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Portable P/T's

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Louise-Paisley

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Did I say I have worked as an electrician for.. ever.. and know little about working with wood? I well I did and don't.

Anyway, hand work is not my strong point and the chances of me getting a bit of tree smooth, flat and square with a plane are about as likely as winning euromillions. I look with envy at these workshops with a planer/ thicknesser doo dah that appears to turn rough old bits of timber into something usable but I have a shed and cost aside I just don't have the space for that. I am not exactly going to be a heavy user either, the odd bit now and again is more likely.

But trawling round machine mart today for the lack of anything better to waste time on I happened across a de-walt portable P/T and another probably dung make of portable as well for half the price. I was unaware these even existed, probably because I have never even looked to see if they do :D

So, is it something worth buying? will it allow me to fire in some rough sawn timber and get it planed down true and square? or is it simply a waste of money?
 

siggy_7

Full time tool collector, part time woodworker
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25 Sep 2011
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The general consensus is that most of these portable machines do a reasonable job of both planing and thicknessing, but there are drawbacks. They are fitted with brush motors and are extremely loud compared to induction motors fitted on the heavier machines, so your neighbours probably won't thank you for using them at unsocial hours. The fences can be quite flimsy and difficult to get good results with planing a second reference surface at 90° to the first - although this isn't limited to portable machines. And longer surfacing tables make planing long items easier and more accurate. However, if you're prepared to put up with the racket and these limitations then they generally do a good job - a friend has a De Walt 1150 and gets good results.
 
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