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6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26181 04/11/11 06:38 PM
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134V Offline OP
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Hi All,

I'm new to the forum. I have a little experience, built one frame (a barn) a while ago and now another. I'm planing my timbers this time (White Pine and Hemlock). I did a ghetto mod on an old Delta 12" table top planer: took the base off. Hose clamp the cutter head to the four posts a third of the way down, put 1/32" shims under the in and out feed rollers.. ect. It works but not particularly well. I'm spending a lot more time planing than I'd like. I get end snipe and it's pretty cumbersome to re-position at the end of each run down the beam.

I'm looking at the Makita 6 3/4" and 12 1/4" planers. One's cheaper and lighter but won't do an 8" or 10" beam in one pass. The other is more than twice as expensive and weighs twice as much but will work on the beams I'm using...

I'd like your input. What would you buy?

Thanks

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26183 04/11/11 09:16 PM
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Joel McCarty Offline
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I'd like to see a picture of your modded Delta

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26185 04/12/11 04:02 AM
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Gumphri Offline
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There are a few important factors when making the choice between the two machines.

1. How heavy of a tool can you work with? At 19lbs the 6 3/4" is a big tool to be using all day. The 12 1/4 is 40lbs. It does however travel fairly well on the timber with the roller in the front.

2. How much are you willing to spend? Last time I checked you could get 3 6 3/4" planers for the price of a 12 1/4"

3. How much time will you spend straightening timber? The 6 3/4 works great for making your winding sticks parallel. It can be done with the 12 1/4 but its more work. I'm currently contemplating a jig that would make short work of straightening timber with a 12 1/4.

4. How much time do you want to spend on the end of a planer. The 12 1/4 can do in one pass what takes 2-4 passes with the 6 3/4. You also get a crisper finish. The 6 3/4 gives you a bit of a rounded profile if your not careful.

I recently bought a used 12 1/4 planer after working on a frame one summer with a 6 3/4. I chose a 12 1/4 planer with a boring machine, when I could have bought a mortising machine and a 6 3/4 planer. I often work with a carpenter that has both the mortising machine and the 6 3/4 planer so the boring machine and the 12 1/4 planer bring more variety to the table when we work together.
In time I hope to get the mortising machine, the 6 3/4 inch planer and a large circular saw. But not for my next project.


Leslie Ball
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Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26192 04/13/11 02:07 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts.

After reading them I'm leaning toward the 12" because I'm already making multiple passes, and finishing w a hand plane using the setup I have w my Delta.

Keep me / us posted on the jig...

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26193 04/13/11 02:13 AM
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134V Offline OP
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Joel,

I'll post some pics or a link to some pics of the mods I made to my Delta, but probably won't get to it until the weekend.. I was going to document the mods when first did them but I never thought that they'd actually work smile

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26195 04/13/11 01:27 PM
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daiku Offline
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You may also want to investigate the option of having the mill plane them. If they have a 4-sided planer, the results are fantastic. True dimensions, square corners, etc.

Sure it will cost more, but don't forget the cost of your labor, as well as the equipment and upkeep. CB.


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Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane [Re: Joel McCarty] #26223 04/17/11 01:36 AM
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134V Offline OP
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I took some pics and a very short video today and posted them here: Delta Mod Pics .

It works but there are lots of limitations. The biggest one is that there's no sole to stabilize the planer. You only have the ~5 inches between the feed rollers to stabilize it. You have to shut the planer off with the on / off switch or it will run off the end of the beam. If you time it right it will stop about 5" before the end of the beam. so I have to hand plane the last 5 inches.
If you misjudge you have to kind of catch it before it falls off the end of the beam.

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26225 04/17/11 02:18 AM
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D L Bahler Offline
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could you not place a block on the end of the timber to let the planer run out past?


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Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26226 04/17/11 03:10 AM
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I had a thought on modifying a planer like that too. I usually work on a mule setup. I was planning on setting up tracks on either side of the timber. I would make them out of straight lumber. I would have cut out the middle of the base and put rollers on the bottom of the two sides to assist in its travel. The timber could then be shimmed on the corners to make it stable if it has a little twist.

Now that I have the makita 12 inch, I will probably attempt the same rail system. But, I will use blocks clamped on either side of the planer. I should only need to shim the front of the planer so I just might make rollers that attach to the same screws that the front handle is attached to. With the beam shimmed to the right height, This should plane out any twists or crowns.


Leslie Ball
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Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane [Re: Gumphri] #26239 04/20/11 01:28 AM
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I take it 134V's purpose is to get a straight, flat face as opposed just getting a better surface finish. The problem with hand held planers is that they will not flatten a timber in and of themselves. I found this out when I got my first Makita 6-1/4. You have to determine where more material needs to come off and work at it. The way to get it flat without having to study each piece, is to have the workpiece stationary and the planer stationary in the vertical as you make a pass. I've also seen a couple of people modify bench top planers. The problem with that is power and speed- not enough of either. The real answer is a setup that does what a joiner does. The one tool I've seen that does this is a Norwood LM410 log molder. You can install straight planer knives, or any of dozens of shaped knives for log or beam molding. Yes it costs about $5K, but can work on a number of 2 rail mills like Logosol, Woodmizer, and others. I plan to get one in about a year. They can come with Gas engine or electric, but so far those sold in the US have all been ordered with gas engine so far. Here's a vid from Norwood:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M680oDt7zqM

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane [Re: brad_bb] #26247 04/22/11 04:32 AM
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I've never used a Norwood LM410. But, I have put some thought about it. Woodmizer makes one in europe too. Right now though all my carpentry tools must fit in a 4x8x3 storage room when not in use. That would not fit. frown

Flattening the timber is much easier with the 12 inch planer. With a couple of site built rails, and a jig on my planer, I think I can simulate, the Norwood planer.

Last edited by Gumphri; 04/22/11 04:34 AM.

Leslie Ball
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Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26249 04/22/11 02:36 PM
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You are correct Gumphri, Woodmizer has one in Europe, but is not available in the US. The Norwood looks like a good machine and it's advantage is a very stable platform and much more power and speed and convenience than a hand held unit in a fixture. It can be used on a Woodmizer mill or almost any 2 rail mill. If you have a 2 rail mill, it's a great addition which would definitely give you an advantage at the shop or on the job site. If you have only one timber to try and true up, you can use the hand held and mess around with it. But if you have a number of them to do, The Norwood would help you do it in short order, with great accuracy. It would be nice to have true reference faces at a right angle to each other when you are square ruling. You also have the option of ordering other knife shapes too for whatever you might want to do.

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26256 04/23/11 01:48 PM
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Brook W. Offline
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Leslie really offered a fine analysis here and I'll take it a bit further.

Do you want to square timbers, smooth timbers, or straighten timbers?

If you want them square I'd have them planed at the mill.

If you just want to smooth I'd buy the 12". With sharp (disposable) blades it virtually glides down the timber and is easy on the body. The roller on the front helps tremendously with positioning and saves your elbow. It's an amazing machine.

If you want to straighten I'd go with the 6". Once straight you can smooth any ridges with a hand plane or smaller power plane. I like that these blades are not disposable.

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26262 04/24/11 01:04 AM
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TIMBEAL Offline
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PLS the frame and only plane where you need too.

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26268 04/24/11 11:47 AM
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Jim Rogers Online Confused
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What is PLS?


Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26270 04/24/11 12:07 PM
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TIMBEAL Offline
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Plumb Line Scribe, see Timber Framing issues #96 & 97. I would say it all depends on what the reason for planing the timber is?

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26282 04/25/11 01:26 PM
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frwinks Offline
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I see dangerous minds think alike 134V..lol
I started out with a broken down Dewalt, took the head out and let it do it's thing "freehand". If you start "late" and finish "early" on the timber, the leftovers can be cleaned up with a hand plane.



Once I got my bandmill to where it could accept a large timber, I turned the 12.5" Dewalt into a pretty capable machine. Sure it won't take 1/4" of material per pass, but for cleaning up sticks it was perfect. Most of the timbers on my frame were done on the mill. My plan is to make a proper cradle for it, with a hitch type connection. This would allow for the rest of the mill to remain on the carriage.

http://youtu.be/_-i7nNasEjc


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Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26292 04/27/11 01:34 AM
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134V Offline OP
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Wow, that's pretty clever frwinks. Looks like it works great. Plus it looks like you can do more with with that setup. Put a bigger planer head ect..

Thanks to all for the input. I got a 12" Makita. It's a lot faster, much smoother finish. Way more $$...

My wood is reasonably square so I'm not looking to square things up unless there's something grossly off.

Even though my wood is pretty clean (I use a stiff brush on each face before I start), The Makita's blades get dull pretty quick. They're tiny, maybe 3/8 " wide. They don't look like they can be re-sharpened and I haven't found carbide repacments yet.

Some times the sole gets pitch'd up and it pushes hard. I spray Boeshield T-9 on it and use a razor blade with it wet then it's back to glide mode.

That aside, I'm happy with my decision.

Thanks

134

Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane [Re: 134V] #26303 04/27/11 03:30 PM
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frwinks Offline
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congrats on the purchase... that planer sure gets the job done cool
I had the pleasure of using one on all my rafters, which you're right, was much quicker than setting them up on the mill. Just lay out a dozen or so at a time and let the Mak chew 'em up.
I used some wax on the sole to make it slide a lil' easier, that thing weighs a ton.
Any decent machine shop should be able to re-sharpen those for ya. The one I use to sharpen the 12's, also does the small 3.25" blades which are pretty thin.


there's a thin line between hobby and mental illness
Re: 6 Inch vs 12 Inch Power Plane #26304 04/27/11 03:46 PM
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Brook W. Offline
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I've had luck extending the working life of the 12" blades by honing the backsides just enough to even out the shine. It's not resharpening but it'll give you several more easy passes. Wish I had a good source of cheap blades to suggest.

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