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Scheppach 260ci Planer/Thicknesser

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Adam

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I took delivery of my long-awaited Scheppach HMS-260ci Planer/Thicknesser last week, and finally got time (and space) to get it operational on Saturday. :D

First off, the machine was supplied fully assembled by Homewood, who carried it up the steps to my house, and to the workshop at the borrom of the garden. Dave (from Homewood) and his son, must both be 6' tall, and they really struggled with the wieght of this machine. The layout of my house does not really allow use of a carriage or pallet truck. I prefer my machines to be fully assembled, which (as discussed elsewhere) doens't give you as much of an insight on fine-tuning it for later, but it does allow you to use it after a "perfect" setup, and you then have a good reference point for just how good it should be. Also, having limited workshop time, it's another job I don't have time for! The final caveat is that I trust Dave to set it up as well (or better) than I could do myself. In other circumstances (distributors), given the speed and blades, I'd want the reassurance of doing this myself.

First off, I removed the gaurds and gave the castings a coat of lubricating wax. The thicknesser bed was covered in a sheet of anti-rust paper. I peeled this off, and first degreased, then waxed the cast thicknesser bed.


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The cast tables seemed to be finished to a good standard, and had slight "scallops" to reduce surface friction.


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I'm checking the fence for squareness. Their is a small allen-screw to fine tune this. The fence seemed very solid and "chunky" and has been overhauled since the previous model. The aluminium extrusion seemed well built, and the metal plates on the angle adjuster were solid and easy to adjust.


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Checking the other end! It's still spot on!


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WIth it all adjusted for squareness, I stuck on the "angle" sticker, to match precisely the settings I had just setup. Despite this, I prefer to use a square just to check.


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The machine is supplied with an extractor port - to allow fitting of 100mm pipe, and having already provisioned my extractor setup to provide a nearby blast gate, I connected it up. The same fitting is used when in both planing, and thicknessing mode.


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To switch to thicknessing mode, you have to release the table (using a very solid handle) and then lift one ond of the table up out of the way.


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Again, looking underneath, the casting seems to have plenty of metal to it.....


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The hinges on the bed seem very well engineered - they were smooth, but seemed to me to be very solid


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With the table bed up out the way, you flip round the deflector plate which acts as both a gaurd and a connection port for the extractor.


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Here it is with extractor hose connected....


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The thicknesser is adjusted through a handwheel.


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Read the instructions?????? One of the things that terribly let down Scheppach is their instructions, they are awful. I'd seriously suggest having a look around for instruction manuals for similar(ish) machines on the Axminster site, as their is no extra info on the NMA website. (how bad is that - having to use opposition websites as the information/manual is so poor)..... In fairness though, NMA are tremendously helpful on the phone, and did post me through a setup "cribsheet" for my tablesaw, so it's not that the information doesn't exist - it's just lack of access to it. Definately an area for impovement though...


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ON/OFF switches are easily located, and a lever engages/disengages the feed rollers should you need to stop a piece.


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The second thing that lets all Scheppach products down is their crappy wheel kits. I've replaced it with a propietary one here. The Scheppach one is basically two wheels on an axle, which you have to rock/tilt the machine forward, to let the axle fall into the "wheel position" then you push it along on just the two wheels. It's difficult, and unstable to move, and the axle frequently jams. I'd suggest you throw the wheel kit away - it's worse than useless and if you damage the machine as a result of trying to use it you'd be cursing. Anyway - I bought this replacement kit from Rutlands (£50) and it's just the business. (In case you are wondering, I bought the Scheappch wheel kit for the tablesaw and it's possibly the least functional/most expensive item I've ever had in my workshop)


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Now to business - whats it like to use?

Well, it's relatively quiet - I was impressed with how little noise it made. I ran some oak through it, and the motor hardly changed pitch. The finish from the planer was very good, some "scallops" - probably 'cos I didn't have an optimum manual feed rate. I ran the same piece through again, usnig the fence, and it measured exactly 90 degrees. Excellent!

I then switched to thicknesser mode, and ran it through again. What can I saw - WOW! The finish was completely smooth - absolutely not a trace of "scallops". The rubber feed rollers really must smooth out the undulations you normally get from a toothed-drive roller.


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The machine retails for about £800 - £850. I'd suggest the wheel kit which is often included "free" is worthless - perhaps it's cheap way to clear their warehouse of them!

The finish is spectacular - you could get away without running a smoother on it - it's so good! ;-) The switchover from planing to thicknessing is pretty swift - helped by the hinged table. I've been racking my brains, and I don't think at any price level I've ever seen such a good finish out of a thicknesser before, and I reckon I've personally seen the finish of about 5-6 machines, of which 3 were "industrial" quality, and the others all in the £800-£2000 price bracket.

A very very happy Adam.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Adam

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Of course, I'm sure you'll have experienced this yourselves, Saturday morning, I woke up and thought, I'll thickness all the ash/walnut for my soon-to-be TV cabinet. Firstly I thought, I need to get this machine operational, set the fences etc. So out to the workshop I go. Problem is, despite the number of electrical sockets, I need one by the door. Oh well I thought, I'll just fit one - "How long will that take?".......

Firstly, though I to find a suitable space for the socket, as this small section of the workshop never got insulated, and covered with chipboard - and it's where I need to install the sockets. All I need is to trim a piece of wood.... just need to find a suitable piece of wood now....


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Well, it seems silly not to finish the long-standing TUIT of fitting a security light, whilst I'm at it, and then another long standing TUIT is to fit an "outdoor" socket... This job is starting to look a little larger. Then it starts to rain. Lots of fun (not) standing out in torrential rain trying to screw fixings to a wall..


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Just need to cut some insulation now... (yawn) and then mount the board....

Decided I'd like both the light, and the outdoor socket switched (and the socket fused) so had to go and find some more sockets, and other fittings.....


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Finally - ready to start on the machine - time taken 4 hours. And by the time I've finished setting up the P/T, it's the end of the day, we're going out, and I didn't get any of the ash done whatsoever. Doh.


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Philly

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Adam,
Congrats on the P/T! It looks like a good piece of kit-are you a cast iron convert now? :wink:
Just a lil tip-as smooth as the timber looks there most definitely ARE small scallops. Put a bit of finish on the piece and they will mysteriously appear! (DAMHIK)
Don't through away your L-N's yet :lol:

Best Regards,
Philly :D
 

Adam

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Philly":txdgm41r said:
Adam,
Congrats on the P/T! It looks like a good piece of kit-are you a cast iron convert now? :wink:
Just a lil tip-as smooth as the timber looks there most definitely ARE small scallops. Put a bit of finish on the piece and they will mysteriously appear! (DAMHIK)
Don't through away your L-N's yet :lol:

Best Regards,
Philly :D
I'd still run a smoother it, but one pass and you'd be finished. Remember, the scallops surely are only created by variations in feed rate, if you have a completely smooth feed rate - from where would the scallops come?

Adam
 

gidon

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Adam

Nice review - interesting to read - especially as I bought the same machine last year without the cast iron! Amazed they even carried it to your shed for you.

The scallops you're could be due to the knives not being set correctly for the wood you're using. Ideally the setting varies depending on the wood (only hard or soft) you're using. If the blade are a fraction to high - the wood can "bounce" over the blades and cause the scallops. Also your probably know to use pressure on the outfeed tables to ensure the wood doesn't bounce over the blade.

Anyway enjoy the new tool - and tell Homewood to open a branch down here in Devon - I want a large heavy bandsaw carried to my shed at the back of the garden!

Cheers

Gidon
 

Aragorn

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Hi Adam
Glad you're enjoying your new toy!
I agree that the thicknesser is first-rate quality.
Perhaps having just the two blades, despite rotating very quickly, is where the scallops come from?
I think surface planing requires some degree of skill in terms of feed rate and downward pressure on the infeed/outfeed tables to get a prefectly straight edge.
I still think the fence looks a bit iffy. Let us know how you get on with it after a few weeks of use.
 

Philly

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Adam,
Are we talking about snipe or the fine machine marks left by the cutters along the whole length of the piece?
These are made because the cutting action is rotary. This is a fact of life with ALL planers and thicknessers. I wont go into the science (being a bit thick :? ), although I'm sure someone can point out a suitable link.
Please note-I am not having a dig! :D I wish you the very best with your new baby!
best regards,
Philly :D
 

gidon

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Aragorn":1nym6nxr said:
I still think the fence looks a bit iffy. Let us know how you get on with it after a few weeks of use.
Agree - doesn't look much different to the one on mine. Having said that I haven't had too many problems with mine. But you do need to check and reset it on all mode changes - and even sometimes after a long jointing run - especially if you're using long heavy pieces of wood.

Cheers

Gidon
 
A

Anonymous

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Very nice review Adam and a quality piece of kit. Nice purchase you lucky devil :wink:

As far as the scallops go, I find that a fast feed rate on the planer leaves very small scallops but a slow pass leaves none-at-all.
If scallops are only appearing at the end of the board, then your planer blades are set too high. I read in my manual that the wood should move about 5mm when the blades are turned by hand but found in practice that they should just touch the wood and not move it at all.
 

Adam

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No it isn't snipe - just the "normal" scallops I expect to see, - only in this case I don't. I think on further thought, that the large scallope you see are due to the toothed feed rollers providing variations in feed rate, but that on all thicknessers, if you look close enough, there must be some "mini-scallops" perhaps these are normally lost in the larger ones.

I'll have a go at slapping some finish on tonight (on both a piece through the smoother and raw from the thicknesser), and seeing if I can find a bright enough light to show the expected difference

Adam
 

Chris Knight

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Nice review Adam. It looks as though they have improved the design quite a bit over the previous model - especially the fence.

My you have been busy too - back must be a LOT better - good news!
 

Midnight

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I'll try again cos the server ate my last attempt...

That's a tasty looking piece of Kit Adam.. but how on earth does it fit in the shed with the tablesaw in there too...????

Couple of questions;-

are both the in/out feed tables adjustable in height?? (thinking along the lines of compensating for blade wear if they're reshaprened)

re the fence, I noticed in the pics that it's supported by a pair of quadrants; Do they manage to hold the fence absolutely ridged i.e. no lateral twist?? (context is my own benchtop jointer- single central quadrant which allows an alarming amount of pivot about its axis)

Nice bit of wiring btw... there's hope for you yet ;)
 

Alf

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Midnight":3paql8fp said:
but how on earth does it fit in the shed with the tablesaw in there too...????
Funny you should mention that, Mike. D'you have a floor plan of your w'shop skulling around anywhere, Adam? Despite my best efforts I still can't envisage how this miracle of shoe-horning is achieved. :shock:

Nice review, btw.

Cheers, Alf
 

Midnight

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Alf Wrote
Despite my best efforts I still can't envisage how this miracle of shoe-horning is achieved.
I canna get the image outa my head of Adam scooting around the shop in a hang-gliding harness, dangling from an overhead X-Y axis gantry...

it's the meds.. I swear... I'm not normally this messed up.....surely????
:?
 

Adam

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Alf":9yon8rjd said:
Midnight":9yon8rjd said:
but how on earth does it fit in the shed with the tablesaw in there too...????
Funny you should mention that, Mike. D'you have a floor plan of your w'shop skulling around anywhere, Adam? Despite my best efforts I still can't envisage how this miracle of shoe-horning is achieved. :shock:

Nice review, btw.

Cheers, Alf
See, plenty of space..... :shock:



Although the new welding kit doesn't help.... :lol:



Adam

PS: I will be extending the workshop - I've talked the neighbours, and they are happy, so that'll gain me a bit more space, and have the hatch into the loft improved so I can store more of the "beehive" related equipment up there, again, creating some more space for me.
 

Adam

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Midnight":30deg4g5 said:
re the fence, I noticed in the pics that it's supported by a pair of quadrants; Do they manage to hold the fence absolutely ridged i.e. no lateral twist?? (context is my own benchtop jointer- single central quadrant which allows an alarming amount of pivot about its axis)
If they don't I'd be sorely tempted to weld up a plate of some variety to hold it precisely square, or just weld the quadrants :shock:

Midnight":30deg4g5 said:
Nice bit of wiring btw... there's hope for you yet ;)
Well, one of the benefits of being an electronic engineer eh? I'm very slow at it still, as I check and double check.

Adam
 

Shadowfax

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Adam
That looks like a nice piece of kit. Enjoy it, especially as your back must be just a bit better now. Glad to see you are fixing things again!
Best wishes.

SF

BTW I am glad it is not just me that gets all the electrical stufff done only to find later that it needs altering or extending again! I put in a pull cord switch over the table saw and router table last night because I found I could not reach the normal switch from both places. I should have thought of that in the first instance but......you live and learn.
 

Adam

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Shadowfax":z3gxc7fg said:
Adam
That looks like a nice piece of kit. Enjoy it, especially as your back must be just a bit better now. Glad to see you are fixing things again!
Best wishes.

SF

BTW I am glad it is not just me that gets all the electrical stufff done only to find later that it needs altering or extending again! I put in a pull cord switch over the table saw and router table last night because I found I could not reach the normal switch from both places. I should have thought of that in the first instance but......you live and learn.
What a good idea, thats exactly what I need for the dust extractor.

Adam
 

Mike.C

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Hi Adam,

First class review. I forget who it was but someone said elsewhere that they prefer photos in a review and on seeing yours i have to agree. It helps you understand/see so much more then words ever could. I am going to have to get a digital camera.

Good luck with your new toy.

Regards

Mike.C
 

Adam

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Mike.C":1vyyekcm said:
Hi Adam,

First class review. I forget who it was but someone said elsewhere that they prefer photos in a review and on seeing yours i have to agree. It helps you understand/see so much more then words ever could. I am going to have to get a digital camera.

Good luck with your new toy.

Regards

Mike.C
Thankyou, I can certainly recommend a digital camera. I was a die-hard film SLR fanatic, until the price of 5mexapixel became more affordable. After changing, I swear, I'll never go back.

Adam
 
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