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Using a Planer/jointer

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Anonymous

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Am I correct in assuming I can use a planer/jointer to plane and dimension sawn timber without going to the additional expence of a thicknesser?

Is it any different than planing a face by hand, marking up the timber thickness, then planing to the thickness line?? (And repeating for the other thickness).

Apart from the obvious reduction in human effort!!

I fully appreciate that a thicknesser just makes the job even easier, but my pockets are not that deep!!

Any comments?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Although the jointer could be used for dimentioning timber it would be a very drawn out affair, and the chances of getting multiple boards the same thickness is slim. First you need to decide which is to be the face. This is then passed over the jointer to achieve a flat, true surface, as you would by hand. The next step is to ensure that your fence is set perfectly at 90 degrees to the table. Holding the freshly jointed face to the fence, you can then achieve the jointed edge, perfectly square to the face. Now the thicknesser comes in, as you pass the board through removing a small amount at a time from the unfinished side until you reach the required thickness. Depending on the thickness of the board, to true the last edge would be on either the table saw, or if it is almost square, again through the thicknesser.
These machines aren't cheap by any means, but most stand alone jointers only average about 6", while a combination planer/ thicknessers are around 10 ". Another plus point.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Dr Duncan,

If you can handplane a face and edge square, then you might do better getting the thicknesser. Using a jointer to acurately thickness is, IMO, more difficult than doing it my hand 'cos you can't work down the high spots very easily. Mainly, because you can't see where the cutter is in relation to them.
However, I agree with Paul. Go for the combo and get both features in one. For a start, as he says, you'll get a full 10" (usually) width of jointer; shallow pockets will struggle to afford a stand alone of that width. Something like the Perform from Axminster (currently with free wheels). It seems like a lot of money, but the saving in be able to buy sawn timber and prepare it yourself makes it money well spent, in my opinion.

Cheers, Jester
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for that.

Most of the stuff I want to make in the immediate future is going to be small toys and games. I'm not planning on anything bigger just yet (next 6 months)

If I don't have a requirement for a number of equal thicknessed boards, and don't mind a bit of work, could I get away with just a planer??

Most of my plans I have are in imperial dimensions. Most of the PAR timber in my local timber merchant is in metric sizes, which don't quite match. So I thought I'd save some pennies and dimension sawn timber myself.

It must be easier than using a hand plane (I'm sure that will upset the craftspeople out there!!).

When funds and space permit, I may invest in a thicknesser.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Dr Duncan,

Yeah, surely. Just remember, we've all bought stuff 'cos we didn't need bigger capacity. We all now sit wishing we'd allowed for bigger capacity :wink: Of course, you might be the exception that proves the rule :lol:
Personally, I'd spend the cash on a nicer handplane to use, but that's just me... :lol:

Cheers, Jester
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Just to add an extra thought to Jester's post. A good hand plane would be an even better idea if you also own a router. Before I bought my planer/ thicknesser(Record) I made myself a planing sled from an idea in a routing book. Basically the sled is made up from a small sheet of perspex, size dependant on your needs, mine is about 2'x1'. Along the long sides are two lengths of good straight timber(preferably hardwood) to keep the sled flat. The router is then bolted in the centre of the perspex, with a hole large enough for a good sized flat bottom bit. The only other piece of kit you need are two straight battons, deeper along one side than the thickness of board you want to surface(both battons must be exactly the same. I used two lengths of stainless steel box section). Use double sided tape or a glue gun to fix the board temporarily to your bench, so that it can't move. Now place the battons either side of the work. Your new sled can now span the two battons. Bring the cutter down a bit at a time, each time sliding your sled backwards and forwards, working your way across the board until you have cleaned the whole face, which should now be perfectly flat. Repete on the other face, and you now have two parallel faces. Now a good hand plane comes into its own, as you only need to clean off the marks left by the router to have a perfect board.
It does take a while, and you make a lot of mess, but you will have a job beating this method for the outlay. With edge tools such as planes you really do get what you pay for, and a good plane should last for generations if looked after. I hope you can make some sense of this. If you would like the title of the book let me know and I will look through my collection for you to try and find which book it is in.
Where would we be without the router?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
My wife bought me a nu-tools "portable" planer/thickneser for my birthday, and I am looking at supplementing it with a jointer, but in the mean time I'll be using a long straight-edge, clamps & a straight cutting router bit - similar idea to PAULB, but turned 90degrees

PS has anybody got any tips & trick on getting the best out of the nutools planer/thicknesser
 
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Anonymous

Guest
sawdustalley":ez1dudl7 said:
How much are you thinking of spending?

Because the Machinery Supply Centre Sell a Nu Tool Jointer (which I have) for only £120 or a Nu Tool Thicknesser for £180
[/url]
I've just done a bit of investigating, and discovered http://www.toolpage.co.uk sell the Nu Tool Jointer for £125 and the Thicknesser for £139 both with free delivery.

All I need know is work out how to convince my Wife that I really need them. (My birthday is approaching, but that may be pushing it!)

Maybe she might consider buying me a decent hand plane......... :D [/url]
 
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Anonymous

Guest
PAULB":2yobflk0 said:
SNIP..Basically the sled is made up from a small sheet of perspex, size dependant on your needs, mine is about 2'x1'. ?SNIP..
I know the device you mean. I think I've seen a design in Router Magic(?)

Maybe it's time to put a few jigs together :wink:
 

sawdustalley

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elvch01

How is the Thicknesser - It's great for it's price,
i'm thinking of buying one so should I or is it worth spending extra?
 
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Anonymous

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Thicknesser is reasonable on long pieces of wood (over 24"), but tends to kick with short pieces. I'm generally happy with it, but am still playing around too get the feel for it. I'm tending to think that it works best if its set to shave <1mm at a time.

One slight disappointment is that it tends to "bite" a bit at the end, leaving a small indentation in the wood about 2-3" from the end. Probably something to due to the wood feeding mehanism, which I think is 2-3" in front of the baldes, so the wood stopps feeding with a couple of inches left to go.

So far I've only used it for trimming 2x4 carcassing lumber into something more suitable for building a bench frame with
 
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Anonymous

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I checked through the book collection, and you are right, it is Router Magic. I can also say that the jig works very well, even if it is a bit slow and messy. If as you say, you will be concentrating on smaller projects to start with this should be an ideal starting place. The jointer/ thicknesser combo sounds like a good idea, but just remember that the jointer is still only 6". As it has already been mentioned, you may find this a bit restrictive later on.
Why not check the adds in the mags to try and locate a good second hand planer/ thicknesser.
Bought new my Record cost £460, and it is a very good machine. I wouldn't say that you can save the money back quicly, but you can make some very good savings. If you have an industrial estate nearby drive round to see if any of the factories have stacks of packing timber, and bearers piled up waiting for disposal. I have some bearers that were used for stacking timber that came from dock areas. When planed up I found some of them to be oak. Nice surprise!

ELVCH01 The snipe you experienced is quite common with most thicknessers. The easiest way around this is to allow an extra 4" on each end of the timber, then trim back.
 

Signal

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Chris,

a friend of mine is on his 4th Dewalt portable thicknesser which he bought on account of it have patented anti snipe device...

Sure the one on display at the ally paly last was great, but they just dont seem to be able to crack it with the production run :(

He has woked a way round it by using a thinner piece of stock as a push stick to give it the last little bit of encouragment and while a lot better there is still a visible snipe at the end of every piece.

Regards

Nick
 

Scrit

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Snipe is frerquently down either to poor adjustment of the machine or incorrect setting of the pressure bars (i/e insufficient pressure). A lot of the smaller machines rely on an outfeed roller only and have no pressure bar as such, so the solution may be to suppport the work on acombination of an infeed roller and outfeed table which will should help minimise the sniping.
 
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Anonymous

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Another thing that causes snipe on light weight machines is that very often the thichnesser table move a little. As the timber passes past the infeed roller, all the weight of the timber is forced onto the outfeed side of the table, causing the infeed side to lift a bit, causing snipe. If you get into the machine, and look where the chain is that sequences the rise and fall rods, you will see that the rise and fall rods are held to the machine by nyloc nuts, these gradually work loose in use, letting the table move as I mentioned above. I sorted this problem on my machine by replacing the nyloc nuts with a pair of normal nuts on each bar that lock solidley together. Het presto, no more snipe (well just a little bit (about1/10mm))

Doughnut
 
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Anonymous

Guest
thanks for all the advice regarding snipe on a thicknesser - I suspect that I can reduce it with an outfeed table/roller stand & any left can be trimmed off with my new planer/jointer; i.e. use the thicknesser to within 1-2mm of desired thickness & then the jointer to take the last bit off.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
A tip I picked up from rec.woodworking on reducing/eliminating snipe on hobby-sized thicknessers was to lift the end of the timber during the ends of the cut. This probably counters the effect that (I think) Scrit described.

I tried this out a few times and have had mixed success, but it has certainly reduced the amount of snipe I suffer with my Elektra Beckum HC260.

Of course, it only makes sense to do this when the end of the timber you're going to lift is clear of the bed before you lift it, otherwise you'd be scrabbling to get underneath while it's in the machine - not a smart move.

Cheers,

AG
 

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