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rosinante

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Hi all, has anyone fitted a power feed to a surface planer?I have seen one once on a professional Wadkin and am considering making one from a high torque 10 rpm motor that I have, are there any any pitfalls? I am thinking that a feed speed can be set by the diameter of the wheel as the motor speed is fixed.
I am not sure what wheel to use yet,I have one from a mobility scooter that is pneumatic so tyre pressure could be altered for feed and downward pressure, any thoughts, or am I wasting my time on a frippery?
thanks in advance for any replies
Chris
 

ColeyS1

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We had one fitted on our old planer and it made planing up large long oak posts much easier. You wouldn't want to use it on thin timber

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johnf

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Yes done that proper powerfeed though three rollers the rollers need to be on the outfeed part of the planer to work well
 

custard

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I fitted an extended arm to the powerfeed on my combination machine so that it can be swung over the planer (and saw) as well as over the spindle moulder. As John said it works best just over the outfeed table (and with thick-ish boards, say 25mm plus), otherwise it's artificially squashing out any cupping in the boards, which then springs back after emerging from under the rollers.

I've only used it a couple of times as in practise I tend to use the planer just to get sufficient flatness to pass the workpiece through the thicknesser, which has it's own built in power feed and therefore automatically gives a fine finish. But I could see applications if your thicknesser is one of those that will only take a minimum cut of 1mm or so, or has really rough segmented rollers that can leave marks in a surface. Other than a very specific application like that (or machining hundreds of joinery components in a commercial workshop) my vote would be "unnecessary frippary"!
 

Jacob

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A power feed on a spindle is used with squared up stock.
On a planer (unless you have some reason for planing already squared stock) the stock is usually sawn and often bent, twisted etc. A power feed most likely wouldn't help with these problems.
 

custard

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I've seen a power feed used for edge jointing at an angle against an inclined fence. That's a sensible use of a power feed in an industrial context, high accuracy and enhanced operator safety. But you need a very hefty fence to deal with the pressure and a pretty big run of components to justify the set up time, neither of which are likely to be common in most of our workshops!
 
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