Metabo 260C 10" Planer thicknesser - First impressions.

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Chubber

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Devon PL21
Having owned a Kity K5 combination for 40 years (6" PlanerThicknesser/20mm Spindle/210mm table saw) I decided to give up OO railway modelling in favour of OO9 narrow gauge and to put all I made on selling my models, stock and some custom customer baseboards (about £900) with some svings to buy some individual machines for 'garage' type use in hobby woodwork. I have worked in professional woodwork and shipwright shops.

To date I have bought an Axminster 'Workshop' bandsaw with which I am delighted, it cut square and true straight out of the box, and a Dewalt site saw which I have mounted on a wheeled dolly such that the in/out feed is the same height as my bench. My first essay into sledges/slides etc is proving very interesting!

I initially bought 'Lumberjack' planer thicknesser and quickly found out why it was so comparatively cheap, in/out feed tables out of parallel and not adjustable et cetera and it went back. Ebay and the company concerned had no qualms, sent a courier to collect it, so only time and effort wasted, full refund.

Then came to deciding with what to replace it, with a budget of £700 and having spoken to Metabo and visiting the recent Exeter tool show I decided a HC260C would do at a show price of £649. Maybe a 10" model is a bit greedy for my intended use, but the idea of getting a near scaffold plank sized board through a machine was attractive. Question like 'What happens if its damaged in transit..?' Reply 'It won't be, it'll be delivered by our own preferred couriers on a pallet...' and What if I can't set it up properly for first use..?' Reply 'We'll send someone to do it for you...' 'And if it breaks down..?' Reply 'We'll fix it for free...?' and a long phone conversation with their service manager ( Nick ) on adjustments clinched it.

There are plenty of 'YouTube' videos on setting it up but with a few negatives included...

First, it is heavy. Over 75kg. The courier wheeled the cardboard box into my garage on a pallet truck and helped me lift it off onto my dolly. I opened the box, took out the seperate boxes within, then had no choice but to cut down the big box with a Stanley knife and slide out the body onto a piece of carpet, tip it on one side and start the assembly with the legs. The stand legs are very sturdy, be aware the short bolts and long bolts need to be used appropriately so that two long bolts don't clash. Initially I used the wheels and handles supplied but quickly realised they needed a lot of space to use, eventually I chose 8mm stem castors.


Changing between Planing and thicknessing needs removal/replacement of the outfeed table, secured by levers. This worried me. Levers? Clamps? Microswitches? When I got it out of the box, the first time I offered the outfeed table up to the body I was very impressed with the accuracy of the fit in the rebates, and the positive way the lever clamps operated. No play, no wobble, no fiddling. The infeed table fitted equally well, the rigidity enhanced by 4 C pins hammered in once installed. Oh.. once you have lifted off the outfeed table (with attached cutter guard) you need somewhere close and clear to put it down...

Installing the shaft for the infeed table cut depth was described as difficult .. 2 or 3 grub screw collars and several washers all needing to be installed in an exact order were shown.. Nothing could have been simpler...one grub screw collar, one spring washer and a smidgin of grease on the thread and it was done. Clearly things had changed.

The fence arrangements are also now supplied pre-assembled, but note the 90 and 45 degree stops needed adjustment and the two spanners supplied needed grinding down thinner to adjust the setting bolts.

Safety microswitches (how did I manage on my Kity?) are described in some videos are problematic, but I found no problems. In surfacing mode the chip collector is now positively located with a fitting on the lower front edge which obviates any faffing about.

Oh, chip collecting, my TEMU cyclone/shop vac arrangement copes well with my other tools, but on 6" plus softwood boards it doesn't clear chips quickly enough to prevent denting when thicknessing. Hhm...might need some high volume suction, at the cost of more SLW tokens and space. It copes with hardwoods.

All-in-all it gives the impression of capability and robustness, the fence has stayed true through several days of use, and it has coped with some manky elm, 3" oak fence post, pallet softwood and some sapele (?).

The next step up would be cast iron traditional P/Ts at £1000-plus, but in my 70s this will do nicely, touch wood.

I hope this has helped at least one someone else.

As the proctocologist said "Onwards and upwards!"
 
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Very helpful, thanks. I’m looking at a second hand one at the moment. I’ve not used a PT in 18 years and my last one was a Wadkin probably from the 60’s. I was a school technician.

I don’t fancy a cheap one like the Lumberjack or a Clarke, so second hand is the only way to make it affordable for me at this stage in the development of my backyard workshop.

What do you think of the noise from it?
 
That's a very subjective question and difficult to answer without knowing your situation. Is your backyard open-aired? Are neighbours within earshot? Will you be running it for long sessions? Will 'development' of your backyard include enclosure and therefore some means of noise control?
Personally I went for a s/h Metabo for use in a domestic garage with neighbours close by and I'm expecting to have to install some form of sound insulation for this and other noisier machines. I'm actually moving it into its new abode today, but it won't be run in anger for some weeks yet.
In this class of machine you haven't got much choice really. The Metabo is as as good as it gets but is no different from its clone mates, eg, Record Power or Scheppach, so don't restrict your search on the s/h market to Metabo.
In my present workshop (no pesky neighbours) I've happily used for short runs with no hearing protection but for longer sessions I'd don my ear defenders.
Brian
 
It is not extremely noisy but I'm comparing it with a 6" planer with a crude steel hood to eject chippings when thicknessing. Surface planing (only up to 6" wide so far) is quieter, less noisy than my 1/2" router. I'm not cheek by jowel with my neighbours but exercise simple considerations, I.e. no machines before 0900hrs or after 1900hrs, and none on Sundays although I have neighbours who wait until 1300hrs on Sunday to mow their lawns just as I take the first sip of my pre-prandial G&T!
 
@Chubber Nice write up. Regards chip extraction I bought a metabo plastic dust outlet for my Elektra bekum planer which should be the same as your machine? and cut the plastic away inside so it is a full hole and dont get any chippings stuck to the timber thicknessing full width boards.
 
Thanks Rewby, I shall look at that next week, I don't want to spend any more SLW tokens than I have to. The one provided does look as though it was designed to trap as many chippings as it can!
 
That’s a good helpful write up Chubber, I’m sure people will use it.
@BareBear I bought a s/h 12” Minimax PT with Tersa blades 15 years ago, it’s been absolutely brilliant, I can thoroughly recommend.
Ian
The Minimax looks to be a bit above my needs at the moment. I think the Metabo is top of the price range for me. It looks like there is a bit of a price jump when you go above the metabo.
 
@Chubber Nice write up. Regards chip extraction I bought a metabo plastic dust outlet for my Elektra bekum planer which should be the same as your machine? and cut the plastic away inside so it is a full hole and dont get any chippings stuck to the timber thicknessing full width boards.
Thanks from me, too, I will do that to my HC.
 
I’m going to check out a second hand Metabo tonight. As far as transportation goes, do you think it will break down and go in the boot of my large hatchback? Skoda Octavia. The boot is really big, especially when the seats are down.

Maybe when both tables are off and the leg as are removed it will comfortably fit.

Or do you think I’d need a small van?
 
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I don’t know the dimensions of your boot, but I would have thought that if you remove the outfeed table (no tools required) you could get it in lying on it’s side without removing anything else. They are not large machines. Don’t try and lift it on your own though. Take care (or remove) the thing that covers the blade area that you are not using, it’s a bit fragile.
Stuart
 
I don’t know the dimensions of your boot, but I would have thought that if you remove the outfeed table (no tools required) you could get it in lying on it’s side without removing anything else. They are not large machines. Don’t try and lift it on your own though. Take care (or remove) the thing that covers the blade area that you are not using, it’s a bit fragile.
Stuart
Thanks. I’m sure the seller will help me, but I’d need a bit of carpet or thick sheets something like that to cover the boot. I’m willing to book a van for a day if it’s not going to work. God knows I’ve got a million things I can do with a van for a day :D
 
For certain it will go in your car with legs and both tables removed. Depending on your combined strength fitness etc you may be able to leave the fixed in-feed table in place as long as you don't use it as a lifting point.
This will save having to remove the cut depth adjustment screw.
If the present owner has hammered in the 'C' pins as per the instructions you will need to tap underneath to loosen their grip.
Good luck!
 
For certain it will go in your car with legs and both tables removed. Depending on your combined strength fitness etc you may be able to leave the fixed in-feed table in place as long as you don't use it as a lifting point.
This will save having to remove the cut depth adjustment screw.
If the present owner has hammered in the 'C' pins as per the instructions you will need to tap underneath to loosen their grip.
Good luck!
Thanks @Chubber

I’m glad I stumbled on your thread. Very helpful.
 
Thanks. I’m sure the seller will help me, but I’d need a bit of carpet or thick sheets something like that to cover the boot. I’m willing to book a van for a day if it’s not going to work. God knows I’ve got a million things I can do with a van for a day :D
I transported mine with the outfeed table removed, legs in place, with ease in my X-Trail.
 

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