then separate it into grades of boards. Some will be
nearly perfect, rift or quarter-sawn and nearly flat out of the planer
with minimal knots and problems. Most boards will show some distortion
or twist that can be fixed with judicious cross-cutting and/or ripping and
then planing to 1/8” over dimension. With all these good grade of
board you mark out the pieces you want and cut those parts out
oversized, then joint and plane (jointing not always needed) the smaller
boards to final thickness.

With the lowest grade of boards there will be a lot of waste, checking,
distortions and so forth. Skip plane them to see what you’ve got, then
lay them out and mark out the parts you want to keep and the parts
that demand to be culled. Crosscut out the bad parts and then you’ll
have a bunch of short boards.

Use the A and B grade boards for big panels, door stiles, and long
runs in face frames and things like that. You’ll get a feel for it as
you work with milling rough stock more.

If this seems like a lot of work and decision-making, it is. But the payoffs
are a higher yield of usable straight boards and an intimacy with what
you’ve got to build with.

The jointer is only needed when you are actually building stuff – use
a table saw jig to straight-line rougher boards if you have too and in
cases of radical grain, snap a chalk line and bandsaw an edge to
work from.

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