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Julian Cossmann Cooke

benchtop planer recommendations

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3 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Scrub and Jackplanes

A man after my own heart. 

But...for reasons of efficiency and prolonging lifespan of body parts key to the construction process, I have come to be more comfortable with the idea of using power tools for processing elements of the construction process that don't end up in the final instrument.  I can even see using them for initial processing of blocks.  Otherwise, I am all in with hand tools.  

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While I can understand if you have some sort of hand injury a planer can help, it seems total overkill to buy one for thicknessing small pieces of walnut to make moulds. Just how many moulds are you going to make?

Alternatively, if you have a local cabinet makers or joiners shop, they will probably do it for you if you bring a pack of biscuits for them. Or use some type of sheet material which is already the correct thickness.

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If all that you are using it for is planing walnut for molds, it seems a better use of time, space, and money to just take the walnut to a professional mill and have them plane it for you.

 

I was given a Delta benchtop planer, probably 15 years old, and it works OK. I had an old Inca, and a nice used one of those is the best. Hard to find, though.

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1 hour ago, Dave Slight said:

While I can understand if you have some sort of hand injury a planer can help, it seems total overkill to buy one for thicknessing small pieces of walnut to make moulds. Just how many moulds are you going to make?

Alternatively, if you have a local cabinet makers or joiners shop, they will probably do it for you if you bring a pack of biscuits for them. Or use some type of sheet material which is already the correct thickness.

Exactly

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I have evolved through 3 benchtop planers: Delta;Rigid; and currently Wen. The Delta was a basic machine. The Rigid was loaded with adjustment features. I had to sell it because of a move to a different shop. The Wen is a very well thought out machine which utilizes a granite table plate under the cutters. It is also a very affordable machine!

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This may be obvious but I'll throw it out there anyway.  I've found that a benchtop planer isn't much use on it's own without a jointer or some other way of flattening a side to start with.  Otherwise a warped board will just become a thinner warped board. 
A jointer seems like a much more useful tool to have on hand in a violin shop. 

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2 hours ago, Advocatus Diaboli said:

A good re-sawing blade is my favorite way.

Second that, plus a good scrub plane! It is one of the most undervalued tools. I use it also for rough arching, takes 2 minutes to get a decent ‚starting shape‘.

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Julian, I have a delta that I have used for close to 20 years.  I would love to buy a bigger new one, but it will not quit and continues to work flawlessly.  They do not make this planer anymore, but If I had any advice I would suggest to find a model that has a very solid lock on the movement up and down.  These are all relatively lightweight machines, locking the carriage down makes a big difference in the cleanliness of the cut.

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1 hour ago, JohnCockburn said:

I recently discovered a material called "plywood". Amazing stuff: inexpensive, dimensionally stable, and readily available in suitable thicknesses for mould making.

:)...even comes in walnut

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2 hours ago, JohnCockburn said:

I recently discovered a material called "plywood". Amazing stuff: inexpensive, dimensionally stable, and readily available in suitable thicknesses for mould making.

My god man, what are you thinking?! 

A simple and easy solution?! :angry: 

That will never catch on, everyone needs to have a show mould these days!

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are there any makerspaces nearby? they often have a range of power tools planer/jointer/thicknesssander that can be used. the one proximate to me is $25 per day.

otherwise Makita makes a decent little lunchbox planer.

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6 hours ago, Carl Johnson said:

"otherwise Makita makes a decent little lunchbox planer."

I've never been disappointed with any Makita tool. Some I've had going on 40 years. Of course I've never bought the bottom of the line models, but those are probably ok too. I'll refrain from naming names, but there are some current power tool "brands"  that have never not disappointed me.

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On ‎8‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 10:28 PM, DoorMouse said:

This may be obvious but I'll throw it out there anyway.  I've found that a benchtop planer isn't much use on it's own without a jointer or some other way of flattening a side to start with.  Otherwise a warped board will just become a thinner warped board. 
A jointer seems like a much more useful tool to have on hand in a violin shop. 

yup

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