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Which old English P/T?

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LancsRick

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I've been making do with a well used and abused DW1150 P/T but I'm starting to look around. It will be hobby use, but I would like to get something that will do me for life, hence the love for old English.

It would need to be single phase, width doesn't need to be any more than 8", but I'd like longer tables than the little DW1150 as I really struggle to straighten out long lengths of timber on the short beds. The one gotcha though is that it must must must have an extraction connection, which I know is often lacking on the older machines.

Budget could go towards 4 figures if needs be for an immaculate machine that ticks all the boxes. Realistically I'm aiming to spend less and acknolwedge that I'll need to do some refurb work.

Cheers.
 

ndbrown

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I would go for a Sedgwick PT255 that will give you up to 10" or 255mm width of cut. If you search you this forum you will find an article on one I rebuilt. I would find example with longer tables than mine, which are actually more common than the short bed one I had.
A fantastic machine that will not disappoint. I also covered making a dust chute for it as my one was missing. Good luck.
Nigel
 

marcros

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I would get something that will take tersa blades. The Sedgwick may well do so.
 

memzey

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Yes - I have a late eighties Sedgwick MB with a Tersa head. Gives 12” of width but you might struggle to find one at £1k - especially if you’re looking for single phase. £1.5k or thereabouts much more likely.
 

marcros

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I know that you have said what you want, but could I put a hat in the ring for an Inca machine- 560 or 570 models. they have the motor at the side, and those 2 had the versa blades- the 560 2 blades, the 570 3 blades. (I have the 560)

it is lighter weight than the English machines, and aluminium rather than cast iron. certainly worth 30 minutes of research if nothing else.
 

memzey

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Yes, if weight is a consideration then you should know that the old English machines are generally very heavy. That is in some ways a positive as it makes them very stable, regardless of the lumps of timber you throw at them, however if too heavy that might make them difficult to manage. I wouldn’t want to be without mine though. The MB is a great machine and I like the fact it’s made in this country.
 

Trevanion

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I personally would opt for a 12"+ machine if you're planning on having it until the end, at least you'll never be cursing "I wish I had a larger planer" if you only have an 8" or 10" machine. You never hear somebody say "I wish I had a smaller planer!" Every inch counts!

To be honest, you really can't go wrong with many machines so it really depends on what you can find at the time, Here is a list of pretty much the "classic" machines that are worth looking at:

Stenner, Dominion, Cooksley, Danckaert, Sagar, Robinson, Wadkin, Sedgwick, SCM L'invincible, Multico, Whitehead, Dodd, Whites

There are more obscure ones that I can't ring off the top of my head but all of the above are excellent machines if you can pick them up.

You have to be very thorough if you're going to buy an older machine, I've learned that the hard way :oops: . Ideally, you would want to take something dead straight with you and a set of feeler gauges so you can check whether the beds have worn excessively. They tend to stay pretty flat but I have seen machines that have been used for just shooting in edges gain quite a hollow where the majority of the cutting has taken place. If possible it's always worth taking off the feed chain to release the tension off the rollers and give them a little rattle by hand to see if there has been excessive wear and lack of grease in the roller housings, not a major issue but will indicate how well the machine has been treated. It's also beneficial to take off the drive belt and spin the motor pulley by hand and listen carefully for anything that doesn't sound smooth like crunchy, clicking noises or stiffness when trying to spin, bearings are pretty easily replaced so that isn't a major issue either. Also do the same with the cutter block and listen carefully whilst spinning by hand for any irregular noises, also try giving the block a rattle if possible to see if any bearings (Or bearing surfaces like Babbet poured) have play in them. You should also check the machine very carefully for any cracks in any castings, the beds are the main ones to check as they need to be fairly precise and you don't exactly want a chunk of the bed falling into the cutter block because you didn't spot a faint crack on the surface, take a piece of scotchbrite with you to give the bed a bit of a scrub if it's a little rusty and hard to see stuff.

Dust extraction boxes are almost always never with the older machines that haven't really stepped into the second half of the 20th century yet. But they can easily be made from plywood or sheet metal so I wouldn't worry too much about that.
 

johnnyb

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interesting question that. £1000 is enough for a pt. but i reckon (
after 12 months of hard use) forget british. buy a p/t with spiral tct knives. the axminster machine is ok, certainly not faultless and tricky to set up overhand.but the carbide knives are head and shoulders above hss edge retention wise. Also you get double in ann extraction bag. its quiet. long beds. its really worth paying more for these advantages. if you want better quality then go for hammer. but my spiral p/t is in a different league to a pt260. tersa k ives are also recomended.
dont let nostalgia blind you. old brits can be a pita.
 

RobinBHM

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Planer thicknessers are a compromise.

Generally the beds are quite short because longer beds make thicknessing awkward.

Surface planers often have much longer beds.......
 

ndbrown

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I suggested the Sedgwick PT255 at the price that you had in your original question. I had mine fitted with German Barke blades which are longer life than the standard HSS knives and also are double sided. I got mine from Doug at Cutting Solutions and they were excellent. I now have a Hammer with Silent Power (helical head) block. I changed because I am in a residential area and the Hammer A3 planer is half the noise of the Sedgwick in thicknessing mode. I was also able to change as a result of an unexpected sum of money being available from an inheritance. If I did not have the extra money available to buy the Hammer I would still have the Sedgwick and be happy with the playing results. The Sedgwick runs a decent size motor, is available single phase and there are plenty of them around. They are simply built, rugged and reliable and are nice machines to use.
 

Trevanion

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And also Sedgwick now offer helical cutter heads (Tersa is Standard now) which I assume can be fitted to older machines since they really haven't changed since day one :)
 
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