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Planer Advice

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  • Planer Advice

    So... for the past 10 years I have been without my tools. When I moved to NC from IL I left all my stuff in my Dad's basement and I doubt I will ever see any of it again. Recently I have been able to start buying back tools and I have been doing so with a vengance.

    In the old days I mostly used my band saw, table saw, drill press, and router as I made toys and things like that.

    Now I bought the TS3650 and I also found a GMC 10" drill press at Lowes for $78 so I grabbed it. In the future it will get replaced with the Ridgid Stationary Drill Press more than likely.

    Last night I ordered my dovetail jig, mortising jig, tenoning jig, and plate joiner. As you can tell, I want to do more "adult" type wood working these days.

    From what I can see there are really only two tools that I have left to get. I need a jointer and a planer. At this point I think I want to go with a planer first for multiple reasons.

    The Delta 22-580 seems to get great reviews. I have seen very little in the way of the Ridgid TP1300LS. And IMHO I think Dewalt is WAY over priced.

    As with all the stuff I have been looking at/buying I have been trying to get the most bang for the buck. Does anyone have any opinions on the planers mentioned? Or are there others that I should be looking at?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  • #2
    I have the Ridgid 13" planer. It's the only planer I have ever owned so I can't offer anything but comments on the Ridgid. I really enjoy using it. It is powerful enough to handle anything I have put through it. The blade replacement is easy, the self alignment is a big relief. The sniping is manageable, I seem to be unable to adjust the in/out feed to cure this issue but I think it's more about running 8 to 10 foot lengths through it. The precision seems to be good, I have been able to accurately get 3/4" stock that is flat and mates up well for table tops. The height adjuster seems to be solid and moves the motor/blades smoothly. It's a different mechanism that I have seen on the Delta's. The wheel on the top Delta's appear to be more of a direct drive way of moving the motor up and down, the Ridgid has to go through a very simple 90 degree gear box. This may be the real difference in the long run but I can't see that it would be a weakness. I have nothing but good experience with this. I assume that the only source of frustration that I have is true of any planer. When milling pine the sap really creates problems and I have to go in and clean with rubbing alcohol the bed, feed tables, blades, feed rollers, and chip exhaust frequently during a run of lumber.

    Others will comment on the lack of ability to get replacement blades, I can get them at my HD (it happens to be across the street from headquarters).

    I have only been building furniture for 5 years now and I hope that more experienced folks can give you more info.


    • #3
      All of the planers you mentioned get pretty high marks from owners and mag reviews. Research the features you like best, and pick the deal you're most comfortable with.

      My 22-580 has been great so far, and I do use the two speed feature for figured woods and final passes.

      The Makita is the quietest portable on the market and gets high grades from users as well....most owners feel it is built better than the others, but I can't confirm that from personal experience.


      • #4

        I have both the JP0610 and the TP1300LS by Ridgid. They are both solid and perform as advertised. Much like the previous post, these are the only Jointer and Planer I have ever owned, so I can't provide much comparison.

        JP0610 was dead on right out of the box. Only gripe I can offer is that the table sits a little low, but can be remedied with a raised base (mobile would be nice).

        TP1300LS was also a nice addition. Only adjustments are to the infeed and outfeed table which is not too difficult, but requires some attention to detail. Snipe is minimal, even on long boards as long as the boards are supported going in and out. In ref to acquiring new blades, they can be found on ebay for around $10 a set.

        Again, can't provide any comparisons, but I am very happy with both of these tools. Would be them again. (They are both of the Orange variety, not the Grey).

        Good Luck,


        • #5
          I have both the ridgid planer and jointer(gray models). I have no problems with either. But I agree with swede in that the jointer sits a little low.
          I have planed 6 foot boards with no snipe, but you must have outfeed support to do this. It is a good planer for me, easy setup right out of the box. Adjusting the infeed and outfeed are critical and easy to do.


          • #6

            To be honest, I am not sure what features to really look for. I have never owned a planer before. The only ones I have ever used were in the woodshop at the the local Park District in Chicago.

            I have noticed that a lot of the furniture design that I like (Arts&Crafts/Shaker/Mission) use a lot of 1/4" flat panel designs. Seems that a planer is the best way to get there.

            Anyone know anything about the Ryobi over at HD? Ryobi 13" Planer Looks like a decent price @ $249. The design looks similar to the Delta as well.

            I also see that Lowes has this Delta Shopmaster 12" Planer

            [ 01-21-2005, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: doctorew ]


            • #7
              Another slightly stupid question:

              Is there a difference between a thickness planer and a surface planer? If so, what is it? Just finish qualiy in the cut?


              • #8

                The surface planer is what we call a jointer/planer, like the JP0610. This machine can make an edge perfectly flat and smooth. Obviously, the larger, 8" jointers can handle wider boards. Many people look at the surface planer mainly as a tool that will give you a smooth and flat edge joint that is perpendicular to the face of the board. This technique is essential in getting a good, true rip, as you need that flat surface against the rip fence.

                A surface planer (jointer), however, cannot guarantee that the other face of the wood is perfectly parallel to the first face. In other words, if the two faces were not parallel to each other to start with (constant thickness of the board), the jointer/planer will not make them so.

                Now a thickness planer like the TP1300 will plane a board to a consistent thickness, BUT it needs to have a flat face to begin with. If your board is cupped and/or bowed, you will need to run it through a jointer/planer first. If the board is too wide to fit your jointer, you'll need to rip it into narrower boards to begin with.

                After the table saw, you will get different opinions on whether to purchase a thickness planer or a surface planer (jointer) as your second tool. If you buy mainly S3S (finished) boards, you can get by without having a thickness planer. I feel that both are important in a shop if you have the means.

                Just my opinion...

                [ 01-21-2005, 02:12 PM: Message edited by: Sawdust Steve ]
                There are three kinds of people in this world - those who can count, and those who can't.


                • #9

                  You mentioned getting your stock down to 1/4" thicknesses. I am sure that the planer would be a good way to provide the final surface before you start constructing your pieces. If I were making 1/4" panels I would begin by running the boards through the planer to get a uniform thickness and smooth sides, then I would rip to my widths and pass through the jointer so I have S4S. Then I would resaw the boards to 3/8 with the band saw, making sure that each board I end up with always has a planed flat face (this is key). Then, you could take your 3/8" boards, flat side down, through the planer, and gradually arrive at 1/4".

                  Depending on your situation, this is probably why a lot of people use 1/4" plywood whether it be maple, cherry, whatever.

                  Hope I make sense here. I would'nt remove more than 1/8" of wood from a pile of stock. It could take you days.


                  • #10
                    In regards to the surface VS. thickness...

                    That Ryobi that I linked to earlier is labeled as a surface planer.

                    Given Sawdust Steve's explanation I am now confused a bit... Did someone just mislabel what the Ryobi is? Because it looks just like the other thickness planers out there.

                    [ 01-21-2005, 06:50 PM: Message edited by: doctorew ]


                    • #11
                      Not sure how much stock anyone puts in But check out the review on the Ryobi: Ryboi Epinions Review


                      • #12
                        Hi doctorew. You can still go by the other response I sent you. I did not look at the Ryobi link that you had provided in your prior post. That Ryobi is what is referred to as a thickness planer, same as the Delta or the RIDGID TP1300. I see where the ad refers to it as a Surface Planer, hence, some confusion.

                        When most people talk about a surface planer, they are referring to a jointer/planer, such as the RIDGID JP0610, which is commonly called a jointer.

                        Hope this helps.
                        There are three kinds of people in this world - those who can count, and those who can't.


                        • #13