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Woodworkers - Opinions needed on electric planers for rough cut lumber.


Mudfly
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I'm looking at upgrading to a more industrial planer.  Looking for something probably in the 15" range for width.  230 volt, 3 to 5 HP.  Prefer single phase but would consider 3 phase for the correct price.

Looking for some opinions on decent brands.  For new, I'm seeing JET and Powermatic at a somewhat local supply store.  Not much on Craigslist currently, but will keep my eye open for that as well.  I have a friend with a foley belsaw planer that he picked up on Craigslist for cheap and he likes it.

We have a lot of rough sawn lumber and will likely be using that to finish off the inside of my garage.  I don't need production speed, but I don't want to waste my time either.  Doesn't need to be perfect, just want is somewhat smooth so that it doesn't collect too much dust.  I figure for the price of lumber and other building materials these days, I can pay for the planer on what I'd save by using our boards instead of sheetrock, plywood, etc.

Thoughts, opinions?

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4 minutes ago, Mudfly said:

I'm looking at upgrading to a more industrial planer.  Looking for something probably in the 15" range for width.  230 volt, 3 to 5 HP.  Prefer single phase but would consider 3 phase for the correct price.

Looking for some opinions on decent brands.  For new, I'm seeing JET and Powermatic at a somewhat local supply store.  Not much on Craigslist currently, but will keep my eye open for that as well.  I have a friend with a foley belsaw planer that he picked up on Craigslist for cheap and he likes it.

We have a lot of rough sawn lumber and will likely be using that to finish off the inside of my garage.  I don't need production speed, but I don't want to waste my time either.  Doesn't need to be perfect, just want is somewhat smooth so that it doesn't collect too much dust.  I figure for the price of lumber and other building materials these days, I can pay for the planer on what I'd save by using our boards instead of sheetrock, plywood, etc.

Thoughts, opinions?

I have an older foley belsaw planner. I bought it used off CL maybe 5 years ago. This isn’t what I would consider a production planer, but I bought it because it can cut mouldings as well. 
Unless you’re going to start a business, if you can find one of these, buy it. It’s solid enough for the casual user, and it’s big enough for those larger once in awhile jobs. 
Just a thought, but would your friend let you “rent” his planer for this job?

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My dad bought a used wood miser 18” unit.  It’s 230vac 5 hp 4 knife with a 110vac variable speed feed motor. It’s one of the best units I’ve seen. Lots of options for production work - moldings. Just wish it was at my house instead of 2.5 hours away. 

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Mine is a Delta. One of the heavy cast iron son of a guns. No complaints. Have had it for years. I do wish it had the helical knives, but the knives alone are probably more than I paid for the planer. Oldest son has a Dewalt and I think the helical knives for it are around $700+/-

I would not consider a 110v.

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My vote is for a either a Powermatic or a Delta.

 I have a 12 inch Parks, and it is too slow for a production shop. (About 20 feet per minute.)

 Perhaps the larger Parks is faster, as they made 18 inch and 24 inch.

 Helix heads are  in the $2000 range for the big units.

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22 hours ago, Mudfly said:

I'm looking at upgrading to a more industrial planer.  Looking for something probably in the 15" range for width.  230 volt, 3 to 5 HP.  Prefer single phase but would consider 3 phase for the correct price.

Looking for some opinions on decent brands.  For new, I'm seeing JET and Powermatic at a somewhat local supply store.  Not much on Craigslist currently, but will keep my eye open for that as well.  I have a friend with a foley belsaw planer that he picked up on Craigslist for cheap and he likes it.

We have a lot of rough sawn lumber and will likely be using that to finish off the inside of my garage.  I don't need production speed, but I don't want to waste my time either.  Doesn't need to be perfect, just want is somewhat smooth so that it doesn't collect too much dust.  I figure for the price of lumber and other building materials these days, I can pay for the planer on what I'd save by using our boards instead of sheetrock, plywood, etc.

Thoughts, opinions?

 budget? how far you willing to travel to get one? 

there are a lot of them on marketplace - harder to find one over 12" - jet seems to be descent stuff, grizzly seems ok as well - im sure some of the older stuff would be ok belsaw, delta seem to be around. my pick of a quick look around here would be an 18" rockwell 18 inch with new blades and cart. 

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It has been explained to me that powermatic/jet / grizzly have castings from the same factory, the lower in grade you go the lower quality castings you get, presumably the same is true with all other aspects of the machine. I have worked with a number of Jet machines, though not a planer and find them to be of very good quality. 

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I'm not a wood worker, but my dad is.  He uses several different brands of tools.  His planer is a DeWalt but has a head like Takn4aFool posted above. His joiner planer is a Jet, and his table saw a Saw Stop.  He makes beautiful furniture.  Wish I had some pictures. 

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Years ago used to see Beaver, then Rockwell took them over and were double named then more takeovers, nothing likes hardwood more than a beaver ?

The Grizzly, Jet...about 5 different brands all come out of same factories, interestingly Jet is thought  of ok, others more looked down upon, General and King were others, General good

 

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To answer some questions: 

ballpark max budget is $2500, maybe $3k for a good quality machine.

Traveling to get something is an option, but prefer local as time is scarce these days.  

I could rent my buddies, but for 2000+ board feet on this one project, I’d rather have my own.  Other projects will follow.

Jet has 15% off this weekend so that is also a motivating factor.

 

 

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Just looked at Grizzly website and surprisingly poor selection

Try Busy Bee Tools, KMS Tools, both of these are Canuck I believe but they may have US outlets or international shipping, I realize that could be pricey...Busy Bee has some good deals and selection right now and KMS is showing an industrial 20” helical head for $4500 CDN which would be $3K

Does Lee Valley have anything?

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Good buy,

I worked as a cabinet maker in a custom furniture shop for four years and spent many hours standing at a planer.

We had a 20" General but I know Jet is a good brand too. 

The helical head is the difference maker. They produce a cleaner cut than the older style straight knifed heads, less chip out.  

 

Do you have a dust collector?

I don't know how much you've run a big planer but they will make a mountain of wood shavings in a day's work.

Used to fill four 55 gallon drums in an afternoon no problem - local guy would come and truck them away to empty into his stables as bedding. 

 

When you're putting lots of board feet through the planer, every once a while give the in feed and out feed beds a shot of lube. This really helps the board "glide" through and doesn't make the planer work as hard (also allows the boards to feed through faster).  

I use Jig-A-Loo (not sure if that's a Canadian special) but anything silicon based will work because it doesn't stain the wood. 

 

 

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