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Posted to uk.d-i-y
John Rumm
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

In case anyone is in the market for a portable planer/thicknesser, I
thought the following notes may be useful. When reading these, bear in
mind that I have only used the portable class of machines in the past
and so can't give any real feel for how these units in compare with the
solid cast iron workshop class machines.

I had been looking about for a thicknesser for some time and had
considered a number of possible candidates. My planned usage was for
ongoing hobby use, plus the occasional bit of more intensive
DIY/building work. Something that could achieve a good finish quality
was high on the list of requirements.

The bargain basement stuff I looked at did not impress too much - there
seem to be a handful of models that get badged by all sorts, which
seemed a bit rough in construction. All had short tables (and hence
were probably rather snipey). Also at the low end was the slightly more
reasonable looking Perform model at Axminster, although the small dust
port and lower power put me off a bit. The Axminster CT330 looked like a
nice unit but was perhaps a tad more than I wanted to pay. In the end I
decided on one of the SIP models as a reasonable compromise at around
the 250 mark. Just before ordering however, I stumbled over a dealer on
eBay offering the aforementioned higher spec DeWalt machine as a
"factory rework" unit for similar money. So clicked the "buy it now"
button![1]

Having now used it a bit for a few different tasks my initial
impressions a

Very solid construction - nicely made, heavier than many at about 34kg.
The fold down tables are very solid and quite long (over 0.5m in total).
The tables have a highly polished mirror smooth finish. This is the
first DeWalt tool I have owned, and it is very clearly not just a yellow
B&D, but firmly in the Makita / Blue Bosch class.

Good bits:

There is much that I have found to like about this unit:

The most notable thing is the shear quality of the finish that is
achievable. The belt driven cutter assembly on this model spins at 10K
rpm giving 20k cuts per min. When taking a fine pass, the finish is
suburb - almost polished. Yielding results superior to much shop bought
PAR timber with none of the tell tail machine planed ripple in the surface.

There is a clear and easy to read depth gauge with indicator needle. The
crank leaver (which can fold down for transportation) is also calibrated
in mm of material removal. In addition there is a material removal gauge
that shows how much will be planed from the timber sitting just before
the first feed roller - so it is easy to (say) take 1mm off without
needing to have done a previous pass to know that the cutter is aligned
with the top surface of the timber. Finally on the measurement front
there is a pre-set depth stop that allows common timber thickness to be
dialled up. This prevents the cutter head being lowered below the
pre-set thickness.

The unit has a four column support for the planer head, that also has a
lock bar. When this is engaged there is practically no visible snipe at
all! Armed with a set of roller stands I have found it easy to plane
even long stock and still be able to use all of it including the ends.
(even without engaging the lock there is very little snipe so it is easy
to plane mostly to thickness and just apply the lock on the final pass
or two).

Power seems good, but then again I have not tried planing any 12" wide
oak board yet!

The machine has a tool storage tray built in that retain all the
adjustment tools and blade setting blocks etc on the machine so it ought
to be harder to lose them!

Not so good bits:

Like most machines of this type, dust collection is via a shroud that
fits on to the back of the planer block. This is nicely made with an
angled side exit port. The port is also rounded over at the end which
makes sliding the hose onto it easy (unlike some of the wobbly steel
tubes provided on some models). However with it in place you are unable
to fold up the rear table. Given the long length of the table this also
makes storage of the machine harder. To make matters worse the shroud
takes a few mins to attach or remove - being fastened with three pan
head screws and shake washers. A bit of work with some thumb nuts on
protruding studs would have made this much quicker and less fiddly. Some
sort of quick release clip would have been better still.

The carry handles on the machine slide in and out from the body of the
machine rather than simply being recesses. This does actually make it
easier to pull the machine toward you with one handle (say unloading
from the back of an estate car), but alas they are also free to slide
shut onto your hands if you carry the machine at an angle, making them
less comfortable in some cases.

Care is needed with the lock bar when planing thick timber. Firstly the
positioning of it means that it is slightly fiddly to get hold of as it
becomes mostly covered by the top of the machine. Also when released it
springs back with reasonable force which can bang the back of your hand
into the top of the machine if you are not careful.

Finally there are no top mounted rollers to make passing stock back over
the machine easy when planing with the help of an assistant.

The technical spec can be found he

http://www.dewalt.co.uk/products.asp...etid=9&sid =1
http://tinyurl.com/aan2z




[1] Great service from the dealer BTW - fixit powertools in colwyn bay
(eBay handle "tools-uk") - contacted me to apologise that they had in
fact only one of these units to sell and not the three they thought they
had - hence they could not supply straight away. They tried to get
another factory rework from DeWalt, but could not get one soon enough.
So I asked them to quote for a brand new unit, which they did, and beat
the best online price I could find. So in the end I spent another 55
quid for a brand new unit.


--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\================================================= ================/
  #2   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
Andy Hall
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

On Sun, 19 Feb 2006 03:43:22 +0000, John Rumm
wrote:

In case anyone is in the market for a portable planer/thicknesser, I
thought the following notes may be useful. When reading these, bear in
mind that I have only used the portable class of machines in the past
and so can't give any real feel for how these units in compare with the
solid cast iron workshop class machines.

I had been looking about for a thicknesser for some time and had
considered a number of possible candidates. My planned usage was for
ongoing hobby use, plus the occasional bit of more intensive
DIY/building work. Something that could achieve a good finish quality
was high on the list of requirements.

The bargain basement stuff I looked at did not impress too much - there
seem to be a handful of models that get badged by all sorts, which
seemed a bit rough in construction. All had short tables (and hence
were probably rather snipey). Also at the low end was the slightly more
reasonable looking Perform model at Axminster, although the small dust
port and lower power put me off a bit. The Axminster CT330 looked like a
nice unit but was perhaps a tad more than I wanted to pay. In the end I
decided on one of the SIP models as a reasonable compromise at around
the 250 mark. Just before ordering however, I stumbled over a dealer on
eBay offering the aforementioned higher spec DeWalt machine as a
"factory rework" unit for similar money. So clicked the "buy it now"
button![1]

Having now used it a bit for a few different tasks my initial
impressions a

Very solid construction - nicely made, heavier than many at about 34kg.
The fold down tables are very solid and quite long (over 0.5m in total).
The tables have a highly polished mirror smooth finish. This is the
first DeWalt tool I have owned, and it is very clearly not just a yellow
B&D, but firmly in the Makita / Blue Bosch class.


I've used one of these a few times in the past and a couple of friends
in the U.S. have this model. None would say that this type of
machine generically is going to produce the same quality of result as
a larger fixed machine with long tables, but they are all able to turn
out very good work with it.

I was just looking through a review by Fine Woodworking of a couple of
years ago on a range of portable thickness planers and their
conclusions were about the same as yours - i.e. there are a number of
generic entry level machines around (Grizzly, Geetech, Central, ..)
that are similar to the Axminster offerings (sub $300). Results were
inconsistent - i.e. good in some areas, lousy in others and not
consistent between what were basically similar machines.

DW was in the mid range and came out the best of this bunch.
The reviewer noted the very low snipe which seemed to be partly as a
result of having a cutterhead lock. The other machines didn't have
that.

There was a higher cost category including Makita and (curiously)
Ridgid. The main benefits of these were not in terms of quality of
result - the DW did better both in terms of snipe and parallelism -
but convenience. The Makita has some quick release and fit blade
arrangements and a good depth gauge. However it is nearly $500 vs
the $350 (at the time) of the DW.

I've sent you a copy of the review.





Good bits:

There is much that I have found to like about this unit:

The most notable thing is the shear quality of the finish that is
achievable. The belt driven cutter assembly on this model spins at 10K
rpm giving 20k cuts per min. When taking a fine pass, the finish is
suburb - almost polished. Yielding results superior to much shop bought
PAR timber with none of the tell tail machine planed ripple in the surface.

There is a clear and easy to read depth gauge with indicator needle. The
crank leaver (which can fold down for transportation) is also calibrated
in mm of material removal. In addition there is a material removal gauge
that shows how much will be planed from the timber sitting just before
the first feed roller - so it is easy to (say) take 1mm off without
needing to have done a previous pass to know that the cutter is aligned
with the top surface of the timber. Finally on the measurement front
there is a pre-set depth stop that allows common timber thickness to be
dialled up. This prevents the cutter head being lowered below the
pre-set thickness.

The unit has a four column support for the planer head, that also has a
lock bar. When this is engaged there is practically no visible snipe at
all! Armed with a set of roller stands I have found it easy to plane
even long stock and still be able to use all of it including the ends.
(even without engaging the lock there is very little snipe so it is easy
to plane mostly to thickness and just apply the lock on the final pass
or two).


I found an article with a project to make a portable set of
infeed/outfeed tables that you might find useful. One of my US
friends made one of these and it helps a lot with longer or wider
pieces - especially hardwoods. I'll send you that as well.



Power seems good, but then again I have not tried planing any 12" wide
oak board yet!


The point is to have freahly sharp knives and not to attempt to plane
too much at a time.

The FWW review indicated that the DW knives could be sharpened up to 5
times if you wanted.

If you are going to work with hardwoods, proper dust extraction is
really important as dust tends to be finer and more irritant than with
softwoods. Generally I notice in my dust collector that there is a
greater proportion of finer dust to chips from hardwoods than from
softwoods.


The machine has a tool storage tray built in that retain all the
adjustment tools and blade setting blocks etc on the machine so it ought
to be harder to lose them!

Not so good bits:

Like most machines of this type, dust collection is via a shroud that
fits on to the back of the planer block. This is nicely made with an
angled side exit port. The port is also rounded over at the end which
makes sliding the hose onto it easy (unlike some of the wobbly steel
tubes provided on some models). However with it in place you are unable
to fold up the rear table. Given the long length of the table this also
makes storage of the machine harder. To make matters worse the shroud
takes a few mins to attach or remove - being fastened with three pan
head screws and shake washers. A bit of work with some thumb nuts on
protruding studs would have made this much quicker and less fiddly. Some
sort of quick release clip would have been better still.

The carry handles on the machine slide in and out from the body of the
machine rather than simply being recesses. This does actually make it
easier to pull the machine toward you with one handle (say unloading
from the back of an estate car), but alas they are also free to slide
shut onto your hands if you carry the machine at an angle, making them
less comfortable in some cases.

Care is needed with the lock bar when planing thick timber. Firstly the
positioning of it means that it is slightly fiddly to get hold of as it
becomes mostly covered by the top of the machine. Also when released it
springs back with reasonable force which can bang the back of your hand
into the top of the machine if you are not careful.

Finally there are no top mounted rollers to make passing stock back over
the machine easy when planing with the help of an assistant.

The technical spec can be found he

http://www.dewalt.co.uk/products.asp...etid=9&sid =1
http://tinyurl.com/aan2z




[1] Great service from the dealer BTW - fixit powertools in colwyn bay
(eBay handle "tools-uk") - contacted me to apologise that they had in
fact only one of these units to sell and not the three they thought they
had - hence they could not supply straight away. They tried to get
another factory rework from DeWalt, but could not get one soon enough.
So I asked them to quote for a brand new unit, which they did, and beat
the best online price I could find. So in the end I spent another 55
quid for a brand new unit.


--

..andy

  #3   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
Dave Plowman (News)
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

In article ,
John Rumm wrote:
This is the first DeWalt tool I have owned, and it is very clearly not
just a yellow B&D, but firmly in the Makita / Blue Bosch class.


Don't think there's any question about DeWalt in this specialised part of
the market. Maybe on the high volume stuff, though.

--
*The statement above is false

Dave Plowman London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
  #4   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

For anyone looking for a full-on planer-thicknesser I bought the
scheppach hms260 about a year ago (after umming and ahhing about a
dewalt and electra-beckum instead) - and found it ideal (I would change
nothing about it) right up to it's maximum dimensions (though 300mm
width would be useful now and again, the price stepis significant).

How do people cope with thicknesser only? Surely the moment you
encounter some bowed boards you're stuck with an irregularity only a
surface planer can remove?

  #5   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
John Rumm
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

Andy Hall wrote:

There was a higher cost category including Makita and (curiously)
Ridgid. The main benefits of these were not in terms of quality of
result - the DW did better both in terms of snipe and parallelism -
but convenience. The Makita has some quick release and fit blade
arrangements and a good depth gauge. However it is nearly $500 vs
the $350 (at the time) of the DW.

I've sent you a copy of the review.


Thanks for that. I did look into the Makita and managed to track down
some reviews of it. The main benefit of that one seemed to be quicker
service times and better portability. Neither of which were quite as
high up my requirements list as finish quality and lack of snipe "out of
the box". IIRC there are a few places selling it for similar money to
the DW as well.

I found an article with a project to make a portable set of
infeed/outfeed tables that you might find useful. One of my US
friends made one of these and it helps a lot with longer or wider
pieces - especially hardwoods. I'll send you that as well.


Thanks again. In fact I think I saw a similar idea shown in either FWW
or woodsmith this month (can't remember which). The downside with that
for me is lack of shop space. Long stock preparation is more a summer
job since I need to take over a lump of back garden, or alternatively
setup the thicknesser toward the door of my workshop so that I can plane
with the outfeed into the garden onto a roller stand (while keeping me
and the dust collector inside in the warm!). Having said that, the lack
of snipe on this one does actually mean it is easy enough to plane stock
after it has been cut to length rather than have to allow for chopping
the ends off - so the 1.5m (ish) length I can handle inside the workshop
is adequate in most cases.

Power seems good, but then again I have not tried planing any 12" wide
oak board yet!


The point is to have freahly sharp knives and not to attempt to plane
too much at a time.


Not having a ready supply of oak in these parts also cuts down the need
to do it that often!

The FWW review indicated that the DW knives could be sharpened up to 5
times if you wanted.


I have not taken them out to look closely - but there does seem to be a
reasonable amount of meat on them...

Note that unlike the model reviewed then machine in the UK does *not*
come with a spare set of knives.

If you are going to work with hardwoods, proper dust extraction is
really important as dust tends to be finer and more irritant than with
softwoods. Generally I notice in my dust collector that there is a
greater proportion of finer dust to chips from hardwoods than from
softwoods.


Indeed I would not dream of doing it without...

(I was helping a mate prepare some oak edging for his kitchen worktops a
couple of weeks back using his Axminster thicknesser without any
collection! I was trying to convince him that it would actually save him
time and money to get a chip collector since if nothing else you save
hours sweeping up and wading through a sea of planer shavings. It
obviously sank in, since he looked at me using the DW with collection
the other day and decided that perhaps it was a good idea after all)


--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\================================================= ================/


  #6   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
John Rumm
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

This is the first DeWalt tool I have owned, and it is very clearly not
just a yellow B&D, but firmly in the Makita / Blue Bosch class.



Don't think there's any question about DeWalt in this specialised part of
the market. Maybe on the high volume stuff, though.


Yup - I thought it worth mentioning since as with most brands there is a
fair bit of quality variation across the model range, and with OEMs that
have several big brands in one stable, there must be some temptation to
push the better spec low end models "up" into the higher (and higher
profit margin) "brand".

I was wandering through a shop the other day, when they had some DW kit
on display. So I stopped to look at a handheld powered planer, and also
a 7" circular saw. While it is not possible to judge that much without
actually trying it - the circular saw only seemed "adequate" - not
really any better than my B&D proline, or a similar skil saw on display.
Pressed steel sole plate, decent guard and top cover - but nothing that
oozed quality at you in the way that some of the Hitachi ones do (having
said that the motor and bearings may have been first rate - but I could
not tell without power!). The handheld planer however did look and feel
very good - very highly machined sole plate, good rebate depth, precise
adjustments.

--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\================================================= ================/
  #7   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
John Rumm
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

wrote:

For anyone looking for a full-on planer-thicknesser I bought the
scheppach hms260 about a year ago (after umming and ahhing about a
dewalt and electra-beckum instead) - and found it ideal (I would change
nothing about it) right up to it's maximum dimensions (though 300mm
width would be useful now and again, the price stepis significant).


Nice looking bit of kit... I think a bigger workshop would need to be on
the menu first in my case though! ;-)

How do people cope with thicknesser only? Surely the moment you
encounter some bowed boards you're stuck with an irregularity only a
surface planer can remove?


You are right that there are some things a planer will do that a
thicknesser won't, but I find that thicknessers are still very useful in
their own right for all sorts of job.

You can extend their application with a bit of imagination as well - so
things like making a fence that you can clamp boards to prior to passing
the whole thing through the thicknesser will allow square edge
preparation. Cup and curl are not too diffficult to deal with, but a
seriously bowed/bent board is a more trickey proposition. The answer to
which might be use it for something else, and find more suitable board!

--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd -
http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\================================================= ================/
  #8   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
Andy Hall
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

On Sun, 19 Feb 2006 16:28:22 +0000, John Rumm
wrote:

Andy Hall wrote:

There was a higher cost category including Makita and (curiously)
Ridgid. The main benefits of these were not in terms of quality of
result - the DW did better both in terms of snipe and parallelism -
but convenience. The Makita has some quick release and fit blade
arrangements and a good depth gauge. However it is nearly $500 vs
the $350 (at the time) of the DW.

I've sent you a copy of the review.


Thanks for that. I did look into the Makita and managed to track down
some reviews of it. The main benefit of that one seemed to be quicker
service times and better portability. Neither of which were quite as
high up my requirements list as finish quality and lack of snipe "out of
the box". IIRC there are a few places selling it for similar money to
the DW as well.


Sure. I didn't look at the Makita in any more detail, but it
appeared that most of the things were convenience of use features
rather than ultimate quality. For example, the reviewer said that
the two feed rates didn't seem to show much difference in terms of
results. That might be a different story with certain types of
wood.



I found an article with a project to make a portable set of
infeed/outfeed tables that you might find useful. One of my US
friends made one of these and it helps a lot with longer or wider
pieces - especially hardwoods. I'll send you that as well.


Thanks again. In fact I think I saw a similar idea shown in either FWW
or woodsmith this month (can't remember which). The downside with that
for me is lack of shop space. Long stock preparation is more a summer
job since I need to take over a lump of back garden, or alternatively
setup the thicknesser toward the door of my workshop so that I can plane
with the outfeed into the garden onto a roller stand (while keeping me
and the dust collector inside in the warm!). Having said that, the lack
of snipe on this one does actually mean it is easy enough to plane stock
after it has been cut to length rather than have to allow for chopping
the ends off - so the 1.5m (ish) length I can handle inside the workshop
is adequate in most cases.


Even if not, usually the snipe is fairly predictable so you can always
cut slightly over length and then to length.



Power seems good, but then again I have not tried planing any 12" wide
oak board yet!


The point is to have freahly sharp knives and not to attempt to plane
too much at a time.


Not having a ready supply of oak in these parts also cuts down the need
to do it that often!

The FWW review indicated that the DW knives could be sharpened up to 5
times if you wanted.


I have not taken them out to look closely - but there does seem to be a
reasonable amount of meat on them...

Note that unlike the model reviewed then machine in the UK does *not*
come with a spare set of knives.


ISTR that they weren't that expensive anyway.




If you are going to work with hardwoods, proper dust extraction is
really important as dust tends to be finer and more irritant than with
softwoods. Generally I notice in my dust collector that there is a
greater proportion of finer dust to chips from hardwoods than from
softwoods.


Indeed I would not dream of doing it without...

(I was helping a mate prepare some oak edging for his kitchen worktops a
couple of weeks back using his Axminster thicknesser without any
collection!


That's a bad idea. Apart from the mess, I find that oak dust is
relatively irritating.


I was trying to convince him that it would actually save him
time and money to get a chip collector since if nothing else you save
hours sweeping up and wading through a sea of planer shavings. It
obviously sank in, since he looked at me using the DW with collection
the other day and decided that perhaps it was a good idea after all)


I'm surprised that it would work at all without some clearance of
shavings.


--

..andy

  #9   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
Andy Hall
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

On Sun, 19 Feb 2006 17:03:34 +0000, John Rumm
wrote:

wrote:

For anyone looking for a full-on planer-thicknesser I bought the
scheppach hms260 about a year ago (after umming and ahhing about a
dewalt and electra-beckum instead) - and found it ideal (I would change
nothing about it) right up to it's maximum dimensions (though 300mm
width would be useful now and again, the price stepis significant).


Nice looking bit of kit... I think a bigger workshop would need to be on
the menu first in my case though! ;-)


Not necessarily.

You can get quite a long way with a 150 or 200mm planer - you don't
necessarily have to have a 300mm one.

For example, a typical 150mm planing machine is only about 550mm or so
deep and can go right against a wall.

I have a 300mm planer/thcknesser on the combination machine, but to be
honest, it's relatively infrequent that I am planing wider boards than
150mm. In the thicknesser, the usual thing is to run more than one
board through to save time.



How do people cope with thicknesser only? Surely the moment you
encounter some bowed boards you're stuck with an irregularity only a
surface planer can remove?


You are right that there are some things a planer will do that a
thicknesser won't, but I find that thicknessers are still very useful in
their own right for all sorts of job.

You can extend their application with a bit of imagination as well - so
things like making a fence that you can clamp boards to prior to passing
the whole thing through the thicknesser will allow square edge
preparation.


I've done this in the past. You can get fairly reasonable results,
although if it's with a wide board held vertically you have to be
rather careful because it will tend to tip sideways. The problem
comes in pushing the fence down and keeping it pushed down if the
piece is long and the temptation for hands to get too close to the
business area.

If you are careful, take time and don't try to push your luck, it can
be done. However, once you've used a planer, you wouldn't want to do
it again :-)

Nevertheless, for a lot of DIY purposes, having just a thicknesser and
being able to buy sawn or CLS timber and prepare to wanted size is a
time, material and cost saver.


Cup and curl are not too diffficult to deal with, but a
seriously bowed/bent board is a more trickey proposition. The answer to
which might be use it for something else, and find more suitable board!



--

..andy

  #10   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
John Rumm
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

Andy Hall wrote:

Indeed I would not dream of doing it without...

(I was helping a mate prepare some oak edging for his kitchen worktops a
couple of weeks back using his Axminster thicknesser without any
collection!



That's a bad idea. Apart from the mess, I find that oak dust is
relatively irritating.


Quite agree! I kept my respirator on... At least there was not too much
to do.

I was trying to convince him that it would actually save him
time and money to get a chip collector since if nothing else you save
hours sweeping up and wading through a sea of planer shavings. It
obviously sank in, since he looked at me using the DW with collection
the other day and decided that perhaps it was a good idea after all)



I'm surprised that it would work at all without some clearance of
shavings.


On the thicknesser he has (not one of the current Axminster ones) if you
remove the collection cowel then it leaves part of the top of the cutter
block exposed and it throws chips out the back of the machine (I expect
there was a cover plate of some description that would have to have been
removed to attach the cowl in the first place). Does not help the mess
creation any, but does at least stop it clogging up too much. It also
helped that we were only working stock that was a couple of inches wide.
Had we have needed to do any quantity I would have gone and got my
collector.

--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
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| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
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  #11   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
John Rumm
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

Andy Hall wrote:

Nice looking bit of kit... I think a bigger workshop would need to be on
the menu first in my case though! ;-)



Not necessarily.


You haven't seen how full it is! (there is a danger of it becoming a
outside cupboard rather than a place to work!)

You can get quite a long way with a 150 or 200mm planer - you don't
necessarily have to have a 300mm one.

For example, a typical 150mm planing machine is only about 550mm or so
deep and can go right against a wall.


I expect that one of the table top planers would meet my current needs,
limited as they are.

You can extend their application with a bit of imagination as well - so
things like making a fence that you can clamp boards to prior to passing
the whole thing through the thicknesser will allow square edge
preparation.



I've done this in the past. You can get fairly reasonable results,
although if it's with a wide board held vertically you have to be
rather careful because it will tend to tip sideways. The problem
comes in pushing the fence down and keeping it pushed down if the
piece is long and the temptation for hands to get too close to the
business area.


If you make an inverted Tee type of fence then you can clamp the board
to the upright bit and it ought to resist falling over too much. Make it
quite tall and solid (so you need the cutter head quite high to clear it
and you can clamp smaller width stock a little up the face if required
to have it meet the cutter. Obviously you can get more rigidity if you
need to do a bunch of boards since you can do several together which
adds some rigidity.

If you are careful, take time and don't try to push your luck, it can
be done. However, once you've used a planer, you wouldn't want to do
it again :-)


I am sure you are right... the trick probably being to not use one until
you have the space for it - then you won't know what you are missing! ;-)

Nevertheless, for a lot of DIY purposes, having just a thicknesser and
being able to buy sawn or CLS timber and prepare to wanted size is a
time, material and cost saver.


Yup, I saved the cost of my dust collector on wood for 2nd fix on loft
conversion by doing that. Very handy when you need odd sizes like 25mm
thick finished PAR for fire door stops. I bought a 8x3" KD joist, planed
top and bottom, and then ripped strips off of it on the table saw and
finished them.


--
Cheers,

John.

/================================================== ===============\
| Internode Ltd - http://www.internode.co.uk |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|
| John Rumm - john(at)internode(dot)co(dot)uk |
\================================================= ================/
  #12   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
Andy Hall
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

On Sun, 19 Feb 2006 20:49:09 +0000, John Rumm
wrote:

Andy Hall wrote:

Nice looking bit of kit... I think a bigger workshop would need to be on
the menu first in my case though! ;-)



Not necessarily.


You haven't seen how full it is! (there is a danger of it becoming a
outside cupboard rather than a place to work!)

You can get quite a long way with a 150 or 200mm planer - you don't
necessarily have to have a 300mm one.

For example, a typical 150mm planing machine is only about 550mm or so
deep and can go right against a wall.


I expect that one of the table top planers would meet my current needs,
limited as they are.



If you mean something like the little Axminster Perform, then I would
really suggest passing. It might be all right for model boat
building, but that's about it. Planers really do need to have cast
tables to avoid any possibility of flexing. The Axminster White one
is slightly better in that the beds are more solid, but they are
woefully small and that's really the problem. 720mm overall length
and about 350 either side of the cutter. I suppose that one could
use some infeed and outfeed tables, but I am not sure very
successfully.

That's probably about the limit for a table top machine anyway - 20kg+
for this one.

It's a pity that there isn't an interim size. The next up is the
floor standing small 150mm modela and then you are into 80kg.

Realistically, even if there were a similar sized benchtop model, it
would weigh 50-60kg.




You can extend their application with a bit of imagination as well - so
things like making a fence that you can clamp boards to prior to passing
the whole thing through the thicknesser will allow square edge
preparation.



I've done this in the past. You can get fairly reasonable results,
although if it's with a wide board held vertically you have to be
rather careful because it will tend to tip sideways. The problem
comes in pushing the fence down and keeping it pushed down if the
piece is long and the temptation for hands to get too close to the
business area.


If you make an inverted Tee type of fence then you can clamp the board
to the upright bit and it ought to resist falling over too much. Make it
quite tall and solid (so you need the cutter head quite high to clear it
and you can clamp smaller width stock a little up the face if required
to have it meet the cutter. Obviously you can get more rigidity if you
need to do a bunch of boards since you can do several together which
adds some rigidity.

If you are careful, take time and don't try to push your luck, it can
be done. However, once you've used a planer, you wouldn't want to do
it again :-)


I am sure you are right... the trick probably being to not use one until
you have the space for it - then you won't know what you are missing! ;-)



That's a way to look at it.


Nevertheless, for a lot of DIY purposes, having just a thicknesser and
being able to buy sawn or CLS timber and prepare to wanted size is a
time, material and cost saver.


Yup, I saved the cost of my dust collector on wood for 2nd fix on loft
conversion by doing that. Very handy when you need odd sizes like 25mm
thick finished PAR for fire door stops. I bought a 8x3" KD joist, planed
top and bottom, and then ripped strips off of it on the table saw and
finished them.


In fact, you can do a reasonable squaring job on a table saw if you're
not looking for ultimate accuracy and then clean up on the
thicknesser.


--

..andy

  #13   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
Andy Dingley
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

On 19 Feb 2006 08:22:38 -0800, wrote:

For anyone looking for a full-on planer-thicknesser I bought the
scheppach hms260 about a year ago (after umming and ahhing about a
dewalt and electra-beckum instead) - and found it ideal


Only Scheppach stuff I've used in the last 10 years struck me as awfully
tinny. Bit too likely to bend it like an Elektra-Beckum.

(though 300mm width would be useful now and again, the price stepis significant).


I don't have a combi machine, I use a separate thicknesser and jointer
for just this reason (Axmonster CT330 and CT150). Almost all my
thicknessing is 13" boards, which the Axminster handles and a DeWalt 733
won't. They're coming off a bandsaw with an operator who believes in
"baker's dozens" on width. A 10" wide combi would be a _very_ big
limitation on what I do and what I do it out of.


How do people cope with thicknesser only?


Very well indeed.

Surely the moment you encounter some bowed boards you're stuck with an irregularity only a
surface planer can remove?


Nope - you knock the high spots off with a scrub or a (spit) electric
planer, then you stuff them through the thicknesser. Do the convex side
first until it's a wide enough flat to be stable, then work each side in
turn. Takes a bit of a knack to do it well or quickly, but it certainly
works and it saves buying a 12" wide planer that would probably require
3 phase.

The one thing you can't cope with is a twisted board - but then decent
timber doesn't twist and so you're probably trying to save soemthing
that's better housed on the firewood pile.

  #14   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
Andy Hall
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

On Mon, 20 Feb 2006 00:53:21 +0000, Andy Dingley
wrote:

On 19 Feb 2006 08:22:38 -0800, wrote:

For anyone looking for a full-on planer-thicknesser I bought the
scheppach hms260 about a year ago (after umming and ahhing about a
dewalt and electra-beckum instead) - and found it ideal


Only Scheppach stuff I've used in the last 10 years struck me as awfully
tinny. Bit too likely to bend it like an Elektra-Beckum.

(though 300mm width would be useful now and again, the price stepis significant).


I don't have a combi machine, I use a separate thicknesser and jointer
for just this reason (Axmonster CT330 and CT150). Almost all my
thicknessing is 13" boards, which the Axminster handles and a DeWalt 733
won't. They're coming off a bandsaw with an operator who believes in
"baker's dozens" on width. A 10" wide combi would be a _very_ big
limitation on what I do and what I do it out of.


How do people cope with thicknesser only?


Very well indeed.

Surely the moment you encounter some bowed boards you're stuck with an irregularity only a
surface planer can remove?


Nope - you knock the high spots off with a scrub or a (spit) electric
planer, then you stuff them through the thicknesser. Do the convex side
first until it's a wide enough flat to be stable, then work each side in
turn.


I've done this - works quite well - although doesn't prevent making a
parallelogram (i.e. sides out of square). Presumably you then joint
the board edges?


Takes a bit of a knack to do it well or quickly, but it certainly
works and it saves buying a 12" wide planer that would probably require
3 phase.


You can get planers of this width that run from single phase. My
combination machine does as well as one with a wider planer (400mm)
with up to 3.6kW motors. Having said that, it does need a 30A supply.



The one thing you can't cope with is a twisted board - but then decent
timber doesn't twist and so you're probably trying to save soemthing
that's better housed on the firewood pile.


Another thing that I thought of that is worth mentioning is that it is
a good idea to run a metal detector over timber before running it
through the planer. I have an airport security type for doing this
(Lumber Wizard - Rutlands 25505, although mine came from the US at
half their price).

In the U.S. it is quite common to find bullets and other firearm
projectiles in timber, especially second hand. I've had instances
of nails and tacks in timber from a timber yard - no idea how it got
there.

Either way, it will nick planer blades badly, probably to the point
beyond being able to resharpen them. When you have a cutter block
with 4 blades, that can spoil your day.... Hasn't happened yet,
fortunately.




--

..andy

  #15   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
Andy Dingley
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

On Mon, 20 Feb 2006 11:32:22 +0000, Andy Hall wrote:

I've done this - works quite well - although doesn't prevent making a
parallelogram (i.e. sides out of square). Presumably you then joint
the board edges?


I'm probably going to rip the board edges before I even think about
jointing them. A parallelogram is the least of my worries.


Another thing that I thought of that is worth mentioning is that it is
a good idea to run a metal detector over timber before running it
through the planer. I have an airport security type for doing this
(Lumber Wizard - Rutlands 25505, although mine came from the US at
half their price).


Metal detectors are a good thing, but I've been very unimpressed with
the Wizards I've tried - they couldn't detect Fred Dibnah's shed!

Mine is, literally, a landmine detector. Cheap, works.


  #16   Report Post  
Posted to uk.d-i-y
Andy Hall
 
Posts: n/a
Default DW733 Portable Thicknesser - mini review

On Mon, 20 Feb 2006 21:15:51 +0000, Andy Dingley
wrote:

On Mon, 20 Feb 2006 11:32:22 +0000, Andy Hall wrote:

I've done this - works quite well - although doesn't prevent making a
parallelogram (i.e. sides out of square). Presumably you then joint
the board edges?


I'm probably going to rip the board edges before I even think about
jointing them. A parallelogram is the least of my worries.



Of course. I usually tend to joint the first edge, then for the
second rip slightly over width and joint to size to clean up.



Another thing that I thought of that is worth mentioning is that it is
a good idea to run a metal detector over timber before running it
through the planer. I have an airport security type for doing this
(Lumber Wizard - Rutlands 25505, although mine came from the US at
half their price).


Metal detectors are a good thing, but I've been very unimpressed with
the Wizards I've tried - they couldn't detect Fred Dibnah's shed!

Mine is, literally, a landmine detector. Cheap, works.


I imagine that they would be sensitive enough.....



--

..andy

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