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Hello,

I've been using the original Dewalt lunchbox for a few years. It's LOUD!

I'm under the impression that a 240v "four poster" planer is much quieter and "better" in a number of ways.

I'm looking to get something used off CL and I want to budget $1,000 because I've seen a number in the $750 - $950 range.

So … I'd appreciate any thoughts on what to look for, assuming they're not all "the same". For instance, Grizzly, Jet, etc.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Rob. Looking.

So far I've found just two. One, for $1k seems a way more rusty than I'd want to deal with. There's another that's a 1965 machine, but it's 12". I've always assumed that my next planer would be at least 15". Heck, I'd actually lose an inch with this one! Not sure I really NEED larger, but I'd like it.

Rusty

Not so Rusty

Jet

Grizzly

I just found another 900 12" unit. Do you feel that I should adjust my wideness criteria?

Thanks again.
 

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Those old Powermatics are said to be excellent planers
but you have to assess old planers on a case-by-case
basis. In planers the feedworks can get worn.

I use a 15" 4 post planer… generic Taiwan thing.
It's a good planer but lacks muscle at 2hp.
 

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My next-to-last planer was a 1982 Rockwell Invicta made in Brazil. 13" width capacity was adequate, but of course no matter how wide your planer is, you're going to want/need a wider one eventually. I liked that planer a lot, as its stock handling was excellent. But it wasn't quiet. Not as loud as a lunchbox, but definitely ear muff demanding. I contemplated getting a Byrd Shellix helical cutter head, and even disassembled it to get the necessary specs. But I hesitated, as that thing was going to cost around $650 or so, and I'd never get my money out of it.

Then a tremendous deal on a Jet JP12HH came along, and I jumped on that. My point is, the helical head is wonderful. No frustrating blade changing and sharpening, no banshee howl, no worry about grain tear out. There are various ways to get that-aftermarket, or already part of the machine. However you do it, it's worth it. And yes, the 4 poster planers are far more robust than any lunchbox.
 

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One down side of some large planers is a lack of depth stops. My Dewalt 735 has convenient depth stops so I can batch plane stock down to common dimensions.
Maybe someone can chime in if there is a brand that includes this feature.
 

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How much planing do you do? I have both a 15" 4 post planer and a DW735. The 15" does very well at taking rough stock down to whatever thickness that you need. However, many of these have a serrated infeed roll which leaves marks on the wood unless you take off a certain amount. It is also very difficult to dial in a specific thickness.

The DW735 is much better at easily planing wood down to a more precise depth and has rubber infeed rolls. I use it to finish plane a lot of wood as I can get the wood to withing 0.010" or less of the depth that I want and can take off very small amounts. I know that some will wonder why you need to be that precise but it really helps if you are making things like a face frame or rail and stile panels so that the pieces are all the same thickness.

I find that I probably use the 15" planer 25% of the time at most.

IMHO…unless you are going to do a lot of planing and take a lot of rough sawn stock down to size, a planer like the DW735 will serve you much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting opinion. I do a lot of planing. I don't use the stops on my 733. Instead, I sneak up on the thickness with a caliper. I often times mill very little material, trying to get it perfect and switching sides until I'm happy. Your description of the teeth has me worried.

I'll bet the 735 is light years better than my 733. Do you know if it's just as loud? Still 120v, right?
 

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Unfortunately, the DW735 is the loudest planer that I have used and the loudest in my shop. I use hearing protection when I use it.

However, I do think it is about the best of the planers. It works great without a dust collector and just a hose into a trash can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I think I'm changing my mind, gravitating towards the dewalt and accepting the noise. Another benefit to it is that I'd have to do nothing to get it running. No custom dust hood to build, no knife issues and I won't have to run 240v to that spot.
 

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I have a 15" Taiwanese Grizzly four poster. It's the only planer I've ever had so don't really have the experience to compare performance. But as far as noise goes, yeah, it's just a nice soothing hum when it's running idle but once it's working it doesn't seem that much quieter than a lunchbox. I think planing is just a noisy operation no matter what.

I've found the best way to minimize the noise factor is to spend 25 years working in pulp and paper mills and then 15 years working around framers cutting metal studs with a a chop saw. Nothing seems quite as noisy as it used to.
 

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Yeah, my 733 is still going strong after 15 years as well. I wear hearing protection no matter what so loudness of a tool is not really a concern for me. I've had the 733 for 15 years and my original 3 sets of knives. I believe they've just about run out of metal to keep sharpening. Perhaps I'll get new knives and keep it another 15. I would love the 735, but I don't have the room. Good luck.
 

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A note on old Powermatic planers. Some of them can be touchy on the rear pressure bar adjustment. So touchy that the blade height has to be adjusted to suit the pressure bar.

So, if thinking of buying an old Powermatic planer, and wanting to install a Shelix head, the head may have to be built to order at extra cost and considerable time. This seems to be more of a problem on the Green ones….like mine.
 

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Any planer that uses a universal motor will be loud.. so pretty much any lunchbox planer will be a screamer. If you want quiet, look for a machine that uses a RI motor. I'd also look for one that adjusts thickness by moving the table, not the cutterhead, which is much more robust and less prone to snipe. Older deltas, powermatic, belsaws, etc.. all are similar design and a huge step up from the little lunchbox planers out there.

Cheers,
Brad
 

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That reminds me of another planer I used to own. Harbor Freight had a 13" planer with a 220 v. induction motor (don't remember the amperage), and 4 screw posts at the corners. Also had a cast iron table, and rubber coated feed rollers. It was an odd mix of heavy duty and light duty features. Medium duty, I guess you could call it.

It wasn't a bad planer, but it too was a howler. I agree the universal motors are loud, but most of the noise is from the knives, which is why the helical heads are so much quieter. If I had to give up my present outfit, I'd be tempted to go back to the HF planer, rather than a lunchbox. I'd have liked it a lot better with a helical head, but it would have priced it beyond what the rest of the planer was worth. Sort of like a pearl necklace on a pig.

HF hasn't listed this planer for several years, and I have never seen one on CL, but there must be a few of them around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Man, I am just WAFFLING on this! Keep going back and forth between a new 735 and a wider oldie.

Check this beast out!

Motor vehicle Auto part Gas Engineering Machine


It's a 5 HP 3 phase Model 160 and I don't want to mess with a converter. But, how hard could it be to swap the motor out? Man does that look dreamy!
 

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Well, that is what I have. This one is direct motor drive to the cutter head-shouldn't mess with that. Many easy ways to convert 220 single to 3phase to power that planer.
My planer has the motor belt driven to the cutter head. These are baby sized industrial style machines that are fully adjustable and built like a tank-1100lbs.
 

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On the other hand, the shop teacher at the school where I taught bought the first lunchbox available-a Ryobi 10". He mounted it on a long table with rollers at end. The kids stopped using the monster (don't know brand), which was about the size of a Volkswagen, and went to the little guy instead. Several years later it was still going strong. Can you guess (or remember) how hard kids can be on equipment?

Everybody owning a lunchbox planer, regardless of brand, should burn incense at the Ryobi shrine.
 
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