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Habanera Hal
12-29-2013, 11:58 AM
I'm on a very limited budget. Have had no luck finding a used one locally. Any suggestions? Anyone have any experience with this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/2-1-2-half-hp-12-inch-planer-with-dust-collection-95082.html?

Timbuck
12-29-2013, 12:23 PM
I'm on a very limited budget. Have had no luck finding a used one locally. Any suggestions? Anyone have any experience with this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/2-1-2-half-hp-12-inch-planer-with-dust-collection-95082.html?I never found a need for one..A well set up bandsaw..and a drum sander..does the job for me :)

cedarwax
12-29-2013, 12:36 PM
I have over 30 years of experience as a woodworker (furniture and cabinetmaking). I agree with Timbuck. A carefully set up bandsaw with a good fence for resawing (purchased or shop-made) is a fabulous tool. Along with a good drum sander or thickness sander, and you should be able to achieve good results. I've learned over the years that inexpensive tools and machinery can prove to be a 'false economy' - there are reasons that the price is so low.

Gyozu
12-29-2013, 12:42 PM
Regarding the HF planer. I have absolutely no experience with this unit so this opinion is just that.

I make it a point to stay away from items with electric motors from HF. Lately there have been a lot of them for sale on CL with a burned out motors, especially their wood lathes. [ the exception is their small angle grinder, can't kill mine]. For the most part, buying a HF tool is like buying a kit. Seems that every one needs to be pulled apart, cleaned, lubed, adjusted,rough spots filed, check for all the fastners and then setup.

I have to agree with Tim a good bandsaw and a simple drum sander should handle your instrument needs. If you of the Neanderthal school of woodworking I've seen some articles on building and using a frame saw to resaw veneer.

If you are doing a lot of rough lumber prep the DeWalt planers have a good rep, but they ain't cheap.

cedarwax
12-29-2013, 12:50 PM
Something to remember using planers: regardless of the brand and quality of the machine, when planing highly figured woods (curly Maple, curly Koa, etc.), the chances of 'tear-out' increase because the grain direction is undulating/changing. This discouraging occurrance is lessened with a drum sander. Good luck.

Doc_J
12-29-2013, 01:22 PM
I'm on a very limited budget. Have had no luck finding a used one locally. Any suggestions? Anyone have any experience with this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/2-1-2-half-hp-12-inch-planer-with-dust-collection-95082.html?

Check the reviews at HF. 4/5 stars... Not bad. BTW min. board thickness is 1/8 inch. You'll still need a thickness sander.

cedarwax
12-29-2013, 01:45 PM
One can get around the minimum thickness of a planer if it is greater than your final thickness dimension by using a 'sled' of, say, 3/4" cabinet grade plywood.
You can attach the working stock to the sled with a minimum of double-sided tape, or install (glue, NO brads, etc!) a 'backstop ledge' to the sled to hold the stock in place. But again, thickness sanding is your best bet, IMO. :)

mjgreenwood
12-29-2013, 02:33 PM
I have the craftsman 13" portable and I hate it. It's not quality compared to others. That being said in my limited ukulele building I've never used it. My jointer and bandsaw and drumsander work so far for me.

Titchtheclown
12-29-2013, 02:45 PM
Just remember the term thicknesser is a misnomer. These are really thinnessers. I would really love real thicknesser at the moment. My router is very precise, unfortunately it happened to be precisely wrong. Never mind thin veneers of wood always come in handy.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-29-2013, 04:52 PM
I use a planer on rough boards and to take down thickness quickly. Once I approach my final thickness though I will thickness sand with 36 grit on my drum sander. That's real quick and a lot safer to use on some of the more figured woods.

ksquine
12-30-2013, 04:42 AM
What do you plan to do with it? I think thickness planers are too tough on thin woods. One bit of snipe could be the end of your wood set. Harbor Freight stuff is usually fine for cheap and dirty duty. It would probably be fine to flatten a neck blank...but I wouldn't expect it to perform well to take 0.01" off a 0.09" mahogany back
I think you could spend that money on other tools and get better bang for your buck. Maybe spend it on beer to make friends with people who have fancy wood shops!!

Habanera Hal
12-30-2013, 06:20 AM
Thank you everyone. I thought a thickness planer would be good for dimensioning neck stock and getting everything square and true. I recently built a drum sander but haven't used it much. Need to spend more time with it. I'll forego the planer for now, though I am a bit of a tool whore. :D

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
12-30-2013, 07:20 AM
I use a thickness planner to square up/thickness brace stock and put the taper in my necks- I do this after I have scarf jointed the headstock- It is a simple tapered jig that cuts the nut end down to thickness (about 12mm) up to about 18mm (from memory) around the body join. With this method, sometimes i see some a back curve in the wood from the pressure of the rollers- i have to plane/sand it flat which takes a few easy mins. I also do it on a bandsaw like Timbuck or (when im in Sydney) on a big 24" disc sander which is just big enough to taper a full uke neck- Sometimes I show a student to mark it out, bandsaw the excess and plane it down to the line.

I have known some to put sides through a thickness sander to quickly turn 5mm into 3mm then sand the rest but you have to accept that the wood may EXPLODE and cease to exist. I've seen a nice set of wood pushed through one end and none exit.... :(

I use this one, but I got it for $300 on craigslist- http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM5896833107P?ci_src=184425893&ci_sku=SPM5896833107&sid=IDx20131030xMPTLxCPA25

Titchtheclown
12-30-2013, 09:22 AM
I have heard spiral head thicknesses are less prone to chatter and tearout. The price difference is eye watering.

http://www.woodworkforums.com/f154/spiral-head-thicknesser-123490/

cedarwax
12-30-2013, 10:11 AM
You're right Titchtheclown,
Spiral head cutters do a better job, but are very expensive, and typically are available only on larger (24" wide +) planers. When blade sharpening time arrives, you have to find a service capable of sharpening the blades properly, and it'sBetter suited to cabinetry and furniture, rather than small projects like ukeleles.

Michael Smith
12-30-2013, 11:24 AM
I have two thickness planers, pretty good ones at that and don't find them useful in instrument building.

Kent Chasson
12-30-2013, 12:39 PM
I have heard spiral head thicknesses are less prone to chatter and tearout. The price difference is eye watering.


http://www.woodworkforums.com/f154/spiral-head-thicknesser-123490/

Yes but they will pay for themselves in the long run if you use them enough


You're right Titchtheclown,
Spiral head cutters do a better job, but are very expensive, and typically are available only on larger (24" wide +) planers. When blade sharpening time arrives, you have to find a service capable of sharpening the blades properly, and it'sBetter suited to cabinetry and furniture, rather than small projects like ukeleles.

Google "Shelix". These are fantastic cutters and come in many sizes including 8" jointers and 12" planers. There are multiple small cutters each with 4 sharp sides. When one side gets dull, you rotate them. I've had mine for almost 3 years and have yet to rotate to the second side. The money and time I've saved in sharpening, the noise reduction, and the ability to plane figured wood with almost no tearout is well worth the money to me.