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Forum topic by GerardW posted 07-09-2013 03:49 PM 627 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GerardW

35 posts in 474 days


07-09-2013 03:49 PM

Hey everyone! So I recently came into some money for my birthday and I have acquired some new and desperately needed tools for my garage shop, like a drill press, block plane, etc. What I’m finding now is that I’ve gotten into some more projects where I find myself needing to adjust the thickness of my stock, say down to 1/4 or 3/8 from a 3/4 piece.

Right now I have a 10” craftsman bandsaw (with a really weird blade length that limits my options in terms of getting a lower tooth count, etc) that i have tried to use for some light resawing, but the maximum depth of blade is 3/8” and I find that I get a lot of blade deflection. I’m able to get to probably within 1/8 of an inch give or take of my final thickness, but then I want to get a nice smooth finish on the face and get down to my desired thickness.

The question is- what tool might you recommend for doing this? So far I have thought of the following options:

Jack Plane: I am not an expert at using hand tools and just got my first bench plane, but I can see the advantage to having a hand tool like this, and the potential cost savings (around $150 I think for a woodriver jack plane).

Thickness planer: Big $$, big sound, big on shavings, but very efficient and still needs to be sanded smooth in the end right?

Powered hand planer: Less $$, still big sound and big on shavings… but can you get the accuracy that I need to get down to like 1/4” stock?

Jointer: Similar to thickness planer but limited by stock width, and can also joint on edge. But also $$, loud, shavings, etc.

I’m looking for a tool with moderate cost and maximum flexibility, as I have a small shop.

Suggestions? How do you get your lumber down to thickness for building something like a toy truck?

-- Gerard in Bowie MD


15 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7540 posts in 2299 days


#1 posted 07-09-2013 04:04 PM

I use electric hand planers for slabs, but for thin stock
I wouldn’t recommend it.

You won’t go wrong learning to use hand planes. Get
some honing gear too. I don’t feel you need to spend
a lot on a #5 jack plane, a used $25 Bailey from ebay
is just fine.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Straightbowed

717 posts in 949 days


#2 posted 07-09-2013 04:33 PM

yep a good #5 will do the chore if your back is able, but a planer with helical head is quiet

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 689 days


#3 posted 07-09-2013 04:38 PM

In today’s modern world there are bandsaw blades in every shape, size, length, width, tooth configuration, religion and nationality. Even for the odd little 3-wheel lego sets that Craftsman tries to pass off as a bandsaw. What’s your blade length and max width – let us get you some resaw capabilty before you go turning 20 bucks worth of wood into 5 bucks worth of wood and $15 in shavings or dust.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1228 days


#4 posted 07-09-2013 05:06 PM

I’d get a thickness planer.
Amazon has the dewalt DW734 for $329.66 shipped, a great deal.
Ideally, you’d want a jointer too, as the planer and jointer work as a team; but a planer can do some jointing with a sled.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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crank49

3421 posts in 1622 days


#5 posted 07-09-2013 05:32 PM

If you have a solid work bench a #5 will get you there. Learn to sharpen!

How much surface you have to plane? If it’s a lot you still might be better to go to a power planer.

Don’t ignore the Ryobi thickness planer. Around $200 on sale and the same motor as the others.
Ryobi is the company that invented the “lunch box” style of portable planers, after all. Still noisy and makes a mess, but not something you do continuously.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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GerardW

35 posts in 474 days


#6 posted 07-09-2013 05:38 PM

Thanks for all the responses so far!

RE: Bandsaw- 63 1/2” blade length, maximum depth is 3/8” That’s what I have in there right now- a “powertec” blade from amazon at 9.99…. probably could be upgraded. Suggestions?

Thanks for the suggestions on jack planes- it is definitely something I want to get into, but at the moment I dont really have a decent workbench. I use a 48” assembly table and clamps and such. Putting cabinets in to the garage this weekend and then I may be putting in some wood counters that i could rig as workbenches.

Good to hear comments about having a thickness planer- I often find in projects that I could use one but haven’t been able to justify it yet. I will keep an eye out for a Ryobi or other version. Plus I think that having one will allow me to buy rough lumber and save money there, right? And a thickness planer plus a jack plane for edges would allow me to get to S4S right?

-- Gerard in Bowie MD

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 689 days


#7 posted 07-09-2013 05:50 PM

I thought even the baby craftsmans took a 1/2” blade. But if you can only do 3/8, there are still options. Woodcraft makes a 4tpi hook, 3/8” wide in custom lengths at .39 cents an inch.
If you can squeeze that extra 1/8” in, then Highland has the Lennox in custom lengths too. Just google “custom bandsaw blades” or “made to order bandsaw blades”.

I took the resaw blade off my 18” Rikon last month to cut some curved pieces with a 1/4” from Highland. I was too lazy to change it back so last week I resawed some mesquite with it – tightened the tension up to “Dang that’s tight!” and sawed away. If you’re just using a $10 blade from Amazon then you won’t be cutting anything straight unless you’ve tuned your bandsaw to perfection, sharpened the blade yourself by hand, and maybe even sacrificed a chicken or two to the tool gods. Put a decent blade on though and you’ll get much better results.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

527 posts in 555 days


#8 posted 07-09-2013 06:11 PM

+1 for Loren. I have a Woodriver smoother (#4) that I don’t regret, but my Bailey #5 Jack is still my favorite plane of them all. I even have a second one that has a huge camber on it so that it stands in as a scrub plane. Just because you can spend more doesn’t mean you need to (except for Lie-Nielsen… spend more for them). :)

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View GerardW's profile

GerardW

35 posts in 474 days


#9 posted 07-09-2013 06:20 PM

I’ll double check the max width when I get home and grab the user’s manual… I didn’t even think of custom band saw blades so I will definitely grab one of those! The cheap blade is not quite doing it for me.

Another thing I’m not overly fond of with my craftsman is the “auto tensioning”. It just seems to think that it has a spring system that will make the tension perfect. Also need to look at the user’s manual to see if there’s any manual way to adjust that as well… if not, maybe I will be selling this baby and buying a better bandsaw!

When you’re resawing down to lets say 1/4 inch- you still have to sand or plane to get rid of machining marks and for smoothness right? What do you use for that?

-- Gerard in Bowie MD

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 689 days


#10 posted 07-09-2013 06:26 PM

With a good blade you can get it very close. It will still need cleaning up, but a lot less. That means less runs through the planer or less passes with a handplane. If I don’t rush the cut I can usually get by with one pass of the #4 or, if I’m not overly worried about exact thickness, a little work with a scraper. If I’m rushing though I use a planer or drum sander to finish it off.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1046 posts in 671 days


#11 posted 07-09-2013 06:41 PM

Tough choice between a smoother/jack plane and a power planer. It really depends on what part of woodworking you like. Some people really enjoy the process of taking a log down to lumber, some find that boring and want their finished stock as soon as possible to get to the actually dimensioning/assembling. To each their own! Either way, I would look at the used market. As people said, you can get a used #5 for next to nothing. Planers, here in MN at least, show up very regularly on craigslist at a pretty good price. Im actually just about to list a dewalt 735 if you’re interested in driving out to MN =)

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firefighterontheside

4255 posts in 508 days


#12 posted 07-09-2013 06:54 PM

My dealt 733 only goes down to 1/4” thick. As far as smooth goes, as long as knives are sharp I can make wood that is perfectly smooth and doesn’t really need sanding. The exception is sometimes you get tear out with harder woods like birch. When this happens I take less with each pass and try to send it through in whatever direction minimizes this affect.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3447 posts in 2612 days


#13 posted 07-09-2013 06:56 PM

Stay away from the Ryobi crap. This is in no way meant to be a slam on the previous poster, but the new R stuff is not meant to be used a bunch. Saying that, I have an old R 3 X 21 belt sander that won’t die (dang it).
Seems like all the makers are just creating stuff that will self-destroy as soon as the warranty is defunct.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View GerardW's profile

GerardW

35 posts in 474 days


#14 posted 07-09-2013 10:04 PM

Band saw is indeed a max blade width is 3/8. It’s a 1HP 10” craftsman “professional”. There doesn’t seem to be any way to adjust blade tension other than the “auto tensioning”. Owner manual is here http://m.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L0309170.pdf

Is it worth it to invest in better blades for this for resawing?

-- Gerard in Bowie MD

View Loren's profile

Loren

7540 posts in 2299 days


#15 posted 07-09-2013 10:49 PM

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