Portable thicknesser worth it?

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Forum topic by Vaskerville posted 09-02-2012 01:23 PM 1728 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2349 days

09-02-2012 01:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: thicknesser portable padauk

Hello, this is my first post to the forum here.

I’m thinking about purchasing a portable thicknesser and I’m looking for thoughts/opinions/comments about them.

I don’t need it for fine woodworking (I need more skill for that) but I have been building basic furniture. Where I live, Africa (Mauritania), we have access to Padauk (redwood) and something we call ‘fraque’ (a greyish hardwood).

I don’t want to buy another tool, because getting them here is very expensive, that will go unused. Any brands/models I might consider (I’m probably purchasing from the UK)?

Thanks for the feedback.


4 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10526 posts in 3452 days

#1 posted 09-02-2012 02:08 PM

Over here, we call that tool a planer. Thicknesser is really a more descriptive term, though.
Unless you are fairly skilled with a hand plane and know how to keep it sharp and in good working order, a thicknesser/planer is a very useful tool.
A good one will produce nearly finished surfaces, can mill lumber down to an 1/8th thick (or less), with various sleds, can be used to flatten cupped and twisted boards, and, can even be used to joint edges.
My planer is an invaluable tool in my shop.
Unfortunately, I don’t know what’s available in the UK. Over here, Dewalt, Delta, and Rigid all have decent reputations. I’m sure there are many more brands. Those are just the ones I’ve used.
Hopefully, some of our UK brothers or sisters will chime in.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2656 days

#2 posted 09-02-2012 02:35 PM

I have a Porter Cable thickness planer. I use it quite a bit. My only source for finished lumber in the U.S. is large, corporate hardware stores. Prices are high for lumber of mediocre quality. Buying rough lumber from a lumber yard and finishing it with my planer and jointer yields better wood at a better price.

However, your situation might also make replacement blades expensive. You’ll want to investigate prices/availability OR look into a means of sharpening the blades yourself. Blades and sharpening are definitely a hidden/overlooked cost of ownership.

Oh- and I’m looking forward to seeing some of your projects. Most projects on LJ are made from maple, oak, pine, etc. I’de love to see some work made from your native wood.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2212 days

#3 posted 09-02-2012 07:15 PM

Some of the lighter weight planers probably struggle with harder woods, both power wise and in lack of rigidity. Might be worth considering. ie big heavy planers are not just because cast iron is cheap . . .

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Vaskerville's profile


8 posts in 2349 days

#4 posted 09-02-2012 08:04 PM

I’d love to get something larger but it’s not going to happen right now – must be smaller sized (has to fit in back of a small car). If I was living in Europe or the US I’d buy something better. Tools here also take a serious beating because of the heat and humidity (stuff just breaks).

I’m looking at the Dewalt dw733. It doesn’t look like the dw734 is sold in Europe.

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