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Planing and thicknessing

Finally bought the machine!

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Oliver Marsland 112/11/2010 12:09:38
22 forum posts
6 photos
Hi all.
 
After ages dreaming about having a bandsaw and a planer thicknesser I bought a Startrite 352 a few months ago and have now added an Axminster AW106PT2 planer thicknesser to my workshop.
 
I'm dreaming of all the new possibilities that are going to be flooding in my direction.
 
I had taken advice from my mentor, a very experienced woodworker and engineer, to go for a planer thicknesser that was slightly better than the basic models, and this one has cast iron tables and fence and gets good reviews.
 
I am collecting it on Monday and I just wondered if anyone here had any experience of this particular model or any tips for me as I have never owned a planer thicknesser before.
 
(Plus I'm just sharing my joy at finally getting close to the setup I've wanted for so long)  
Sparky12/11/2010 12:22:34
7631 forum posts
22 photos
Oliver
 
Great news mate, post some images of the machines when all set up........just to rub it in to us who arnt so lucky
 
Marc
Julian12/11/2010 13:28:20
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553 forum posts
28 photos
Hi Oliver
 
   Dont know about the planer but I have had a Startrite 352 for a while now, it's one of the original ones and must be 20 odd years old. Never a moments problem with it. I got a bit tied up with the blades at one time but I can fold them up nicely now thanks to the guys here.
Enjoy the tools
 
                        Julian
 
Ron Davis13/11/2010 17:48:26
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1619 forum posts
201 photos
Startrite, did someone mention Startrite! I havea Startright pillar drill bough secon hand some years ago. I reckon it was new about the time they lauched the Titanic. Dead accurate, a bit noisy on high speed but as far as I can see, the belt guard and the flex are the only non original parts.
 
Ron
 
 
Julian13/11/2010 19:49:40
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553 forum posts
28 photos
Hi Ron,
 
 My Planer thicknesser is also a Startrite it's the Inca model, probably about the same age as your pillar drill. Can't fault it realy except for the weight, I have just got a new set of blades for it to bring it back up to new standard.
 
                       Julian
 
Jim A14/11/2010 02:30:51
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123 forum posts
59 photos
Congrats Oliver I've got the metabo hc 260 so I don't really know about your model but no wishing to teach you to suck eggs but just make sure you set it up properly and you'll see what a difference it makes, if your not sure how to do it the latest woodworking plans and projects (prob not spose to mention rival publications) they have a set up guide which I found invaluable as mine needed to be fine tuned They are such a useful machine Happy machining Jim
Oliver Marsland 114/11/2010 12:06:04
22 forum posts
6 photos
Thanks for all the replies everyone.  It seems like most people are pretty happy with Startrite.
 
The only slight hiccup I had when setting the bandsaw up was that the blade guard angled slightly towards the bottom when tightened, resulting in slight curve in the blade and obviously an off-vertical cut.  I fixed this by loosening the upper guide blocks and letting them sit around where the blade naturally fell instead off forcing it off centre.
 
I have also been playing with the blade tension and found that it seems to work best slightly above medium tension.  I am using a 4tpi 3/4" blade for straight cuts, mostly through hardwoods, so I suppose higher tension is right!?
 
I hope to pick up the planer thicknesser tomorrow and I'll post some pics when I've got it set up.  Jim, thank you for the pointer on getting the setup correct.  I'm a bit clueless on this at present, so I'll try to locate the article to which you referred.
 
All the best, Oli. 
Oliver Marsland 117/11/2010 15:05:45
22 forum posts
6 photos
 
Well - I finally got them and here they are.  The next thing I'll do is a post asking why on earth I can't seem to get the results I thought I would with the planer thicknesser!
 

Oliver Marsland 117/11/2010 15:30:29
22 forum posts
6 photos
So I'm very happy with my newest purchase (the Axminster planer thicknesser), but having played around with it for a few hours I am at a loss to understand why my results are so poor so far.  I'd be grateful for any pointers.
 
I am not getting flat sides to any timber I face plane.  Thicnkessing seems better, almost certainly because the one failing element of the process is not involved - me!
 
I am also getting a lot of snipe when I plane, but none when thicknessing.  Again I think this is probably down to my technique rather than the machine particularly.  I cannot see on this machine how to lower the blades, but I'd rather make sure I am not the cause before messing around with the setup of the blades, as the machine was in use by a professional cabinetmaker until a month ago.
 
I have noticed very different results depending on where and how firmly I press the timber down on the tables.  Any tips on what I should be doing in this respect would be greatly appreciated.
 
I am also getting some fairly obvious scallops.  Reviews I've read of this machine have all said that it leaves an absolutely excellent finish, so I think this could mean either the blades need sharpening or my feed technique is incorrect, or both.  Can anyone enlighten me?
 
I have found a fairly level bit of floorspace for the machine and there is very little vibration, so I do not think this is playing a particular role.
 
Thanks in advance for any help with this.  At the moment I would be very happy with a single smooth flat surface off the planer.  After that getting a square edge will be the next challenge!
 
Kind regards, Oli. 
Sparky17/11/2010 15:36:16
7631 forum posts
22 photos
They look great Oli......I'm so jealous!!
Julian17/11/2010 16:51:32
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553 forum posts
28 photos
Hi Oli
 
  Great on the pictures, I have found with the planer that you have to firstly find the face that is curving downwards so to speak on the table. What I mean by this is that there is no rocking motion when you put pressure on any corner or side then you need to to make sure the surface is smooth, I spray it with silicone spray some would use wax. Also make sure the passage is very slow and you don't take too uch wood off at any one time. I have found that about 1mm to 1.5mm to be about right for my machine. Once you have a flat face you can place this up against the fence and plane a flat edge. Once you have a flat face and an edge at 90deg the rest as they say is history.
Bye the way the Bandsaw is the same model as mine, you may find that you want to throw away the fence and invest in a nice kregg one from Axminster, it don't half make a difference. I bought the fine adjuster with it just too put the icing on the cake.
Have fun and let us know how you get on
Julian
Oliver Marsland 117/11/2010 17:15:00
22 forum posts
6 photos
Thanks, Julian.  The Kreg fence looks great - particularly as I have been wondering how to get a very slight (1 in 600) taper on a bandsaw cut.  However, I'm all out of cash for a while now.  Thanks for your tips on planing - I knew about the 'cup upside down' part, but for some reason I just can't get results at the moment.  Do you press hard/firmy/soft?  Do you press on the infeed table only//outfeed table only/both?  I have my infeed table set to zero at the moment and if I press hard down the cut still seems quite deep to me.
Kind regards, Oli. 
Julian18/11/2010 08:43:40
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553 forum posts
28 photos
Oli
I think the first thing to do is to check the blade set. unplug the machine and turn the blades so that the cutting edge is lying flat. set your intable to zero and put a straight edge across both in and out tables, you should see that these are flat and level. when you turn the blades so that the cutting edge is uppermost they should both be at the same height as the tables. If your machine is still cutting at zero it could be that the blades are set too high or the guide on the infeed table needs adjusting. Make sure the blades are level and both the same. You may need a blade setting jig for this, you can buy one or make one. On my machine there are hight adjusters on each blade so I set the table to zero put my edge across it and raise the blade till it just touches. A dial gauge will also help.
Best of luck, I sure when you get it set up you will find it perfoms well. I am sure there was an article on setting up a planer in one of the mags recently, may be worth a look through the digital issues.
 
                    Julian 
Oliver Marsland 118/11/2010 09:13:37
22 forum posts
6 photos
Thanks, Julian.  I'll have a go at that and report back.
Julian18/11/2010 13:21:35
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553 forum posts
28 photos
It's the October 2010 copy of "The Woodworker" that you need, I am not sure if you are a subscriber or not if you are you can get it from the digital issues. I would be happy to
e-mail the article to you but not sure about the copyright.
This is my Bandsaw with the Kreg Fence.

I suspect there will be comments about this photo so will answer them when they arrive.

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