Work(shop) in Progress #9: so, what's the plane?

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 05-13-2009 07:07 PM 7222 reads 0 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: New Table Saw: Low Profile Riving Knife for Ridgid R4511 Part 9 of Work(shop) in Progress series Part 10: Reorganizing Single Car Garage I - The plan. »

I guess this is a tool gloat more than anything.

I like hand planing boards, but sometimes, and especially when trying to get a board to a certain thickness (while keeping it straight) I just want to be able to throw the board through an infeed and automate that process. especially since I’m coming up with some projects that require large/long boards to be planed down.

so, with a budget in mind, I keep an eye on craigslist from time to time. the only things I’ve seen in my planned budget ($100-$200) were some old Delta lunch box planers, I read good reviews on those here, and was perfectly happy if I could get one of those. some looked more descent than others, but some just screamed “needs TLC” – and I don’t have much time for that nowadays… so I kept my eye open, but didn’t bite on any of those. I would have liked to have the Dewalt 13” planer – but that one is way out of my budget… at $650 market price, and $400+ used… not gonna happen.

until last weekend.

saw a dewalt 13” 735 planer for sale on craiglist. now the price is over my planned budget, but it detailed that it comes with the dewalt roller stand, and a few spare blade sets – so I figured it’s worth bumping the budget for those added benefits.

I contacted the seller, assuming that for that price it’s probably long gone by now, but was glad to have gotten a response back that it’s still available. made plans to meet, and I took with me a cutoff piece of oak to make a test run to make sure nothing is out of place. the seller stated that it had very minimal use as it was a backup machine- but you never know. best to check for yourself.

when I arrived, I saw that the planer actually includes not only the stand, but also the infeed/outfeed tables, and the guy also threw in a clear 4” 10’ hose with it… not bad , not bad at all.

I ran the oak through it taking off 1/32”... ran it twice, and was very pleased with the finish surface.. much better than I had anticipated (first time using a power planer)

needless to say I now have a new planer blocking the last piece of empty space I had in the garage…. time to reorganize the work space so that I’ll have room to stand there as well.

Dewalt Planer DW735

I’ll write a full review once I’m more experienced with the unit but so far I really like it’s features – automatic cutterhead lock, repeatable thickness stops (similar to the Ridgid repeat-a-cut concept), and large handwheels.

Dewalt Planer DW735

this thing is LOUD! the loudest of all the machines I’ve ever experienced with as of yet. and HEAVY at 92lbs… not quite as portable as the others I was looking at – but it can be a positive thing.

the mobile base I must say is excellent – it rolls smoothly, locks securely, and has a shelf for extra storage, so the space is not completely wasted.

Dewalt Planer DW735

my only concern is that it’s of the earlier machines that hit the market, and from reading reviews they seemed to have had some QA issues back then… I hope this one was not one of those, although for the price, I can still break even.

does any of you that use this have any experience as to how long those blades can last before they need to be replaced with a new set (Ballpark)?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

28 comments so far

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5009 days

#1 posted 05-13-2009 07:14 PM

Nice get…thats a great planer and you got all the accessories for it. I have seen a few on CL but if you don’t jump right on them they disappear immediately..
All the reviews I have read on this machine, the main complaint is the knives dull out fast….but I think thats a product more of how people use it….one reviewer was barking that the knives dulled out after he put 200 BF of white oak through it trying to take 1/8” passes…duh! I know several guys who own this planer and if you maintain it properly, and take light passes it works great.


View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4628 days

#2 posted 05-13-2009 07:16 PM

Hey congrats on the new planner .How long is tough , It depends on how much you use it an what you plane. If you run 400 ln ft of hard rock maple every day . your probably going to replace or sharpen your blades every 4-6 weeks if you use it like most hobbyist make it 6-12 months hard to say for sure but it’s a ballpark.


View JimmyNate's profile


124 posts in 4401 days

#3 posted 05-13-2009 07:20 PM

Congratulations, this is supposed to be a nice planer. I think you can slow the cuts per inch down on this model and save your blades a little…then you get to take your #4 to it and smooth it out by hand.

-- "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit." ---Aristotle

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6873 posts in 5031 days

#4 posted 05-13-2009 09:04 PM

Well, congrats on the find.

Hand planning can be a real pain on larger projects.

Be sure to wear hearing protection!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 4406 days

#5 posted 05-13-2009 09:08 PM

thats a really cool planer

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3810 posts in 4489 days

#6 posted 05-13-2009 09:11 PM

I”ve got the 734. 12.5 inch.. love it. I don’t know about the blades. They seem to last.. I’ve only built a few furniture projects though.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4742 days

#7 posted 05-13-2009 09:16 PM

where’s the pic’s mate


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4700 days

#8 posted 05-13-2009 09:25 PM

Thanks guys… I’m not going to be a heavy user, so just trying to estimate how long it would take me until I dull those knives (in BF) – I don’t mind finishing it on my #4… as long as it’s just smoothing out – I’m all up for that keeping some hand planing for a perfect finish. I guess I was trying to see if I should hold on to the extra set of knives, or if I’m better of selling them to reduce the overhead expense.

Lee- WHAT DID YOU SAY? ... it’s actually quite annoying, I used to work religiously with ear protection, but since I switched the tablesaw from a direct drive motor to a belt driven one, I find that I sometimes will “forget” to get the ear protection on (I usually do though…) but with this beaast – there’s no way I’ll forget… it’s LOUD, like “HEY I”M DOING SOME WOODWORKING HERE” loud…lol

Daniel – I think I might end up sharing your experience… they’ll last (I hope).

and Andy – stop being so materialistic…. pics pics pics…. they all look alike (but this one looks better) pic is coming… just couldn’t wait to blurt the text out first mate.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4433 days

#9 posted 05-13-2009 09:29 PM

Glad to hear it, Lev! I still don’t understand how you guys accomplish anything with planes. I’m convinced it’s witch magic.

Oh, and yes. My Craftsman 13” planer is so loud, I actually avoid using it if at all possible. Something made it get louder awhile ago, too. I think something might be rubbing. I wear ear protection pretty much only when I use the planer, as all my other tools are comfortably quiet. This one actually makes me feel bad for my neighbors whenever I turn it on.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4700 days

#10 posted 05-13-2009 09:34 PM

Gary, I never did either – until I experienced what a sharp blade is… and what a tuned up plane is - took many years... with several failures, and getting back at it, till it just clicked… and its not white magic- it’s actually black magic when you consider all the metal you have to take off from the blade and sole to get it tuned up properly…

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4484 days

#11 posted 05-13-2009 09:45 PM

Congratulations on the new addition! These lunch box (not that I would eat anything out of it!) planers are so convenient! I have the Ridgid and use it a lot. I am still on my first set of blades (reversible). I trim a fair amount of walnut, maple and purple heart. Works like a charm. That machine makes me wear hearing protection! They are all loud!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4433 days

#12 posted 05-13-2009 09:47 PM

Lev, I’m going to get that book. I’ve been wondering where in the world people ever learn about these things, as being in LA, in an office-with-computer job, literally no one I know knows anything at all about this stuff, or they’re just keeping it all secret :)

Come to think of it, they probably are keeping it secret. Last year I got into trees, and being me, and talking about my interests openly and often, I found that everyone had all kinds of tree knowledge, collectively way more than me, but also individually, it seemed most people knew 5 or 10 trees I didn’t, and things about ones I did know that I did not. I bet I’m going to find out several of my friends are hand planing experts once I get this book. Thanks for the links! (btw, your first two links have the word “really” at the end of them, but I removed it after clicking, and they worked).

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4700 days

#13 posted 05-13-2009 09:57 PM

so, I was really smoothing things out with that #3, and I restored a #2 I got from eBay last night, and … oh , hey – here come Gary… shhhhhh….... Hey Gary – wassup? how you like that new E-nternet thing? ... yeah… have a good one….. so anyways… I got a new Hock blade for it..

Gary- you should start eavesdropping for the good info at the office … LOL

and thanks for the link pointers… I fixed that.

Thanks ellen, I was thinking about the Ridgid as I’ve seem to find they make good woodworking products all in all, when this opportunity knocked, and I just couldn’t say no – heck, I didn’t even try to counteroffer the guy… I felt he was more than reasonable.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4742 days

#14 posted 05-13-2009 10:30 PM

your always first to gloat mate lol…....

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View Darell's profile


439 posts in 4645 days

#15 posted 05-13-2009 10:39 PM

I”ve had my 735 for just over 5 years now. While not a heavy user I’ve put a lot of wood through it in that time including a pickup load of walnut, quite a bit of red oak and smaller amounts of purple heart, zebrawood, a couple of wide pieces of teak, hackberry, soft maple and a small amount of hard maple and bubinga as well as some pine. I have no idea how many board feet all total but it’s a lot. I flipped the knives a couple of years ago for the first time and I’m still on the original set of knives. Have had a new set hanging on the wall in the shop for a year and a half now and haven’t had to use them yet. I only take small cuts, 1/32 or so. It takes more time to get to thickness that way but it’s easier on the machine and the knives. The knives on it still plane very smooth with no tear out so I’ve not seen the need to replace them. I have the infeed and outfeed tables and they work great. Just be sure to keep an eye on them and keep them leveled up to prevent snipe. Yeah, it’s loud but not as bad as my router. Add in the DC and it definately calls for hearing protection. I use protection with all my tools anyway so that’s not an issue for me. Hope you enjoy it I sure like mine.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

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