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Bench top planer - Buying Assistance

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Hi,

First time poster, long time lurker.

I'm in the market for a relatively compact bench top surface planer. I don't need one with a Thicknesser because I already have my trusty Metabo DH330 which I've been jigging with MDF and wedges to joint my thicker pieces of stock.

Don't want something ancient. eBay and classifieds don't seem to produce any immediate results. Ambivalent as to whether or not its cast steel, aluminium or cast iron (doubtful under £500). Want to avoid PT260 units and their seemingly endless variations because I've heard they're touch and go with reputation and they also have Thicknessers in-built, which I don't need. Axminster units are too big and a bit above my price range. SIP units are too small and don't carry a great reputation.

Does a machine exist for me?
 

Bodgers

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Marc the Robot":35pbu64f said:
Hi,

First time poster, long time lurker.

I'm in the market for a relatively compact bench top surface planer. I don't need one with a Thicknesser because I already have my trusty Metabo DH330 which I've been jigging with MDF and wedges to joint my thicker pieces of stock.

Don't want something ancient. eBay and classifieds don't seem to produce any immediate results. Ambivalent as to whether or not its cast steel, aluminium or cast iron (doubtful under £500). Want to avoid PT260 units and their seemingly endless variations because I've heard they're touch and go with reputation and they also have Thicknessers in-built, which I don't need. Axminster units are too big and a bit above my price range. SIP units are too small and don't carry a great reputation.

Does a machine exist for me?
I think those small SIP/Rutland's/Silverline clone units are the only option. With your 'bench top' requirement, it means you will only ever be looking at small ones and I think those SIP clones are the only thing available in the UK.

I recommend a no. 7 jointer plane - that's what I use alongside my Metabo thicknesser - works well for a hobby setup.



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I have the hand tools already (some Japanese Kanna planes too) but I was hoping to go down the machine route. Long story not safe for machinery.

I was really hoping to avoid the SIP stuff and anything within a half decent budget looks knackered second, third, fourth hand. As I say, I don't need a Thicknesser and all the Record Power, Metabo 260 variants come with one. Just looking for something half decent to whack on a bench.
 

screwpainting

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After watching this..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a1HCqK5i-A&t=557s
which has changed my whole outlook and perception of power tools and techniques,
I am going to get one of these...
http://www.tritontools.com/en-GB/Produc ... ers/TPL180

learn all its foibles, fettle and adapt it and see just how well I can get it 'and me' to work.

Probably half the effort and learning curve involved in learning to use a traditional Stanley hand plane proficiently, and I am looking forwards to doing it. Obviously not a top end professional workshop planer but if I put in the effort to master it, it will probably do 95% of what I could ever want.

Just a thicknesser to choose then
 
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I sold my power planer the other week. Didn't use it. Hand tools have been working the edges but for sake of speed, I'm after a bench jointer. Just can't seem to find one.

I'd consider a floorbased one rather than one I can plonk on my bench but again, we're stepping into PT260 territory when I don't have the need for a Thicknesser, and/or Axi territory when I have neither the space nor finances.
 

Trevanion

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I don't think anyone makes a half decent bench top surface planer anymore, especially with a bigger than 6" width to it. You can pick up old Myford ones and the like on eBay for peanuts and are pretty much bombproof as far as quality goes. Old equipment doesn't necessarily mean bad equipment! I'd rather buy a 100-year-old planer thicknesser over anything Axminster makes these days, at a fraction of the cost of Axminster junk.

I think there isn't much of a market for bench top surface planers because if you're planning on planing rough stock right from the get-go you would just by a planer thicknesser combo. There's demand for a standalone thicknesser because a lot of hobbyists will buy in PAR stock and will thickness it down to their requirements. You've found yourself in the gap in between and you just need to get rid of the thicknesser and get a combo unit.
 

marcros

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There aren't that many, if any, budget standalone planers around now. Like you, I have a lunchbox thicknesser. I had an axi 6" planer, the ct150 but wanted something a bit wider. Ideally exactly the same but wider.

In short, I couldn't find anything new that was for sale for less than £1000.
 
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Yup. Its my predicament. I've considered a used CT150 but I don't tend to see them when I want them and the money tends to wander elsewhere. I could certainly make room for one, too.

I wouldn't get rid of the DH330 because the only replacement for it would be a PT260 variant, albeit with less thicknessing capacity and - it has a 6-inch bed for jointing, doesn't it? Or 8-inch? In any case it's not what I'm after.
 

marcros

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I regretted selling my ct150. It was solid, well made and performed. I didn't change blades that often so was out of practice. I found it fiddly, although not difficult to do.

I replaced it with an Inca planer thicknesser, on which I don't use the thicknesses function. It is an awesome bit if kit, with Tersa blades. They are rare but well worth looking at. Look for the one with the motor to the side if you do, and there are several variants.

I haven't used the pt260 that you don't like, but the couple or three that I have seen have been workhorses for the hobbyist and semi pros that have had them. The thicknesses function may be a slight faff to change over to, but if you don't need that don't use it. I would try to get to a show or an outlet to have a look before completely dismissing them. Somebody nearby probably has one that you can see working.
 
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Thanks Marcros.

Problem I have with the PT260 is mainly the fact that I won't be using the feature on it that costs half of the asking price, so I'd rather pay for something I'm going to be using fully. If that makes sense?

I've seen a Metabo HC260 (Record Power minus cast iron top) going for £500 so... Might consider it in future. It comes with a detachable base and wheels but if the likelihood is it would just sit in the same spot in my shop, I'd use it as a bench top unit anyway.
 

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The bloke from badger workshop on youtube has a couple of videos on the Metabo PT.
I also have a DH330, that I jig to flatten. I occassionally use a router sled but most of the time I use a hand plane to flatten/joint. A dedicated machine would be a nice luxury.
 
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I've just watched the videos by that guy, cheers. As soon as he flexed that fence on the Metabo, it reminded me of an old Makita MLT table saw I used to own and I just said, 'nah'.

Looks like I'm going to have to keep an eye out for a used Axi unit. Rubbish that they don't just have new decent, workhorse benchtop planers aside from those god awful SIP/Rutlands 6-inch units. Might have to trade in the DH330 and see what my options are for a decent P/T.
 

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Marc the Robot":8m7dzmnb said:
I've just watched the videos by that guy, cheers. As soon as he flexed that fence on the Metabo, it reminded me of an old Makita MLT table saw I used to own and I just said, 'nah'.

Looks like I'm going to have to keep an eye out for a used Axi unit. Rubbish that they don't just have new decent, workhorse benchtop planers aside from those god awful SIP/Rutlands 6-inch units. Might have to trade in the DH330 and see what my options are for a decent P/T.
The reason why they aren't good is that they aren't very big. The mass of a bigger unit counts for a lot in terms of reduced vibration and the resultant finish. That's why what you are after doesn't exist.

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Bodgers

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Fitzroy":dgt8zhn9 said:
I’ve not bumped into what you describe, the only small surface planers I see are vintage units by the like of whitehead or Wadkin, both do 6” wide version. You could Place either on a bench but would have to locate the motor somewhere.

Eg
Whitehead 6inch Planer 240V https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F113604373841

I know not much help.

Fitz
From the OP....

Marc the Robot":dgt8zhn9 said:
Don't want something ancient.
I have seen those Whiteheads around before, most look terrifying with some sort of cobbled together guard (as per the linked one). I believe Whitehead went down in the 50's so definitely in the 'ancient' category for the OP I think.
 
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"Ancient"... Yep.

Problem I have is that - look, I do wood. I know engineers and I know metallurgists and so on, but if you're looking at cheap second, third, fourth hand, "before the sun set on the Raj" units then you're likely to have to fork out on the damn things unless you know how to fix them yourself, and I'd rather have something that works than some rusty old sheet of cast iron with a gap in it for the planer blades attached to an exposed 50 year old lawnmower engine. You get the idea.

I saw a Myford unit on eBay yesterday for £210. Looked nice, relatively clean... "Where's the motor? Oh..." and there it was dangling out all over the place on a table beneath the planer.

Again, I'm coming to conclusion that this machine doesn't exist.
 

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I don't think it does exist, sadly. I feel your pain, because what you want seems perfectly sensible.
 
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The thing is, the machine I'm after does actually exist. I'm just debating the questionable quality of the thing (Rutlands/SIP units, clones, variants). P/T exist as well, but I don't see the point in paying for a combo if I won't use half of it.

A decent Axi unit or a Record Power PT260 will set me back, say, £800. If I'm already happily thicknessing on my Metabo, I won't use [maybe] £400 worth of the setup on the Axi or PT260. It's false economy. Why have two things in a workshop that do the same job, and downgrade to a combo unit with a built-in thicknesser that isn't as wide, as powerful etc? I'd rather just have a standalone planer/jointer. The CT150 was probably the thing I'd be after - albeit not a bench top planer.
 

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My planer is a Junior Whitehead, 240 volts
Excellent machine; only 6 inch wide bed but enough for me
Has three blades which are easily sharpened :)


There is one for sale on the Bay, a 9 inch model; it will be quite heavy
 

marcros

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Marc the Robot":2wcbyprt said:
The thing is, the machine I'm after does actually exist. I'm just debating the questionable quality of the thing (Rutlands/SIP units, clones, variants). P/T exist as well, but I don't see the point in paying for a combo if I won't use half of it.

A decent Axi unit or a Record Power PT260 will set me back, say, £800. If I'm already happily thicknessing on my Metabo, I won't use [maybe] £400 worth of the setup on the Axi or PT260. It's false economy. Why have two things in a workshop that do the same job, and downgrade to a combo unit with a built-in thicknesser that isn't as wide, as powerful etc? I'd rather just have a standalone planer/jointer. The CT150 was probably the thing I'd be after - albeit not a bench top planer.
but realistically it isn't half the value. it is a sub table and mechanism to move it and a dust hood. the blade assembly and motor are the same, the frame is largely the same. it is still false economy, but much less so than you are suggesting.
 

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