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Table top planer/thicknesser

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Brianhr12/12/2012 16:55:39
22 forum posts

I am looking for a table top planer/thicknesser for my tiny shed (sorry workshop). I can't afford a floor standing one and in any case there isn't room. It won't get much use. I have used a friend's Woodstar on occasions but I think there must be a better one although I do like the price. I don't like the flimsy fence which has to be removed to use the thicknesser, this can be a 5 minute job. The Charnwood machine can be changed over in a very short time.

I do need to keep the price in the region of this machine and anyone's experience of it would be appreciated. I would love to go for the Record Power or the Kity but they are out of the question.

Big Al12/12/2012 17:43:14
1604 forum posts
73 photos

My advice would be to save up some more money and buy one of the better machines. 12 years ago I purchased a sheppach HMS 260, other than resharpening costs, and a bit of maintenance, I have only had to replace 2 parts and the planer works as well now as the day I bought it. It was more expensive than similar size machines, but it only takes a small amount of work to change from surface planing, to thicknessing.


daveO12/12/2012 17:54:22
250 forum posts
32 photos

Brian Hi

yes I've been looking at the pt85 for similar reasons to you, but have been put off by the fence it seems to be mentioned in all the reviews as flimsy and fiddly. Can't quite understand why they aint done something about it by now.

At the moment I am now considering the fox, but at the same time keeping my eye on ebay for that bit better second hand kit for similar money.

Let us know what think when you find something decent and then i'll buy one smiley


Brianhr12/12/2012 19:55:38
22 forum posts

Big Al
What is a Sheppach HMS 260? It is not a current model, does it have a successor? It is not a matter of saving up more about what I am prepared to spend. It probably won't have more than 5 hours use each month and if it will last a lifetime then probably 10 - 15 years will do!

I have the PT85, an older model, and am fed up with the flimsy fence which needs to be removed to convert to thicknesser. The Charnwood model is easier to convert. If you want to compare these machines try Poolewood at


Big Al12/12/2012 21:19:28
1604 forum posts
73 photos

A sheppach HMS 260 is a floor standing planer thicknesser.


BillW13/12/2012 13:41:47
711 forum posts
21 photos


My experience of the Fox F22-564-250


Paul Bodiam13/12/2012 17:25:37
109 forum posts
68 photos

I have the small Charnwood benchtop planer/thicknesser. It meets my needs, but I really wish now that I'd saved up for a beefier machine.

When I first used it, it planed pretty well, but as soon as I tried to use it in thickessing mode, it threw a drive chain. On taking the front panel off, I found that a weld had failed on an axle that holds one of the chain sprockets. This also caused some knock-on damage to the drive belt. The parts were replaced by Charnwood without quibble, but not a good initial experience.

About a year later the machine siezed solid, agan while thicknessing. This turned out to be the idler sprocket again, this time running dry on its axle - there are no proper bearings in this machine and the idler sprocket runs directly on a fixed stub axle, only lubricated with grease applied in assembly. I was able to free it off and clean the stub axle up with emery paper but I now have to regularly strip the machine and re-lube it. Not ideal, and it is on the top of my list to be upgraded when I've got some spare cash.

The January edition of Woodworker (in the shops next weekend - subscription copies aleady sent out) carries an article on the pros and cons of planers, thicknessers and planer-thicknessers. The author deals briefly budget benchtop devices, and his conclusion is they are best avoided if you possibly can.

daveO13/12/2012 17:46:44
250 forum posts
32 photos

well Mmmm we now have three reviews on three different machines, and anything else about appesrs to come from the same stable. So what do you do when you when space is a premium, well I think I will now look for better quality bench top indepenent machines , what do you guys think


PS Bill good to see you around again

Geoff Ryan15/12/2012 09:52:17
12 forum posts
4 photos

I have a benchtop Charnwood which I only use occasionally. When I first used the thicknesser I was horrified to find my timber was wedge shaped. An email to Charnwood got zero response. However the problem was easily fixed by slackening the chain and rotating the gear on one side to level the table. (I measured the thickness of the timber I was using on both edges and pro-ratered this up to the width between the screws and worked out what the rotation of the gear by one tooth would adjust it by).

I have now inherited an early Record floor standing 10" model which they no longer support - the first time I used the thicknesser guess what? The previous owner must have produced some interesting joinery!

It's all very well fettling equipment if you have the time and knowledge to do it - we should really expect better from manufacturers. Buy the best you can and complain loudly if it's not up to scratch.

Jan De Klerk15/12/2012 13:40:32
57 forum posts
9 photos

I am in a similar situation due to limited space and a tight budget. Floor standing P/T's are not an option but all the benchtop models are made in the far east and in my experience with stuff from the far east is a lack in build quality and precision.

Most of the well known brands only make benchtop thicknessers but they are not cheap. I agree with Geoff we should be expecting more from manufacturers and suppliers regarding quality. The Americans are spoilt for choice in this regard. We dont want to be machine engineers that have to spent hours fettling equipment just to be able to do a couple of minutes woodworking before they need some more fettling. Once setup a machine should perform for a longtime but for this ability you will have to pay.

The woodworking magazines should also be more stringent when testing woodworking machines and show them up for what they are regardless of the manufacturer is a paying advertiser or not. I always enjoy reading the tests and reviews and have never failed to notice that a lot of sugar is added to make the bitter pill easier to swallow.

You will definitely have to stretch your budget and buy the best you can afford and consider buying a planer and a separate thicknesser.

Brianhr15/12/2012 14:03:07
22 forum posts

Many thanks for all your contributions. It seems to me that all the cheap machines are built to a price but that is the same for everything that is cheap and that is why it is cheap.

I think I will bite the bullet and get a Kity or Record Power. The cost will exceed the use I will get from it but it will at least have some secondhand value when I have to swap woodwork for knitting!

Ivor the engine15/12/2012 17:44:26
270 forum posts
46 photos

Nice to see you back Bill.

Take care,


sad sam15/12/2012 19:56:15
609 forum posts
251 photos

hi bill

isee you have found your dummy welcome back


BillW18/12/2012 17:04:06
711 forum posts
21 photos

This post has confirmed my thoughts, If I had asked for a replacement it would have been the same, if I had asked for my money back and bought anther make I would have had the same problems.

There is one other consideration for me when choosing machinery I have no electric in my garage, I run of a genny, Ok 4.5kw but I have my doubts that an induction motor of the size fitted to a P/T like Alan's would start, never had the chance to prove it unfortunately.

Thanks for the welcome Dave, I hope you don't mind I will be copying your saw blade clock sometime in the future.

Thank you Ivory, you take care also.

Sadsam, it's not a case of a dummy, I have very strong principals and I am proud that I abide by them, a year has gone by !.

Any way if I remember correctly you have Fox P/T, have you had any problems ?.

Oh and you can forget ebay, no bargains any more.


Derek Lane18/12/2012 17:30:21
3219 forum posts
1004 photos

Posted by BillW on 18/12/2012 17:04:06:

Oh and you can forget ebay, no bargains any more.


Hi Bill good to see you back. Bargains more like an idiot and his money soon parted comes to mind they are to willing to pay the same price for a second habd item that you could have brought a new one. I brought a texturing tool a little while back in new condition for 1/2 the price of a new one and a couple of days later the same model sold for £5 less than a new one

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