Planer Thicknesser advice.

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recipio

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After the tablesaw it's the most useful tool in the workshop. Buy a decent machine with an induction motor. I also prefer a machine with rubber rollers as you can thickness wood right down to 3 mm without knurling marks on the wood. You should be able to pick up a Scheppach HM250 or its big brother the 300 fairly cheaply.
Lastly budget for a dust/chip extractor to ease stress on the machine and prevent ankle deep levels of sawdust. !
 

Spectric

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Don't forget that you need space, I find my PT107 requires a fair amount of space in thicknessing mode when the planing tables are raised and you need at least the same space both ends to allow for infeed/outfeed. I often need to move it out for anything over a metre in length and if it was more easily accessible it would get more use.
 

Brian Charles

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I wonder if any one has had any experience with the Hammer A31 26
I have been reading all the posts and think I need to add a thickness planer to my workshop /shed.
From my experience of buy tools for workshop machine's (which is not much).is that I want to get the best to what my budget allows .I.E.
But one top quality machine like the Hammer A31 26 rather than cheaper version and and bandsaw for the same price and then save for a top quality bandsaw ...so if there is anyone who can point me in the right direction with regards to a free standing thickness planer I would be most grateful.
 

Ollie78

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I wonder if any one has had any experience with the Hammer A31 26
I have been reading all the posts and think I need to add a thickness planer to my workshop /shed.
From my experience of buy tools for workshop machine's (which is not much).is that I want to get the best to what my budget allows .I.E.
But one top quality machine like the Hammer A31 26 rather than cheaper version and and bandsaw for the same price and then save for a top quality bandsaw ...so if there is anyone who can point me in the right direction with regards to a free standing thickness planer I would be most grateful.
I have a Hammer A3-31 with a silent power head, it is pretty nice. I did have to do a bit of adjusting of the tension on the rollers as they were causing snipe. But once sorted it is an excellent machine. Before that I had a schepach hms2600 as someone else mentioned above, it was a good machine and perfectly adequate, bit not in the same league as the Hammer.
When researching planers before getting it, I was torn between the Hammer and a sedgewick, the advantages of the sedgewick design being its an under over style where you don't have to lift the bed to thickness, potentially saving space.

Ollie
 

Brian Charles

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Thank you for your reply .. I know that if I purchased something like the sheppach I would no doubt upgrade at some stage .so my thinking is buy once (hopefully)
 

Kinz

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Hello All,

Is buying a planer thicknesses a worthwhile addition to a workshop , where i plan to build general wood working project?

Have people brought one and not used as much as planned?

Thanks for you help and comments.
The forum consensus shows that a thicknesser is an essential tool for any workshop. As a mere hobbyist, I firmly agree & went for the cost/capacity of the De Walt 733 (152mm max thick * 312mm max wide). I’ve seen them on eBay for £400.
In terms of time saved, it is a no-brainier, and the cost is offset by savings in rough sawn wood Vs PAR, as shown by ‘Insanity’. If I was paid for my time, that would be another significant cost saving.
Also remember that, PAR dimensions from the stockist do vary, and this needs to be addressed for any quality work. One piece of stock 50mm PAR can be 49.5mm, the next 48mm, and so on.
The thicknesser allows you to quickly generate good quality, consistent stock, from which to commence any project. As stated by ‘Peter-harrison’, just remember to deal with the resulting sawdust!😇
 

Ollie78

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Thank you for your reply .. I know that if I purchased something like the sheppach I would no doubt upgrade at some stage .so my thinking is buy once (hopefully)

To be fair to the Scheppach I had it for maybe 8 years and it did its fair share of work. My issue was that I wanted something wider and the fence was always a bit of a problem as it had no fixing in the centre, also I wanted the spiral block for better finish on crazy grained wood.

Just something to be aware of if buying from Felder is that they are made to order, I had to wait 6 months for mine due to pandemic related issues.
Also, definitely get the wheel kit and the dial indicator upgrade for the thicknesser.

Ollie
 

Brian Charles

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Thank you for you advice will defentily take this on board when I decide to place my order .. it's just I'm not sure what the best planner thicknesser is for around The same price of the Hammer A31 26 ..
 

Keith 66

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My first Thicknesser was a Multico L3 bought from a secondhand tool dealer on Canvey back in 84, It had been in a workshop fire & written off. I gave £150 for it, gave it a new switch & motor & its still going strong today!
In a few years it will have to go as once the current boat project is finished the shed will have to go & its too big to go into my home workshop. In there i have my dads Schepach 260 that one is more compact & is on wheels.
 

clogs

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the sandwich type planer/thick are OK if u buy something decent but found over the years the next type up with longer tables helps a lot......
u'll need to spend £500 and more for something good new (often triple that) but the same money on a used machine will be a keeper for life.....
a small machine is OK but people say they build into a table/bench...OK if u have the room......but I find that benches etc just get in the way unless u have a big w/shop....
I up graded to a Dewalt D27300 from a sandwich type (£1400 new) about 2/3rds used....but that was because I needed something portable....
I also have a 4HP, 20"prof machine...to be converted to a spiral cutter head....(£1000)
Mafel, Dewalt Makita etc etc are the ones to go for....
and if u dont like it u'll get most of ur money back even after a couple of years....
avoid the cheap stuff like the plague......u'll get frustrated when u need spares and most only do an alright job......
if u look hard and GET lucky some of the Dewalts will have been converted to a spiral cutter head.....well worth the extra money.....that conversion kit in US,$ is around 400-500 on its own...
 

WoodchipWilbur

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Either buy cheap and if you keep working wood upgrade in several increments, or buy once and keep the machine for life.
...
We are all different and we all benefit from analyzing our needs and our resources in a matter of factly way before deciding which machine to buy and whether to buy new or secondhand.

Absolutely! I'm not a beginner - have been converting good wood to scrap for over 65 years now. My pro workshop is a distant memory and my Man Cave is small; but my parameters are changed. A lifetime of (mainly) hand tool work is necessarily now over. Some of the damage I've done to myself is self-inflicted (including some recent finger-modification) but the main problem is the vasculitis which means that physically demanding work is very limited. So when I (as now) start looking at P/T so that I can continue to do things, the "keep the machine for life" parameter is all too easily satisfied! Much as I would love to set myself up with premium gear, I'm aware that my woodworking activities will steadily dwindle. I cannot justify paying large chunks of the kids' inheritance on the sort of toys that I want.
 

Brian Charles

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Thank you all so much for your response's I will take all of the above advice it's just that I'm sick of buying machine's and finding I need to upgrade and sometimes wish I had bit the bullet and stretched my budget in the beginning .
 

johnnyb

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my experience with felder/ hammer is they are hugely overpriced and customer service is a joke. phone them and chat to them. if you don't get " we're arrogant" you weren't listening.
I've had an axminster spiral p/t and it's great but id look for a minimax with a tersa head used( or new) lovely machines. the spiral blocks are good but on standard timbers the finish could improved. on tricky timbers they are amazing btw. sedgwixk now do a spiral block(I mentioned it years before it happened....wanna know what's coming look over the water.
 

Ollie78

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Thank you all so much for your response's I will take all of the above advice it's just that I'm sick of buying machine's and finding I need to upgrade and sometimes wish I had bit the bullet and stretched my budget in the beginning .

I think your strategy on "buy once cry once" is certainly valid. I would say if you are thinking long term maybe get the A3-31 over the 26, I sometimes wish I had got the 41.
Otherwise don't discount second hand machines or refurbished stuff, SCM minimax do a pretty nice machine at comparable pricing to the Hammer, there is some nice refurbished Wadkins out there that will be pretty good value for money and likely last indefinitely.

Ollie
 

danst96

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Getting a planer thicknesser is a game changer as many have said on here however I would avoid buying a cheap new item from the likes of Screwfix, Clarke etc.

IMO it's just not worth the money. I bought a "Excel" p/t which is a generic 12" machine which many brands sell and it broke on the first day of using. Not user error as it was the switch, it could have maybe been fixed but I decided to can it and returned it.

A couple of days later I picked up a Kity 637 for less money. It's 40/50 odd years old and running like a dream and will continue to do so for years to come looked after rightly.

Probably the biggest mistake I made early in my woodworking journey is I thought buying cheaper new tools was better as it was less financial committal while I was figuring out what I wanted/needed compared to coughing up for bigger and superior second hand machine but this turned out a bad decision because ultimately I ended up replacing 3 cheap machines within weeks of buying meaning I wasted £100s on each machine as your cheap stuff does not hold any value at all.
 

ScottandSargeant

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To be fair to the Scheppach I had it for maybe 8 years and it did its fair share of work. My issue was that I wanted something wider and the fence was always a bit of a problem as it had no fixing in the centre, also I wanted the spiral block for better finish on crazy grained wood.

Just something to be aware of if buying from Felder is that they are made to order, I had to wait 6 months for mine due to pandemic related issues.
Also, definitely get the wheel kit and the dial indicator upgrade for the thicknesser.

Ollie
This is quite an informative review by Bosch Basch Bosch of the iTECH which is similar to the scheppach but with a spiral cutter block..
 

thikone

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I think your strategy on "buy once cry once" is certainly valid. I would say if you are thinking long term maybe get the A3-31 over the 26, I sometimes wish I had got the 41.
I think I saw in some youtube videos comparisons of these three models and one of them saying something like "A3-26 is a toy, get A3-31 instead". Probably because A3-31 is a more machine for not very much more money.

I got A3-41 last summer and FB-510 bandsaw because I don't plan to buy any other machines and wanted these two to be perfect. And I only wanted to cry once and more importantly transport them once to my basement. I also took a credit from my bank to make decision even easier. Sadly, I cannot say anything about A3-41 performance as it is still staying on the pallet... there was too much to do in the basement before I can start it, maybe next month. But it has silent power cutting head to reduce the noise - I live in block of flats and neighbors ideally should not hear it at all, hence long preparations.

A3-41 is much heavier - 380 kg, A3-31 - 290 kg, A3-26 - 260 kg. A3-41 is also longer by 40 cm than A3-31. Whereas A3-26 and A3-31 is basically the same.

I only used Bosch SHO-160 (same as Mafell AD-160) which is 17 kg and is noisier than Hammer. One more reason to go for heavy machine with induction motor and segmented cutting head. Mostly used it as thicknesser after hand planes.
 

2sheds

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I've also decided to get one. Looking at the Makita 2012NB for £459 from FFX. What would all you experts buy for £500?
Thanks
 

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