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Bacms

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Hello everyone,

I am an hobbyist woodwork that mainly uses handtools.

Lately, I have been using a local furniture maker workshop whenever I need to dimension rough stock but with the current COVID-19 situation it may be a while before I am able to visit again.

Which got me thinking the best way to keep doing woodworking during the current situation and I am considering buying a lunchbox thicknesser. The reason for a thicknesser rather than a planner/thicknesser is space (single garage), Lie Nielsen 5 1/2 (Happy to plane components by hand but getting them to thickness bores me to death) and lack of suitable dust extraction (ShopVac only).

Reading around the Dewalt seems to get most of the recommendations but it is also the most expensive of the bunch at around £500, in comparison the metabo comes at £350 and the Makita around £420. So I am wondering does anyone uses the Metabo or has experience with it? Most threads I can find that start with the Metabo seem to end up in people not buying which concerns me slightly. The Makita looks good as well but has the faster feed rate which is a concern for the finish.
Any others I should be considering? I don't have the best experience with Triton so I am giving that a pass for sure
 

boschboy

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plenty of second hand dewalt ones around on facebook market place around £350
 

Bacms

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I can't find anything when I search for dewalt thicknesser. What are your search terms? Also most of them are probably collection only and that would count towards non essential travel

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Bacms

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I did nothing within 100Km which seems to be the maximum distance Facebook allows you to use. A second DeWalt would be great but I have been looking on eBay for over a year and almost no one is willing to post and the ones that did ended up quite high. Unfortunately, Cambridge, perhaps as expected, is an area where you don't get many people with space for woodworking
 

boschboy

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there was one on there this morning for £275 use a laptop for you search as phone only does 100 km
 

sunnybob

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A lunchbox thicknesser is NOISY!
Thats spelt N. O. I. S. Y. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
Everyone within a 100 yards is going to know when you use it, even if theyre indoors watching TV with the windows closed. :roll:
It also makes HUGE quantities of chips, Unbelievable quantities.
Do not buy one unless you are prepared for this.

That said, its a very useful tool indeed. =D> =D>
And the reason the dewalt is the best is because it has a locking cutting head, which almost completely eliminates snipe.
I have the jet, which does not lock, and there is at least 4" of snipe at each end of the board unless I run sacrificial pieces in front and behind.
 

Bacms

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I already have a router table and a track saw does it really get any worst than that? The chips are indeed a problem and I am wondering whether I can just add a cyclone to the shop vac or whether I need a proper low pressure high volume extractor.

Does the Dewalt has a locking mechanism? I can see the Metabo has this but the Dewalt doesn't seem to have one unless I am missing something. Other thing I hadn't consider is the possibility to upgrade to a shelix cutter which only exists for the Makita or the Dewalt but not for the metabo

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sunnybob

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Yes, it's MUCH louder than a router table.
The problem with waste is that it's not dust, it's chips and even looks like string from some wood. 50 litre bags get filled very quickly.
They are very useful, but don't think you can skimp on the rest of the stuff needed to run them succesully.
shelix heads were a grand last time I looked
 

Bacms

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sunnybob":28rtk7zn said:
Yes, it's MUCH louder than a router table.
The problem with waste is that it's not dust, it's chips and even looks like string from some wood. 50 litre bags get filled very quickly.
They are very useful, but don't think you can skimp on the rest of the stuff needed to run them succesully.
shelix heads were a grand last time I looked
Interesting, from the experience I had running the planner/thicknesser I didn't find it particularly noisy so need to take that into consideration as I line in a terraced house with a built-in garage.

Isn't a cyclone designed for separating chips and dust so it should be enough? Or are you saying I definitely need an extractor?

Prices on the website are around $400/$500 definitely not cheap once you add postage and import tax but still not a grand. Axminster does a version with spiral cutters but it is also above £1000 so not much saving there.
The reason I am considering this is I like to work with figured woods so any improvement for curly woods would be great but budget can't stretch that far as missus as lost her job and finding a new one on the current climate is proving difficult...

And sorry if these seem like stupid questions but I genuinely don't know the answer to them.
 

MusicMan

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Yes the DW733 has a locking arm and snipe is very low - not bad even without the lock on.

Yes it produces a lot of chips. I use a Camvac with a 100 mm hose right next to it.

It's actually not too bad on finish if you just spray the chips out of the exit port. What is awful is an extractor without enough suck, as it all gets jammed up, then it gets clogged inside and the finish goes to pot.

Fairly noisy yes, but you don't run it for that long. or use it that often. It's the only tool I wear ear protectors for.
 

Trevanion

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The main reason the lunchbox thicknessers are so loud even when idling and not cutting is because of the brushed motors that they use, they scream instead of quietly hum like an induction motor on a larger industrial machine.

I'm not sure what the shaving ejection is like on the lunchbox models but you might be able to get away without an extractor if you don't mind sweeping, but it is best to have an HVLP extractor hooked up to them just for cleanliness sake. I've got a little 750W 100mm Draper HVLP extractor that's more than capable than keeping up with a 12" thicknesser in full load, I did have to cut the safety grid out on the entry point to the impeller because it would clog with the stringy shavings in the first few seconds otherwise. If you keep an eye on eBay and other sites (maybe not at this current time) you'll find a plethora of extractors for sale for dirt cheap.

You can get excellent results on figured timbers by having the knives doctored so that they have a 5-degree or so back bevel on the cutting face of the knife to reduce the cutting angle so it has more of a scraping action. Doing this, however, means you cannot take too heavy of a cut especially with a light-weight machine because there's so much more load on the cutter head, I would suspect you wouldn't be able to even take a full millimeter cut on something over 200mm wide. There are a few other factors that will help the finish such as feed rate and the amount of knives but I certainly wouldn't run out and buy a Shelix cutter head specifically for the job unless it will actually pay for itself in the long term and I only see that really being possible on an industrial-grade machine that will be used daily for years, I certainly haven't really thought about it for any of my machines as I don't really change out knives that often even in daily use and they're fairly quick to change anyway. You may be able to tinker with the machine to reduce the feed rate by messing with sizing of the feed gears/pulleys to reduce the speed ratio.
 

loftyhermes

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I have the Makita thicknesser and when running without planing wood it's no louder than an electric lawnmower. I use mine outside and just sweep up the shavings into the garden recycling bin. The Makita has a self locking head.
 

Bacms

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loftyhermes":2faayaiw said:
I have the Makita thicknesser and when running without planing wood it's no louder than an electric lawnmower. I use mine outside and just sweep up the shavings into the garden recycling bin. The Makita has a self-locking head.
Do you get any snipe on the makita? I have been checking the price of knives on the metabo is twice of those on the Dewalt and the makita so it seems it will be between those 2.

I think to buy an extractor of chips make sense as at some point I also want to add a bandsaw, just need to find a way of fitting everything and still have a workshop where I can move around. The camvac options seem quite good but I will keep an eye on eBay for now
 

MusicMan

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Oh re knives - I invested in the planer knife jig from Tormek as I have one of those. Good investment, pays for itself (w.r.t. replacement knives) after about 3 sharpenings, and it works very well.
 

marcros

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I have the axi version ct330. I dont have it hooked up to an extractor, and I generally pull it outside to use it. it is noisy, but for dimensioning a few boards, the task doesn't take many minutes so the annoyance to neighbours is limited. no more annoying than somebody trimming a hedge for an hour. the surface finish may be a bit better with an extractor hooked up, but it isn't my finished surface anyway.

mine has disposable knives, which aren't cheap. they can be changed quickly and easily though. they seem to last me a while but at £50+ a set now they are not cheap. you get 2 edges for that though, and there is an old post saying that Woodford can supply "much cheaper" than axi.
 

loftyhermes

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Bacms":2mftiys5 said:
loftyhermes":2mftiys5 said:
I have the Makita thicknesser and when running without planing wood it's no louder than an electric lawnmower. I use mine outside and just sweep up the shavings into the garden recycling bin. The Makita has a self-locking head.
Do you get any snipe on the makita? I have been checking the price of knives on the metabo is twice of those on the Dewalt and the makita so it seems it will be between those 2.

I think to buy an extractor of chips make sense as at some point I also want to add a bandsaw, just need to find a way of fitting everything and still have a workshop where I can move around. The camvac options seem quite good but I will keep an eye on eBay for now
Sometimes there's snipe when taking a lot off in one go but if I hold the end of the boards up when feeding in and then when exiting I can eliminate it, also taking a very light cut seems to produce no snipe.
 

sunnybob

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Noise is measured in decibels. Every machine has a spec sheet that lists the decibels so you can look that up and compare it to your router.
the makita is the quietest i know of.
Regarding extraction, you either need very good, or nothing at all. Anything in between will, as said above, cause the thing to block up in seconds and take 10 minutes to clear. No extraction will see your workshop floor disappear quite quickly. :shock:
 
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