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Planer Thicknesser Purchase- advice please.

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Mike-W

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Hi all Planer-Thicknesser users
I am considering upgrading my Elektra HC260 to a Planner-Thicknesser to one that is a bit more ‘meaty’ in the next few months and I plan to have a look at a few machines next week. I am hoping to move up to a quality Planer with a 300mm width of cut & tables no more than 1400mm long and weighing in at about 250Kg, complete with some sort of wheels should I need to move it around, although I hope I can do most of my work without having to move it.
I have a preliminary list of machines based in part on previous threads on this site: Scheppach hms 3200ci, Rojek MSP310M, 310ST (from Southern Woodwork), Hammer A331 (fence flatness reported to be a problem with this machine) or the Sedgwick 260 mm cut.

I would be interested in any comments or experience on the following;

*I have selected only European made machines in the belief that they should be of a higher build quality?
*With the exception of the Sedgwick all machine have Aluminium fences, are these fences rigid enough?
*Three of these machines have fixed (no fold) planner tables, is this likely to make thicknessing any more difficult?
*The four screw thread’s on my Elektra C260 that raise the thicknesser table gets clogged up with wood shavings and dust, making raising the table difficult, has anyone noticed a problem with machines that they use?
*Some of the machines have only two knives while one has four, taking longer to set up on cutter change, is there a noticeable increase in quality with more knives?
*Do rubber rollers on the thicknesser feed of the Scheppach suffer from resin build up?
 

Chris Knight

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I have had the smaller Scheppach since about 1996 and it has been and continues to be a great machine despite being frequently pushed very hard. The rubber rollers do not get covered in resin but then I very rarely use softwoods. I appreciate them for the fact they do not leave marks on the timber as corrugated rollers can do.
 

Mike-W

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Hi Waterhead
I must admit to looking closely at the Scheppach Planer-Thicknesser based on it being the most popular in a poll on this site a few months ago, As I plane mainly hardwoods, resin on the rollers should not be a problem for me.
I understand the latest models have an anti corrosion finish on the cast Iron beds, that would be good for my unheated workshop.
The Scheppach hms 3200ci has only two knives; I would be interested if the finish is good as some of the other machines have a three knife cutter block?
Mike
 

Alf

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Up the proverbial creek
Mike-W":1cjgko1h said:
*With the exception of the Sedgwick all machine have Aluminium fences, are these fences rigid enough?
As long as the fixing point is in the centre of the fence, they should be fine, I'd have thought.

Mike-W":1cjgko1h said:
*Three of these machines have fixed (no fold) planner tables, is this likely to make thicknessing any more difficult?
Probably depends on what you're used to. On the Maxi they're fixed, and I have to say I like them that way; it's one less thing to fuss with. The only thing I've had is a few shorter pieces might need a nudge through with a push stick to get them started, but it's no big deal. I'd definitely go with an over/under every time.

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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Mike.

Can't speak for the 3200 but again on mine, the finish is good. You have to look at the number of cuts per mm which is a function of cutterhead rpm and the number of knives. My unit has quite a high cutterhead speed compared with some models.

I am happy to sharpen only two knives. I think there is some benefit in the helical knives one is starting to see but I am not sure the hassle of sharpening and adjusting more than two knives is repaid in a hugely superior finish (which starts to decline as as soon as one knife gets chipped).
 

Mike-W

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Chris

Good point about the cutter block speed, I had overlooked that one!
I guess the feed speed/cutter block RPM in the thicknesser mode with different machines will give a good indication of the finness of finish?

How do you find adjusting the in-feed and out-feed tables for level? I have seen comments on a different thread that the Scheppach can be a bit fiddly? My Electra HM260 is dead easy; I simply adjust a grub screw on each side of the out-feed table with a long straight edge to set the table level.

Mike.
 

Chris Knight

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Mike,
I have never had to adjust mine. They came properly set up and have remained so. It doesn't look as if it should be too difficult but I can't say for sure.
 

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