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NPJ130 NuTool Portable Thicknesser

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nicfirth

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Has anyone used this machine or seen it in operation?

I've seen it available at about £140 which seems awfully cheap if its any good.

Regards
Nic
 

nicfirth

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I guess no one has used one:)

I did, however, choose a different thicknesser as I emailed Nutool who advise me that the minimum stock it produces is 25mm (an inch!) and as I want to plane down to 6mm its no good.

Regards
Nic
 
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Anonymous

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Nic,

Just FYI, you can thickness down to less than the minimum by using a carrier board. Fasten the piece to be thicknessed onto a piece of good thick ply or MDF and run the whole thing through the thicknesser.

Cheers, Jester
 
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Anonymous

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Jester

An easier way to do things is to attatch a piece of MDF or ply to the thicknesser bed. You dont have to keep fixing and un-fixing bits of timber that way.
This only works on thicknessers without idle rollers in the bed though.

Cheers
Doughnut
 

bobthejoiner

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It even works with beds that have rollers just lower them they usually have setting from 0-3. Also make sure you fasten a stop on the under side of any carrage board that you use. I find MDF quite suitable when a coat of candle wax is rubbed onto the upper surface . On portabe thicknessers ie Dewalt etc they usually have rubber lead-in rollers and I have machined hardwood down to 1mm thickness
Cheers BTJ
 

nicfirth

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Yes I know that you can get around it but with that as a design minimum it worried me, that a machine that seemed to good (cheap) to be good was.

I've gone for the Axminster CT-344 which was twice the price but I believe that Axminster have a good reputation, so I thought I would give it a go. Also it planes 12.5" rather than 10" and size matters :wink:

It's arrived but I haven't had a chance to set it up yet, (moving house for my elderly father at the mo) all being well I'll have a go on Friday and report back.

Regards
Nic
 

kityuser

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is Nu tool stuff any good? I`ve read the review of the jointer (from this website) which seems to be the cheapest around @ 120 pounds

and the thicknesser is only 130 pounds from some websites (by the way, has anyone noticed that the PowerPro version [from B&Q] looks EXACTLY like the Nutool machine, but is 70 pounds more expensive :shock: )

i suppose there are 2 options:
a) these are both cheap rubbish that can`t really be used to any degree of accuracy (like my clarke table saw *rubbish*)
b) these are 2 jems that nobody has discovered yet.

I`m wondering, because I`m currently kitting out a new (hobbyist) workshop).


cheers
 
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Anonymous

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I have a Nu-Tools thicknesser & have found that it works fine, but tends to leave a "snipe" in the end of the wood i.e. the blades dig in a bit at the end. This can be minimised by using an outfeed table or a roller-stand to support the pice as it feeds through. I think this is because the thicknesser has only one feed roller rather than both an infeed & outfeed roller.

- there is a thread about this somehwre

I generally use the thicknesser in combination with my jointer as follows:-
use the jointer to get a straight edge i.e. remove cup & warp from one edge. I then use the thicknesser to get to just over the required thickness & I finish off with the jointer to remove any "snipe" & get the required thickness, measuring with a vernier caliper.

This might seem long winded, but on my limited tools budget, I have to put up with the vagaries of the cheaper tools.
 
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Anonymous

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stevenprigg":12nt0eku said:
by the way, has anyone noticed that the PowerPro version [from B&Q] looks EXACTLY like the Nutool machine, but is 70 pounds more expensive :shock:
I get the impression that there are a lot of 'cheap' tools made out in the Far East. Probably companies like Nu-tool, Ferm, B&Q, even Trend and Axminster, have their tools made by the same people, with a few 'tweaks' made to parts quality, colour etc.

Not wishing to highjack this thread too much, but I don't have a thicknesser (yet :) ).

How do you set the thickness?? Is there a measure/gauge/scale relative to the feed tables? i.e. you dial in you required thickness and then feed you wood through? Or do you have to progressively wind down the cutting blade until you reach your required thickness??
 
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Anonymous

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There is a gauge to tell you the thickness setting, but my thicknesser struggles to take more than 2-3 mm off at at each pass, so I progessively wind down the guage taking aboout 1-2 mm off at each pass through.
 
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Anonymous

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Having just run a couple of cubes of 1" ash through the thicknesser to get it down to 3/4" I can report the following:-

do not try to set the thicknesser to remove more than 2-3 mm

You get a snipe at the end if you are taking off a lot of wood

run the piece through a couple of times to acheive the desired thickness before winding it down another few mm. This reduces the snipe. I ran the pieces through once for each mm, so if I'm trying to remove 3mm, the wood gets passed through 3 times.

Check with a calliper - I found that if I only ran a piece once through, it not only wasn't the desired thickness, but wasn't even square i.e. upto 1mm difference in thickness across the piece (140mm wide)

Take the final 1-2mm off with a jointer. I found that the surface was a bit uneven. Maybe due to chippings clogging the planer blades. I do not (yet) have the correct adapter for my extractor.

This might improve with another couple of passes through the thicknesser, but I have a jointer
 

kityuser

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it sounds worrying that a thicknesser has up to 1mm of error across a planed peice of wood.

can i ask how wide the wood was that you thicknessed?


if you`re taking off 2mm, then surely a 1mm error in thickness is a 50% error :shock:
 
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Anonymous

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ok, let me elaborate.

If I tried to take 2-3 mm off in a single pass, then I got between 0.5 and 1mm difference across the width in a 150mm wide piece of ash. Also, not the entire 2-3mm reduction in thickness. Running thorugh 2 or 3 times evened this out to an un-noticeable amount i.e. generally < 0.1mm. I think that the jointer is probably not powerful enough to do 3mm in a single pass.

Along the length of the piece, I still got visible variation as a wavy surface (maybe 0.5-1.0mm peak-trough), even after 2-3 pases. This might have been corrected by another pass through the thicknesser, but I used my jointer to finish the job.

I'm not complaining about the machine, just pointing out its limitations
 

Martin

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elvch01,

I take it that you passed the peice through the jointer before the thicknesser? i.e. the thicknesser will just copy the edge that's face down when it passes through the cutters, so if the peice has any twist or warp, it will just get copied to the opposite face. Just a thought.

On the other hand it could well be simply the quality of the machine - in which case I'd send it back if I were you.

I don't want to sound like a broken record or anything, but there's usually a reason why the price is up to 1/3 that of the nearest brand name competition - it sounds like you may have found it...

I've been waiting for years to get a thicknesser, and have finally managed to buy one (after going through long and tortuous approval procedures with the wife). I plumped for the Axminster CT330, which cost me in the wallet department (better part of £400), but in my view was well worth the money (and the long wait):

- it cuts accurately, and to the thickness shown on the thickness gauge straight out of the box
- there's no stated minimum thickness (as far as I can tell)
- no snipe
- auto-setting planer knives - so no fiddly set-up jigs to deal with

I know it's hard to resist the temptation to buy these things - I've many a time looked at cheap jointers/thicknessers etc., but resisted the temptation (I got burned in the past when I bought a cheap tablesaw - never again).

Just my 2 cents....

Cheers,
Martin
 
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Anonymous

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yes I did pass the face through the jointer first (learned that from Norm :wink: )

I agree entirely that I bought a cheap jointer and do not expect a Rolls-Royce for the price of a Mini. I am not complaining, merely pointing out what you get for your money.

I believe that any problem with this thicknesser is due to an underpowered motor or slight flex in the rollers. I get no snipe and an accurate thickness provided I pass each piece through 2-3 times.

Would I buy another Nutools thicknesser? - probably not. Aways buy the best value tools you can afford - and I don't necessarily mean the most expensive - I have a Rexon planer/jointer & a Ferm biscuit jointer, both of which serve me well

Do I regret buying the Nutools thicknesser - No because:-
- that would be admitting a mistake :p
- I was not able to afford the £300+ for a "decent" one
- couldn't resist the temptation to own another power tool, especially one that allowed me to buy rough-sawn wood

Having said all that, I will continue to use my cheapy machine until it breaks. I know its limitations and will extract every penny of the investment I have made.
 

Martin

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Hi elvch01,

That man Norm has a lot to answer for - my longing for a thicknesser all these years has a lot to do with him and his workshop, not to mention a number of other toys (..err tools) I've acquired over the years :wink: .

I guess it's about quality, and I agree that quality doesn't necessailry mean price - moreover, it's fitness for purpose. If you're happy with the result that the machine gives then that's what really counts - and if the price is good as well then it's a double bonus. Of course you can pay a fortune for good tools, and the tricky thing is not knowing how much you need to spend to get the results you want.

I continue to be impressed with Axminster though - I bought their Perform Jointer, which I think is a similar spec to your Rexon and at the budget end of the market, and have been very pleased with the results.

The tricky thing is knowing how much you need to spend. In my case I was just saying that I sometimes prefer to wait/save longer and buy better.

It's a difficult one to call though - the counter argument is that I wont make enough use of my thicknesser to merit what I paid for it, but then I could probably apply that argument to lots of my tools :D

Martin.
 
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Anonymous

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I considered the Perform Jointer from Axminster, especially with the offer they had with the extractor, but when I phoed, they had none in stock, and a 4 week lead time so I went for the Rexon to get the jointer by Christmas. I can be so impatient sometimes.

I've bought from Axminster before & have always had good service, but I'm always looking on Ebay for bargains & have found a good few.

Its always worth remembering - he who dies with the most toys - wins! :D
 
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Anonymous

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The saga continues....

I never have managed to get a completely flat & smooth surface with my NPJ130 & have always finished off with the jointer, but today I disovered one possible reason. The outfeed roller is out of balance i.e. one end rotates perfectly OK, but the other end shows 4-5mm eccentricity. I had never noticed this before coz I don't usually stick my head near spinning planer knives :shock: . Once I had seen this, I dismantled the entire machine piece by piece and indeed, the rubber coating on the outfeed roller is not evenly applied at one end this making the centre of rotation a couple of mm out. This would cause significant uneveness of pressure on the timber as it passes through the outfeed. :evil: This would explain a lot!!

Question now is whether to scrap it or try & find a replacement outfeed roller :?: I'm tempted to bite the bullet & spend £300-400 on a "decent" thicknesser & put the £100 or so spent on the NPJ130 as a lesson learned the expensive way. - oh well these are the sort of mistakes a newbie can easily make
 
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