I'm looking for recommendations on a 3 - 5 HP single phase planer - something like the 15" or 20" Powermatic. The primary criteria is reliable feed with rough cut lumber (portable bandsaw). Most of the boards will be 9 - 12 ft so feed tables are important. Light marking of soft woods would not be a problem so polyurethane outfeed rollers are not a requirement. Chip extraction is also a consideration since it won't be used in a regular woodshop with a high CFM collector. I'm hoping we can get away with a portable blower running without a bag or just run it out on the ground.
This is for a friend of mine who is an excavator and gets lots of nice logs for free and has the space to store the wood. The first task is to size some green Poplar to side a large utility building (about 4000 bd. ft. required). It will also see lots of well seasoned oak and maple. I'll probably be running at least 10,000 bd. ft. for him within the next 2 years so it seemed more economical and convenient to buy a decent planer.
Any thoughts? He'll probably be ordering it within a week.
Try finding an older model Rockwell and have it serviced.
I picked one up from a Votec school for next to nothing (literally) and spent $300 having it set up. It runs like a top and I use it to chew all sorts of rough random.
Good suggestion Desmo, but I don't think he has time to shop. Time is money with heavy equipment which is why he doesn't want to keep hauling lumber to mills. It ties up his flatbed and a driver twice. He'd rather just pay me to plane it as I need it. I might take up your suggestion myself though for a lathe and bandsaw - both tools I haven gotten away without for years but wouldn't mind owning if the pricer were right!