Anyone pleased or advice with a cheap planer thicknesser.

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simoncmason

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I have the Triton lunchbox thicknesser TPT125. I have used it to thickness mostly white oak boards and it has performed beyond expectations for a cheap machine. I take very thin passes - less than 1mm per time and have got a good consistent thickness from it which just needs a light final finish with a hand plan or sander.

You mention regularising and smoothing old boards, bear in mind a thicknesser will essentially follow the profile of the bottom of the board being thicknessed, so if your board has twist/wind in it to begin will it will still have the wind after passing it through the machine. You need to get one side flat before passing it through the thicknesser as this becomes the reference face. You can also build a sled and use wedges to provide a flat reference face, make a few passes then check the planed side is flat, flip it over and go from there - plenty of tutorials for this kind of thing on YouTube, search for Planer Sleds.
 

Agowood

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Ihave had a Charnwood 8” x 5” benchtop planer thicknesser for over twelve years and apart from replacing the drivebelt it has given excellent service as a heavy diy user. I have used it from its full capacity right down to thin strips only 2 to 3 mm in thickness on both soft and hardwoods. Only problem experienced has been with dust extraction, not a fault with the machine, but the location of my extractor being too far away even with a 100mm duct.
 

danst96

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Get a second hand kity or similar. Cost will be much the same as a brand new cheap p/t and will be a million times nicer and easier to use
 

Astrobits

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I have the Triton and it has done fine for my purposes. I also have plenty of other Triton stuff and when needed the service backup has been superb.
Nigel
 

Sachakins

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I have a 10" Lumberjack PT254 planer (jointer?) thicknesser. About 6 months use so far and it's been good. A big step up from my previous 8" Erbauer that blew up and melted it's plastic motor casing after a few years.
 

Fanous

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Most of cheap thicknessers with have HSS blades. Have a look around how much for a set of replacement blades, and how difficult to get them. You can sharpen them, of course, but you might do that often, so it's not bad idea to have two sets of knifes to rotate them. I didn't want any of that hustle, so went for spiral head with carbide bits. But I suppose that's far from budget. But if you are not going to be using it often, perhaps might be easier to find someone to mill the lumber for you?
 

danst96

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Get a second hand kity or similar. Cost will be much the same as a brand new cheap p/t and will be a million times nicer and easier to use
To add, I bought a cheap Excel p/t which is the same thing as most low end companies offer such as lumberjack etc. It last precisely 20 minutes before it stopped working like it should.

If you plan on working with hardwoods then skip the new low cost items and go for an older second hand machine with an induction motor.
I say it all the time but if you are wanting to enjoy the hobby and can see yourself doing it for years to come, buying a decent second hand machine, even if it's £100-200 more you will save a lot of money on the long run as ultimately the budget Chinese machines will leave you wanting. And in the case you decide woodworking is not for you, the older machine will hold it's value unlike new Chinese machines.

This opinion is subjective though to what you work on too. If it's small pieces and you don't see yourself using it there may be a justification. However if you are like me and make large pieces of furniture like tables, sideboards etc. You'll want something that is nice to use for extended periods of time.
 

akirk

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It can also depend on available space - a lot of the old kit is very large - new kit much smaller - I have a lumberjack P/T sitting on a filing cabinet in the workshop and can move it to use it - yesterday we used it & the Triton Thicknesser to plane / thickness some purpleheart - it did a reasonably good job - needs a little bit of hand fettling, but not too bad... would love to have the space for decent machines, but that would be a challenge and is for many on here
 

danst96

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It can also depend on available space - a lot of the old kit is very large - new kit much smaller - I have a lumberjack P/T sitting on a filing cabinet in the workshop and can move it to use it - yesterday we used it & the Triton Thicknesser to plane / thickness some purpleheart - it did a reasonably good job - needs a little bit of hand fettling, but not too bad... would love to have the space for decent machines, but that would be a challenge and is for many on here
This is true however I have a kity 637 which takes up the same footprint as the excel machine I had before.
 

MikeJhn

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Don't discount the Kity 439 smaller that the 637, but does an excellent job would not be without mine, the extract hood needs to be modified to work efficiently as standard it's a weird Oval shape.
 

Essex Barn Workshop

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So before I started doing this full time, and was just in my shed, I needed a thickneser for a project and decided that I'd buy the cheapest one I could find.
3 years and one set of new blades later I'm still happy with it as a thickneser, I rarely if ever use it as a planer.

The brand? Ferrex. Yes I bought an Aldi thickneser/planer and I'm happy with it. Not in store, occasionally available online.
 

Spectric

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Have you asked yourself if a P/T is really essential, if you have a good timber supplier handy then it may be a better option to just buy finished timber rather than have your own P/T, as I have found they do not just deliver a decent finish out of the box and if you read the thread by @MikeK the one he brought was fit only for a boat anchor. My Record PT107 has required over £200 of blade carriers so I could get the thing setup to give a decent finish, ok the disposable / reversable blades it now uses are cheaper but still not something I had anticipated.

If you are just thicknessing then you see a lot of videos where people use these lunchbox machines with great results, so another option. And lastly if you go down the route of buying a P/T then unless you have good prior experience look at getting the training videos by @Peter Sefton from the Woodworkers workshop because they helped me a lot when I first got mine.

 
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