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Thread: StewMac Safety Planer

  1. #1
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    StewMac Safety Planer

    I recall something like this from years ago, but the product disappeared. StewMac's latest newsletter had their version of the drill press planer and it looks like it might be pretty good for small work. Not too terribly expensive either at around $50. Anybody have one?


  2. #2
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    Constantine, MI
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    Neat little tool!
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  3. #3
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    Poway, CA, near San Diego
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    I think I have one of these. Always seemed dangerous, but this video makes it seem OK. I'll let you know if I try it.

    Bob

  4. #4
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    I've got one and have used it before. I thought it would be much scarier to use than it really was. Just need to make sure you have some good stock management going on.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  5. #5
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    What worries me is you say you have seen one before, but it has disappeared. I think it could be useful for certain purposes, but if it is one of those disappearing tools, you better get extra cutters when you first order it.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2007
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    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
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    I don't have one and don't plan to get one... I do see potential for some frustration there... my drill press is a bench top from HF... the table is small and easily tilted... if the table is off even a degree....??

    I have a bench top joiner that serves my purposes much better.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
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  7. #7
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    It's no substitute for a real planer for sure, but one place where it can come in handy is making a small quantity of very thin wood if you don't have a drum sander.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  8. #8
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    Apparently, this style planer has been around for a long time in luthier circles....known as the Wagoner Safe-t-Planer. The manufacturer retired in 2012. I don't know who is manufacturing them these days, but also found it here: http://woodworker.com/drill-press-pl...HkIaAppo8P8HAQ

    There's a lot of information on the luthier fora on use and set up. I'm gonna ask Santa for one. My drill press and band saw are the only tools in my shop that are use-able without moving a lot of stuff around and I seem to be doing more small work lately, so this might fit.

  9. #9
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    My main concern would be that you're side loading the drill press and MT tapers aren't known for liking that. The risk is that it can pull the taper out of the spindle and send the chuck and safe-t-planer skittering across the room.

    I've seen a few reports of this happening, but it seems to be fairly rare and was likely from folks pushing the envelope of its cutting capabilities.

    I would make sure that your chuck is very well seated in the spindle and maybe even consider taking a little bluing and seeing how well its seated[1]. Ideally you'd be able to use a draw bar to hold the chuck in place but that would generally require moving up to a mill drill (which while nice is $$$$'s). I'd also take parsimonious cuts to avoid putting to high of side load on it.

    Having said that if you're doing a lot of fret boards or similar work these look handy as all get out. I kind of regretted not buying one before they last went off of the market, not because I had a specific use at the time but mostly for future options (or lets be honest.. a little tool hoarding).

    [1]
    The video on taper grinding from suburban tool has a nice explanation of how to blue the taper starting at about 13 minutes in.
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  10. #10
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    I've got to say, when I used mine, there was very little load or drama associated with using it. I'll admit I was quite nervous the first time, but it cut through things quite easily.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


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