That was my first port of call, but he cant get the 16.5mm element, everything seems to be 30mm. I emailed Jeremy at Appleby, who provided a bit of info in that they are a bit scarce, and he could get them via axi slightly cheaper than the catalogue price.
There are some that are near enough which are cheap and plentiful in the USA, but the postage is steep, and if i get charged the VAT, it negates the saving.
I just wondered what other users of quite a common plane did for replacements. I suppose at the end of the day, the OEM part is £10 a blade. If needs be, I will get those.
They may well be. There are a few nicks within them though, and at a brief glance online, sharpening was going to cost a £6 for the blades for the set, £4 each way for postage somewhere and it seems extra to get rid of the dings. It started to sound like the price I expected for a new set, although it seems to be a bit less. My father in law does professional scissor and blade sharpening for animal grooming parlour and hairdressers. I was hoping that he may be able to do them, but it isnt seeming likely.
I havent taken the blades out to look properly yet, because I thought that they could stay in and set if I was going to get new ones, so that I had something to use in the meantime. I have only just started to look at the machine, and get the tables adjusted etc, it having sat in my garage for a few months whilst I sorted out the new house, decorated, moved the rubbish out of the garage and set up the table saw. I dont have a blade setting jig, and other posts have put me off touching the blades too much! I will have to bite the bullet sooner or later. The replacements from axi are resharpenable, so 1. hopefully the old one are and are in reasonable shape and 2. it makes the price a bit more palletable!
£6 for regrinds on 3 blades sounds very good indeed. You could always take then to a saw doctor locally to save postage. Many saw doctors have a weekly round calling at local woodworkers shops. Maybe talk to a local chippy and enlist his help putting your knives in with his sharpening order or if nothing else see who he uses.
I have to admit finding setting jigs a waste of time unless you get something really solidly made and even then I don't like the metal to metal contact on the cutting edge.
I use a piece of scrap wood and set the blade so the wood is dragged a couple of mm along the outfeed table for each blade when measured at a few places along the width of the table.
It is pretty easy once you get used to it - like most things. Perhaps 15 minutes to set up a three blade cutter head including test cuts.
Make sure you have a well fitting spanner. I have heard of problems with rounding the heads of the bolts on those planers.
The bolts are usually square head which give a bigger surface area for the spanner but is seems sometime made from cheese.
Best replacement would possibly be high tensile ones and square heads are pretty rare but a HT hex head should do nicely. Best to file any lettering off the top of the head to get an even pressure surface.
Possibly worth a smear of copper grease on the screw threads of either old or new bolts to reduce the risk of later seizing.