Thickness Planer - Need Reassurance

Bill Satko

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Methow Valley
As most of you know, I sold all my woodworking machinery (for the most part) when we made our move to our new home over a year ago. The intention was to slowly reacquire only what was needed and to buy better quality. Delays in building a shop also is also requiring me to adjust what machinery I can buy in the short term. It has to be portable and take up very little space. I am pretty adept at hand planing and have no problem flattening a board. I can even thickness plane it by hand, but now the timeframe increases dramatically. With a small hand tool shop, I can get by with just two essential machines. A bandsaw and a thickness planer. With a thickness planer all I need to do is "skip" plane one side with a hand plane. Just enough to create a flat surface that won't rock or compress when run through the thickness planer. Even when I had a jointer, I did this frequently.

I have settled on a DeWalt DW735X and you can now get one with a "free" stand. I know a lot of you really like the DeWalt planer. I think the only competition is the Makita 12" portable planer (2012NB). I guess I am looking for reassurance that I am doing the right thing before pulling the rip cord.
 

Rennie Heuer

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Constantine, MI
Chiming in on the 735 - bought mine used 12 years ago - converted to the Byrd head. It was a good machine out of the box, it's a great machine with the new head. Either way, can't go wrong. Snipe is manageable, though I rarely have to deal with it except on really thin stock.
 

Bill Satko

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Messages
2,800
Location
Methow Valley
Chiming in on the 735 - bought mine used 12 years ago - converted to the Byrd head. It was a good machine out of the box, it's a great machine with the new head. Either way, can't go wrong. Snipe is manageable, though I rarely have to deal with it except on really thin stock.
Yes I also looked at getting a Byrd head. Right now the lead time is 24 to 32 weeks. Byrd is also selling the DeWalt 735 with the Byrd head installed by them for the modest price of $1,595. They will ship in 7 to 10 days. I punched the numbers and this is a huge upcharge for this convenience. And this is probably without the stand. No thanks, I can wait.
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Bill Satko

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2,800
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Methow Valley
You have made the right choice, assuming it fits your "portable" definition. It does weigh close to 100#, but I suspect with the stand it's a roll around effort.
Yes, more portable than an old iron Powermatic 180 I would like to get, but don't have room or the power for. I wanted something more substantial than the lunch box design and realized what that meant.
 

Frank Fusco

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Mountain Home, Arkansas
Very happy with my little Grizzly G0505. I understand it's limitations. Biggest fault I learned I must be careful to put only clean wood through it. Wood stored outdoors accumulates grit that can quickly ruin the $45.00 blade. If I were to ever upgrade I would get a carbide tooth model.
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,800
Location
Methow Valley
Well, I did it yesterday and ordered the DeWalt. Now I got to start thinking about some simple chip collection. I understand the machine has quite a blower on it and can sprew chips everywhere. I also see where that can be an advantage as some just hook a large fabric bag to it. I don't want to buy a dust collector yet. I don't have a permanent space for it and would want to buy with the future in mind. And right now the future is real fuzzy. I just want something easy to hook up and move around. Just something to get me by in the interim. Any ideas would be welcomed.
 

Jim DeLaney

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Austintown, Ohio
The chip output is pretty forceful, due to the internal fan. The output port is sized to allow a 2¼" (Shopvac) hose to be directly connected to it. The simplest and easiest solution to chip collection is to use a short length of hose and just put the other end of it into a trash can. you could also run the hose into a mesh 'laundry' bag, but some of the finer chip might still escape.
 

John Bartley

Member
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816
Now I got to start thinking about some simple chip collection. --------------- I just want something easy to hook up and move around. Just something to get me by in the interim. Any ideas would be welcomed.
I have a very small space (single car garage) that triples between wood, metal and power equipment repair, so almost all my equipment is on rollers. I got tired of emptying the tiny bag on the inexpensive collector I bought 15+ years ago (as a temporary item), so I went with a DIY chip separator. It consists of a drum, two 90" elbows and some hose. I stick it between the portable dust collector and the planer, the jointer or the table saw as needed. So far it's performance is consistent and it will fill the drum 3/4+ full before anything really noticeable gets into the plastic bag under the portable collector.
If "super small" is your goal, look at the "Dust Deputy" lineup. What I built is a home-brew version of their much better design and may provide better use for you than this big drum. I think they have a small version designed to be used with a vacuum cleaner?

The ABS elbows mounted thru the top and turned to create a vortex:

chip1.jpg

The assembly ::


chip2.jpg
 

Charles Lent

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512
Location
Central North Carolina
I also have a DeWalt 735 and have had it for about 15 years. It replaced a Delta that had severe snipe problems. The snipe that I get with the 735, when I do get any, is just a faint line and a few thousandths difference in thickness. A ROS and 150 grit paper takes it out to invisible in just a couple of quick passes.

I do my planning outside my small shop in the parking area. To make this heavy planer easy to move in and out of the shop, I quickly decided that the DeWalt stand for it would not work for me, and sold it. I bought a hand truck style folding Miter Saw / Planer stand and attached the 735 to it, using a piece of 3/4 cabinet birch plywood as an adaptor. The rails of the stand are intended for a miter saw mount and not the same spacing as the mounting holes of the planer, but this DIY adapter solved the problem.

When not in use, the planer on this stand sits upright like a hand truck in the corner of my shop requiring only a few sq ft of space. When I need to use it, I tilt it back and roll it out of the shop much as you would a hand truck with a stack of boxes on it. To set the planer up for use, I lay the handle of the stand down on the ground, and then lift the planer and top part of the stand up until it locks in the up position. Gas springs in the stand assist in lifting the weight of the planer, so this is easy, even for my 79 year old broken body. There are 2 up position levels to choose from. I then attach my DeWalt accessory hose / barrel cover to a plastic 60 gallon barrel that I keep upside down behind my shop and plug the planer in. When the planning is completed, the stand folds down into the hand truck configuration, and I can lift the main handle and wheel the planer back into my shop to again store it upright in the corner of the shop. Although my stand is a Delta, the improved DeWalt stand is nearly the same, but with a few improvements. Expensive, but worth every penny for it makes handling, moving, and storing my DeWalt 735 easy for even this 79 year old heart patient with metal knees.
www.amazon.com/DEWALT-Miter-Wheels-DWX726-Yellow/dp/B0066N7C74

DeWalt no longer offers the hose / barrel cover accessory that I have, and you really need some way to collect the chips if you don't already have a big cyclone chip collector in your shop, but under the B & D name they do offer a leaf collector hose and barrel cover that appears to be identical to the DeWalt accessory that I have, so it might be worth looking into to see if it will work for you. The part that I'm uncertain about is the connector fitting for attachment to the 735 planer. The hose and the fabric barrel cover appear identical to what I have. www.blackanddecker.com/products/lawn-and-garden/batteries-and-accessories/accessories-and-attachments/leaf-collection-system-for-all-corded-blackdecker-blower-vacs/bv-006l

Do not expect a Shopvac and 5 gallon container to be able to handle the output of the 735 planer. It will fill the Shopvac in less than 2 good passes of an 8' board through the planer, if it's hose doesn't plug up before that. The blower inside the 735 planer is quite forceful. As a test when I first got mine, I ran a 2' short piece of 2 X 4" through mine while it was sitting on my workbench just after removing it from the shipping box. The chips coming out of the planer hit the far wall of my shop about 15' away at almost the same level that they exited the planer. What a mess ! Don't do this !!!

Charley
 
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Chuck Ellis

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6,004
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee
I don't have the Dewalt planer, but my son does have one... don't know the model nr, but he really likes his.... mine is a Delta T305... haven't used it much lately but always did what I needed. Up until last year or year before when I used it I always took it outside the shop because the chips went every where... it's now on a roll around stand and I can roll it to the door and let the chips spew out the door onto the ground there... I usually put down a tarp to catch most of them.
 

Bill Satko

Member
Messages
2,800
Location
Methow Valley
Just an update on my new planer. The Dewalt 735X came in last week, but I was waiting on a duct collection hose, clamps and bag from Rockler that I ordered after the planer. They came today on time...by UPS. I am connecting to the Dewalt with a Rockler 4" quick connect elbow, then a 10 ft long hose and finally a 5 micron replacement bag for Rockler's wall mounted dust collector, which I don't have. I just have the bag. I am setting the bag in a plastic garbage can to keep it in place and out of the way. When I am not using the planer, the elbow, hose and bag just stow away in the garbage can. Keeps everything nice and tidy.

I hooked everything up and ran a board through and everything worked great! There was no dust what so ever. I must say the finish I got was way better than anything I got from my old Jet planer/molder. I am really happy with it.

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Charles Lent

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512
Location
Central North Carolina
It was wise to come up with a dust control method before trying out that planer. The internal blower throws chips a very long way if not controlled. I too am very happy with my 735, but learned the hard way not to run it without some kind of dust control attached. When doing serious planning, you will fill that garbage can in 1/2 hour, so pay attention to it while working. A tip - Never change the speed lever without the planer running. Use the higher speed for the bulk of the planning, and switch to the slower speed for the finishing pass. Also, be careful not to try to take off two much per pass. I usually go about 1/2 turn of the handle for rough passes and then 1/4 - 1/8 turn for the finishing pass. I love my DeWalt 735.

Charley
 
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Bill Satko

Member
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2,800
Location
Methow Valley
Thanks Charley. That planer will be sitting where my wife's wedging table and pottery wheel sits. At least until I can build her pottery shed next year. Sawdust is forbidden if I want a continued happy life. Apparently sawdust in clay is a bad thing or so she says.

I will be keeping an eye on the collection bag. It is nice that it has a clear window in it so I will be able to see how full it is getting. I thought of introducing some sort of garbage can cyclone between the planer and dust bag, but space is really at a premium in the mechanical room. We are in the process of clearing it out more so that she can get her slab roller out of storage. Also her kiln needs to reside here once we get it wired for it this spring. It will be staying in this space even when the pottery shed is built because of the electrical load it draws.
 
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