mark... I hear what you're saying re trying to keep costs down, but trust me... it's a false ecomomy.. buy cheap ye pay dear... yea...?
lookin at your link... I'd say that machine has a bunch of stuff I'd consider essential, missing...
the crank for height adjustment looks real frail... doesn't seem to have any cutter head locks, infeed / outfeed support looks as if it's been overlooked which means you'll have a hellova time planing a flat surface. The motor "feels" under powered too; with that width of cutter head, a full width board is going to tax the motor even with a light cut.
Best bet is to save for this kinda machinery; the consequences of getting the wrong machine could be some costly losses when you're prepping stock..
I would be a little weary of this one - but if you could get one from somewhere that would take it back if you thought it was useful you could always give it a try. Likely to be more trouble than it's worth in my opinion.
If you're willing to add a little and go for a machine with Axminster's backing, you might want to look at the Perform machine: http://www.axminster.co.uk/default.asp?part=CC10T
Not that much more at £190 and Axminster offer a good service. If you were to give them a ring before hand they would give you honest advice about the machine. You can even download the manual from their website.
Have fun choosing,
I made the mistake of buying one of these from B+Q. Got it home, out of the box and started to put some 1 1/4 inch Ash through it. All goes well until bang! Some bits of metal go flying past my leg-not pleasant! :evil: Upon investigating I found that part of the blade retaining clamp had destroyed itself and flown off. The ash was clear of any nails etc, I checked. Now, if the machine fails like this after 30 minutes work, especially something as vital as the blade holder, it should not be on sale. Yes, it is a very cheap price BUT it is a very cheap machine. 10 inch metal blades spinning at something like 9000 rpm are not something you want doubts about how secure they are!
I took the thing straight back to B+Q, complained, and coughed up for the Dewalt 733. A decision I have never regretted! :wink:
So, IMHO, please stay clear of this machine. It is of very low quality and should not be on sale. The Dewalt, whilst double the price, is a vastly superior machine that performs impecably. There are also many other thicknessers, like Axminsters own, Rexon, Delta and others that you are better off looking at.
As the others say I would stay well clear off it. I'm afraid in the woodworking world buying cheap machines nearly always costs you more in the long run.
A thicknesser is a tool that once you have you'll use for every project so it's worth buying the best you can afford. Two of the most accurate/well made machines are the Dewalt 733 and the APTC CT330. I reviewed the CT330 last year you can find it here: https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/review/review.php?id=29. I just ordered one for my new workshop lastnight
Saw this and the equivalent bench top planer at Yandles.
Didn't get a chance to touch the thicknesser, but if the planer is anything to go by, don't bother.
I picked it up and it felt reasonably OK, but later on I went to Axminster and looked at their Perform planer which although it looks the same in pictures, is much heavier and better built, albeit more expensive.