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Brand new Dewalt 735 on Folding Stand vs. Stand alone 16" Transpower AP800 Planer

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Forum topic by AdamNKY posted 03-18-2014 07:03 PM 1627 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AdamNKY

6 posts in 995 days


03-18-2014 07:03 PM

First time poster here but need some advice. I’m a hobbyist woodworker and I’ve been collecting tools for my woodshop for the past several years as I’ve become more serious. The one tool I’ve never owned is a planer…I’ve always used my step-dad’s woodshop for any milling. Anyway, I finally saved up and purchased as Dewalt 735X, along with a folding a Miter Saw Stand that can support the planer even while it sits upright like a two wheel dolly. It has the stainless outfeed tables plus the miter saw stand has rollers for additional support to reduce snipe. My shop consist of two single car garage bays, so while there is some room, it’s pretty full. I thought the idea of being able to fold the planer and stand up when not in use would maximize my workspace.

I recently moved and am still in the process of setting up my shop, so I haven’t even taken the planer out of the box. Now, I have been offered a 16 inch Transpower AP800 planer basically for free—although it will need new blades soon. This is a stand alone 3HP unit. 220V is not an issue for me. However, you can no longer get parts for this model, I believe its about 20 years old. I cannot find a helical head for it, although I know they make them for the Dewalt 735.

I can’t decide which planer I’d prefer in my shop. A heavy duty 16” 3HP stand alone that works (at least for now), but has no parts support or aftermarket upgrades, or a brand new 13” lunchbox planer, with easy to set knives and the possibility of helical head upgrade.

My initial though was to sell my Dewalt set-up and get a helical head for the 3hp Transpower, but I can’t seem to find one or anything else about this Planer. I’ve never even heard of Transpower. I could sell one of these and get a helical head for my 8’ jointer or another tool. Or I could keep both, use the 3hp for an initial milling and the Dewalt for a final milling, never taking more than 1/16” of an inch or using it for initial planing, thus saving the blades. Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you would do, especially if you’ve owned any of these planers.

Again, I’m only a hobbyist, but do have some fairly substantial projects coming up, including making about 50 cabinet doors for my kitchen, and an 11’ x 5’ end grain butcher block island countertop. I do have access to my step-dad’s woodshop, which has more heavy duty milling equipment if necessary, but I’d like my shop to be as self sufficient as possible.


7 replies so far

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1061 posts in 1995 days


#1 posted 03-18-2014 07:45 PM

I have the 735 with a Byrd head. Lovely combination, and if you are a hobbiest, even a serious one, I can’t see that you need a bigger unit. Certainly the Transpower could be of benefit if you ever process boards between 13” and 16” wide or if you run a high volume.

One thing about the Byrd head in the 735 – you can’t take off more than 1/16” at a time due to a slightly smaller cutter head diameter. And even 1/16” can bog down the planer for boards over 3” wide.

Give Holbren a call about a Byrd head in the Transpower – they’ll be able to tell you how to measure the stock head to see if any of there is a match to something more common.

And BTW, do not run end grain through a planer! That’s a explosion waiting to happen. Sand or hand plane only. Maybe a good excuse to get a sander?

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Richard's profile

Richard

1898 posts in 2155 days


#2 posted 03-18-2014 08:00 PM

If I had them and the space to keep them I would keep both and see if maybe the Transpower is the same as some other model that still has parts available since many brands are made on the same line and just have the name and color changed with maybe some other minor mods for the brand name. And as Mark said check with Holbren or some other aftermarket helical head maker to see if you can find one for the Transpower. But which ever one you keep I think the helical head upgrade will be vast improvement.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1297 posts in 1413 days


#3 posted 03-18-2014 08:25 PM

What is basically free?? If it is in working order and cheap then I would get it. I have never owned a LB planer. Ky first planer was a Schapache it was german made 10” 2hp. I got it for $125. It lasted 2 years and the feeder gears wore out. I found parts, but it would have cost way more than the machine was worth. I ended up pulling the motor and scraping the rest. I still got my money’s worth out of it, and ended up with a 2hp motor.

View AdamNKY's profile

AdamNKY

6 posts in 995 days


#4 posted 03-18-2014 08:42 PM

Thanks for the replies so far. It’s basically free because I don’t have to pay for the machine—I’ll just have to pay for new blades as the ones it it have seen a couple thousand BF—which isn’t bad except I already have a new in box DW735 with two sets of blades. Also, while no money is changing hands, my step dad is trading a buddy for it in exchange for another tool he hasn’t used for 10 years.—even so, its enough that I don’t want to just take it and turn around and sell it. His buddy used the Transpower until a few weeks ago—nothing wrong with it, he just upgraded to a 20” helical head planer.

My step-dad who is more experienced woodworker thinks I’ll be much happier with the 3 HP stationary unit as it can handle anything I throw at it. I’m thinking about seeing if I can make room for both. I have about 800 BF of walnut to mill. I could give an initial rough milling with the existing blades on the Transpower and finish milling with the Dewalt…see how they both perform. The only problem with that is the minute I take the Dewalt out of the box it becomes a used planer and probably takes about $200 off the value of the planer in the event I do want to sell it.

View retfr8flyr's profile

retfr8flyr

327 posts in 1133 days


#5 posted 03-18-2014 09:12 PM

If you have the room I would keep both and do like you are talking about. Use the DeWalt for a finish planer and use the big stationary machine for everything else. If you can find a Byrd head for the Transpower so much the better. Most of those old machines use a lot of the same parts, so you may be able to find parts for it, depending on what you need.

-- Earl

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1951 posts in 1453 days


#6 posted 03-18-2014 09:25 PM

I would keep both if you can. I have both a DW735 and a 15” Jet. The Jet is a great machine for taking off serious amounts of wood. However, I really like the DW735 for taking small amounts off and leaving a great finish. It is pretty easy with the DW735 to take off only several thousandths so that you can get the exact thickness that you want. It is much more difficult with the 15” Jet.

I know that you will get a lot of advice to put in a Byrd head and that would be really nice. I went through the options and thoughts and decided not to do it. I just do not put enough wood through my planer to justify the cost of the new head. I am using straight planar knives from Infinity and they work great. The other reasons to get the Byrd head is if you plan to plane wood that is difficult to plane and tends to have tear out. The last reason to get the Byrd Head is that you just want to have one. I reasoned with the amount and type of wood I planed that I would rather spend the almost $500 on another tool. Would I really like to get the Byrd Head…YES…but for me I wanted another tool first.

View AdamNKY's profile

AdamNKY

6 posts in 995 days


#7 posted 03-19-2014 11:28 AM

Thanks everyone for the great responses. While space is an issue, I think I can make room for it. I like the idea of using the Transpower for taking bigger passes and the Dewalt for fine passes. I think that will extend the life of my knives in the Dewalt and allow a nice finish. It I find the footprint is too big with both machines, I can always take the Dewalt off the miter saw stand and build a platform to stack the Dewalt on top of the Transpower.

I’ll keep the Byrd head in mind for the future but I think I’ll be fine for a while with the two planer system. Redoak hit the nail on the head that at this point, its more of a want than a need, especially with two brand new sets of knives in my Dewalt. I’d personnally rather just save up enough to by a 15” helical head planer when the TransPower gives out or I’m just ready for an upgrade.

And Mark, thanks for the tip about running endgrain through a planer…I knew better but it was nice of you to point that out. I have access to a wide drum sander which is what I plan to use for final dimensioning/smoothing after glue-up, starting with a coarse grit and working toward fine.

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