Planer thicknesser choice

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chipchaser

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Apologies for yet another post on this subject!

I am looking for a small to medium and not too expensive (cheap!) p/t for my small workshop which is only 3.5 x 4 metres, and with a ply floor on joists. I would prefer secondhand to keep the cost down. It will have to share the space with 2 lathes (1 big 1 small), a contractors 10" saw bench, a Startrite bandsaw, pillar drill, grinder etc and a bench plus other odd tools. You can see why the p/t can't be too big. Typical work will be smallish, say 200x450 or less, and often thin, say 8mm minimum, stuff but of course it would also be nice to be able to run a 200x75mm joist through it occasionally when needed. I do have roller stands to help keep long stuff level when feeding through.

I currently have and use a Nutool BT155 planer jointer which is ok if used carefully, i.e. take thin cuts and take care to support the work and apply pressure in the right place as you feed it through. Snipe is the problem if you aren't careful. The fence has to be set with a square but is firm enough for light use. The fence is not tall enough but you can drill it and screw on a piece of ply to make it bigger It's obviously not remotely as capable as the machine most of you guys use but it is easier than hand planing :).

I have probably read all the relevant posts on this site and am so well briefed as to be totally confused!

Although a big cast iron job from Wadkin or similar appears favourite all the ones I have seen offered are too big, heavy and expensive especially taking my shops floor into account.

Axminster AW106PT2 is often recommended but weighs 150kg and at £570 delivered is too much.

Axminster AWEPT106 Planer/Thicknesser at £400 including a free chip extractor is affordable and half the weight. Axminster have good comments on their own site and it appears generally similar to the Electra Beckum/Metabo HC260 which is often recommended. There is an apparently similar SIP 01454 for slightly less new on Ebay. Are either worth considering or are they poor copies of those Electra Beckum/Metabo machines?

Record also have a PT260 again similar to Electra Beckum/Metabo machines but there are a few comments in the forum criticising Record quality in general.

I did fancy a s/h Kity 439 but was slightly discouraged when I found:
1) they had been taken over. I see they are now available again but am uncertain whether spares will be available for the older machines and
2) I found a comment in the forum suggesting the feed table support was possibly not as good as it could be. Any advice on this machine? It does, as best I can tell, seem to have quick and easy changeover from planer to thicknesser.

I am going to see a Kity 635 which the owner describes as "semi industrial". it has been modified to allow hand feeding, as well as power feed, through the thicknesser to avoid chipping thin stock used by him for model making. He is retiring now and wants to sell the machine but he sounds very competent and knowledgeable. I have never seen one of these before so hope it is not too huge or heavy! Any advice on this machine? Any idea what it is worth?

To be honest I could probably manage with a Woodstar PT85 but my gut feeling is that a s/h Kity or Electra Beckum/Metabo HC260 or one of the clones would be less limiting. I have rejected any thoughts of the B&Q McAllister thicknesser that I enquired about earlier.

Apologies for such a long post but I have tried to cover all my criteria! Thanks for any comments.
 

OPJ

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Kity stuff has a very good reputation and I'm quite sure you'll be able to get assistance and spares for any older machinery by contacting NMA Agencies. If you can get hold of one of their planers then, that's probably the way to go.

I used to own one of these "PT260 Clones" and I only found it to be a waste of time. I was delighted when I eventually replaced it with the AW106PT, and still am today (although, admittedly, if I had the space, I'd still rather go for separate machines! :wink:)

If you are intent on saving on money, weight and want to buy something new then, as far as the Elektra Beckum clones go, the Record Power one seems to offer the best value of all of them. Although you are paying extra, you get a five-year guarantee and the tables are better built. Digit recently bought a new Metabo/EB machine and he was less than impressed with the quality and accuracy of the surfacing tables. Might not be an issue with the Record.
 

floorman

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hi chipchaser, where in south warwickshire are you. if the kity 635 is to big for you ,any chance of passing on the contact
Thanks Gary
 

chipchaser

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Hi all,

thanks for advice on p/t. Bought s/h Kity 635 on Sunday from hobby user who bought it new about 14 years ago. Happy with it, planes nicely although the fitted blades have a nick (examined closely actually looks more like a small dent in both blades) so need regrinding. Must fit the spare pair. Haven't tried thicknessing yet but vendor demonstrated it before purchase when it did that well too.

Came with the Kity blade setting and honing tool. The previous owner said he never bothered using that just used the two bits of flat wood technique which I see the Kity instructions recommend you use after setting with the tool to check it is correct! Any opinions on the worth of the setting tool?

I fancy having a go at grinding the damaged blades myself. I could use the setting tool to hold the blades at the correct angle on my milling machine bed and then run it under a grinding wheel held in the chuck. I would put a shim under the blades to lift them slightly to avoid grinding the edge of the gauge down too. Any advice on where I might buy a suitable grinding wheel and the best shape of wheel? It would need a 1/4" shaft to fit the collet chuck on the mill.
 

Wildman

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I just came upon this old thread and if chipchaser is still here I'd be interested to know how he got on grinding the blade on the milling machine. To my mind there would be insufficient speed for a decent finish and grinding dust on the mill, aghrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
 

HantsHog

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Make sure you check the price of replacement blades as this will influence your choice. I bought a DeWalt DW733 bench thicknesser a while back and although it works very nicely I discovered that the blade are over £70 a pair and rare as hens teeth! They can be sharpened which I've done twice now but at some point I will need to replace them. My DW733 is the later Type II whereas the previous Type I has blades that are cheap as chips and abundant.
 

HantsHog

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HantsHog":19wg1l8b said:
Make sure you check the price of replacement blades as this will influence your choice. I bought a DeWalt DW733 bench thicknesser a while back and although it works very nicely I discovered that the blade are over £70 a pair and rare as hens teeth! They can be sharpened which I've done twice now but at some point I will need to replace them. My DW733 is the later Type II whereas the previous Type I has blades that are cheap as chips and abundant.

Okay, I've just seen the original post was 2008! Never mind it's still handy to know.
 

chipchaser

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Hi Wildman,

I am not normally here but Charley sent me a message.
I did not follow up that idea as when I ran it past Taig they said not a good idea as the tables on those desktop milling machines are aluminium, hard anodised I think but still liable to be damaged by abrasive dust.

I asked for more advice on the forum and Digit very kindly posted some information about his setup under the heading: Planer knife jig. - planer-knife-jig-t29969.html

I hope that may be some use to you. I still use the Kity but not intensively and still running on the spare set of blades. Taking into account the time required to make up a jig and find suitable components I will probably get mine sharpened by a professional when the time comes.

Looked on line for some 105mm wide blades for an old (1986) Naerok planer recently but no luck. I think they are intended to be thrown away rather than sharpened. I wonder if there are any more of these planers in existence?

Good luck with sharpening your blades.
 

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