Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: Planer design differences

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    426

    Planer design differences

    I have had a Powermatic 209hh for a couple years. The Byrd head has been a little disappointing, but overall the machine has been pretty good. Canít complain. However, Iím always looking down the road towards upgrades when appropriate. What do you gain by stepping up to a platform like the Powermatic 201? Looks similar to the Oliver 4455. Other than sectional chipbreaker, 2Ē more capacity, and a lot more weight, are there significant differences? The price is also significantly different, but the gap narrows quite a bit on the used market from what Iíve noticed. For a grand or two difference, Iím curious if itís worth stepping up to the 201 over the 209

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Southwest Virginia
    Posts
    227
    I can't answer your question, but I was wondering what was disappointing about the Byrd head?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    426
    Jason,

    The blade life is nothing short of incredible; however, the hype of ďtearout freeĒ is crap. I consistently get tearout with the Byrd that I do not get off my Tersa jointer. Itís really pretty annoying at times. Iím talking about 1/32-1/16Ē tearout in relatively mild grain walnut.

    The ridges are bearable. They disappear soon enough at 80 grit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    84
    Interesting, I know its different but I have a Felder with the silent cutter block and get zero tearout on most woods/grain, I don't even pay attention to the grain direction anymore unless it is a curly/locked grain and my last finish cut. Also it only takes 120 grit to sand out the scallops I have even used 150 no problem, the scallops are barely even noticeable on the low feed speed of 24ft/min

    I had and mm fs350 and thought about upgrading it to a Byrd but I just didn't like the idea of the "Post" and the cutter fully exposed, I would have gone with the Hermance helical.

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,230
    My experience with all planers, including insert and Tersa, is they benefit from a large diameter head. A 5" head will outperform a 4", etc. Straight blade machines depend on the chipbreaker design whereas the insert head machines don't which is why small, cheaper planers benefit so much from the insert upgrade. In my world, a good planer has a long table, four post design, heavy base ( 6mm is like of my standard ) two outfeed rollers, a pressure bar that has some strength ( not a flimsy piece of spring steel ), and is relatively easy to adjust. I've seen the same model planers made over a 30 year period, and ease of adjustment seems to get value engineered out of the system. There is cost to making adjustments easy and most are gone on today's machines until you get very high end. I also like a deep depth of cut, power table rise and fall, and off the shelf electronic modules. Bed rollers are usually a waste of effort. A stick of canners wax makes more sense to me.

    The more inserts in a head, the more HP needed. Some insert heads require less power and some more. Dave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    959
    So David would you say that a Delta/Invicta RC 51 planer meets all or most of your design criteria from the post above ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,230
    The RC 51 was a higher end planer. I've not torn into one but expect it to be well designed. I think Darcy has experience with them. I like a grinder and jointer on a straight knife large planer and I'm not sure that was available but I think some had the Newman spiral head. Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Flower mound, Tx
    Posts
    457
    All I know from my over 40 years of WW, is the more I spend upgrading my equipment, the more precise and more enjoyable my WW becomes.
    These pics are of pics of the finish I get off my Martin T45 w a Martin XPlane cutterhead (insert).
    4B3554BF-5DF5-4A73-82D9-8FFD5E6DFAAB.jpgDCEE8F33-8095-4467-A233-9D8578784EE4.jpg17458D04-1A3B-4E5A-8B71-75F30E20528A.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    426
    John, we share very similar sentiments towards tools and work. I enjoyed woodworking a lot when i had a dewalt miter saw and portable table saw. I enjoy it a lot more today with the tools i currently have. Anything that makes a particular process easier, faster, or better only adds to the enjoyment I receive from woodworking. For example, the results off that planer are nothing short of spectacular. I would love to get results consistent to those boards day in and day out if i could. However, the Martin is currently out of my price range. Maybe one day ill be in a position to buy a used one.

    David's comments made me dig into the comparison a bit more. The cutterhead diameters are damn near the same 3-3/16" versus 3-1/4". The weight is very different 1,350 lbs versus 800 lbs. After that, the design distinctions become a bit more blurred for me. One infeed and outfeed roller a piece--sectional for the 201 and one piece for the 209. Without using the 201 myself, its hard to tell what you gain by stepping up to the 201. All of that weight has to go into some end use benefit, but it isnt popping out to me from looking at the manuals. The cutterheard is equal, and the bearings look to be very similar. The table itself seems to be considerably more robust on the 201 than the table on the 209.

    I started the thread to get a feel for if this step up in machines wasnt apparent on paper, but very apparent in person and in use. For example, the step up from a 6" jointer to an 8" to a 12". Sure, you gain 2-4" of capacity, but almost universally the build quality improves dramatically. So far, this doesnt appear like i gain too much from the step up to the 201.

  10. #10
    One thing that I didn't see mentioned is snipe. My old heavy duty Delta planer (lower right in photo) produces virtually no snipe, which is a feature I value very highly.

    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    459
    I don't have an answer for you but, what still puzzles me, is that you don't get a good finish with the HH planer you currently have. I am aware of one production shop in my area who has used a Powermatic HH planer for many years and always gets a superior finish on woods like curly maple and figured cherry. The finish on my 8" Jet HH jointer is so much better than my old jointer and that head doesn't have as many cutters as a Powermatic would. (Granted it's comparing a jointer to a planer, but the concept seems to be the same.)

    I would almost think that one or more cutters are out of alignment or the head itself has come loose, but I don't know enough about jointers or planers (or machinery in general).

    I'm just puzzled because I've never heard anyone report what you have while using a HH cutter; either planer or jointer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    426
    Randy, you and me both, bud! It was to the point where i even started a thread here asking if i had been duped with a lemon cutterhead. Nope, most of the guys that responded to that thread seemed to agree with my findings. Everyone has slight ridges, and most confirmed the mild tearout around knots or reversing grain. A year ago i was so convinced i was the problem that i rotated the inserts after like 6 months of use thinking i had dulled an edge already. Now i know that the carbide edges will last a guy like me for years. I process maybe 2-3,000 bdft a year. I know a couple pro shops that are going 2 years on an edge, and they are 1-2 man operations processing significantly more footage than me. Trust me, i would love if i could fall asleep and just feed lumber through my planer and get John's results on the other end. I feel the need to give my clear-eyed report of how the Byrd heads actually perform to help level set expectations. They are not a panacea. For me, it seems like I sacrifice surface finish quality for incredible blade life--which isnt a bad trade off! The smaller chips are nice for myself running a 35 gallon cyclone bin too.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,230
    Patrick, I'm not sure that the upgrade between the two PM machines would cure your issues either. It may not be the design, but the execution that is lacking. A head not machined or balanced well, pulleys that are a few thou out of round or mis bored, a motor with a slight vibration that is only noticeable when under load, problems with the feed rollers, etc, could all contribute to your results. I put a Byrd on my Delta DC 33- what I consider a light duty cast iron planer because the head was cheap and changing blades was hard with the motor in the way. The design of the planer is mediocre but the result is great. Not for heavy use with a 2 hp motor, but as a finish planer for difficult boards, I'm happy. My take on hobby level machines is they can be machined so everything works great, or there can be one or more issues that make it through QC but display mediocre results in the real world. I'd check the head and sheaves first and if an upgrade is needed in the future, I'd look at high end used. For a larger machine, I'd look at Hermance if I wanted an insert head. It will never happen because I think the combination of a large Tersa and small insert head planer is ideal- if you have the room. Dave

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    426
    That is interesting. I never considered small inconsistencies could lead to different results. I would think increased vibration would lead to inconsistent surfaces and not tearout. I need to remember to Keep an eye out and photograph planed boards this weekend. I have a small walnut kitchen Iím starting this weekend.

    I didnít think the 201 was going to be a substantial upgrade over the 209. I was curious if someone had insight on that 22Ē import design.

    Yes, the next machine is absolutely going to be used, and hopefully high end. Oddly enough, this Powermatic planer is the only tool Iíve ever purchased new. At the moment Iím limited by a 100 amp home service and a 33Ē man door. I donít know if I can fit most euro 20-24Ē machines through the door, and most of them are in the 10hp range that I canít power.

  15. #15
    Note that HSS planer blades can be made sharper than carbide blades.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •