Thoughts on Shop Fox W1742 15" planer?

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Forum topic by sawdust66 posted 11-30-2021 07:41 AM 232 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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55 posts in 91 days

11-30-2021 07:41 AM

Anyone have one of these? So my 20 year old benchtop Delta planer is nearing the end, so looking at replacing it. I really like the idea of upgrading to a more substantial alternative in the 15” range, which will give me a much larger motor, 3 blades ( I’ve considered helical, and opted to stay with straight knives),and this model also has built in mobile base. In this range, the low end of the Grizzly spectrum is the G0890, which doesn’t’ give you the top mounted feed rollers or the pedestal mounted controls. This seems to be an almost identical clone of the G1021X2, which is going for $3095, compared to the Shop Fox which everyone is selling for $2195 right now. My guess is they are phasing out this model and just trying to get rid of existing stock. Can’t really find a lot of reviews on this model online. Appreciate any feedback from those that have this or used one in the past. Thanks.

-- Chris, Pennsylvania

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5170 posts in 2836 days

#1 posted 11-30-2021 03:11 PM

1) Grizzly price comparison is incorrect. The G1021Z model is most similar and costs $2495 right now.

2) W1742 has been discontinued. If you can actually find one in stock for the pre-Covid inflation price of $2195, grab it fast. That was about same price as G1021Z last year.

3) Many of the Taiwan mfg four post 15” planers are nearly identical outside of cabinet color (except the new G0890 design and equivalent). Shop Fox parts are managed by Grizzly warehouse. Most parts are interchangeable with Grizzly, except for color. Never owned the Shop fox version of this planer, but they are all work horse tools.

4) Check your tool expectations:
- With fresh blades, many bench top planers will leave near perfect surface. Some WW’s think every planer acts same. This is not true. They are not surfacing tools to create finish ready surface. A planer is a thickness reducing tool. You can tune 15” planer to leave smooth surface, but still requires light sanding.

- 15” planers are more complicated than your low cost bench top planer. They are designed to have regular maintenance, have many more adjustments, and easily replaceable wear parts. The numerous adjustments allow you to tune the tool for best performance for different types of surfacing work. Some folks get frustrated they don’t work perfect on every board after opening the crate. You must allow time and patience to properly set up you machine. If used for rough sawn lumber, get best feed performance using different roller settings than smooth finished lumber. Most of us leave machine set up for smooth lumber, and tolerate inconsistent feeding with roughest lumber.
Have to treat larger planer just like a table saw when it comes to adjustments. The cutting head needs to perfectly aligned for best performance. The rollers (fence on TS) needs to be set properly. They will work even if settings are not perfect, but you get less than perfect results. Oh, and these adjustments can change if board explodes during machining. It’s the way industrial quality tools work.

- Nice part about 15” planer is they love to eat wood. Can get several thousand bdft on every set of knives, and the tools will run 8+ hours a day for decades with minimal maintenance. Have rebuilt 50 yr old 15” planer of the same design as the Shop Fox, likely made in same factory; and it is ready for another 20 years of service before next bearing change. Properly taken care, of the will latest a lifetime.

Best Luck with decision.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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