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Thread: Hand Held Electric Planer Disaster

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    106
    Thanks all. I appreciate the advice. But in truth, I don't think I'll ever have cause to use it again beyond this project and I got the other 5 panels done with handplanes, it just takes me 5-6 hours each panel. I was trying to go fast as I'm very behind schedule.

    I don't enjoy ripping long boards by hand much so I have a table saw. I use a compound miter saw a good bit as well. I have a jigsaw because my bandsaw broke and I rarely used it anyway. And for work outside of my shop it is flexible. I use a router table for mouldings, and my trim router for easing/rounding over edges on table tops. I use my track saw for cutting up plywood sheets (I had a nice cross cut sled for the table saw I built, but it takes up too much precious shop space, and the Festool track saw system takes up almost nothing (in floor square footage). Anyway, lots there, but basically it means I'm no proper neadertal, but chisels and handplanes are what brought me into the hobby and I realize that I would really just never "want" to use the power handheld planer again, so... just too much money.

    I returned it and just ordered a Lie-Neilson #5 to replace my (non vintage, but 15 year old) Stanley one which the front knob screw just broke on me. (No idea how I"ll get that broken screw out...) Now, that I'm excited for to show up. Though, it won't arrive in time to finish this project.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Posts
    157
    I have no experience with a planer like this, but you can’t write it off after one bad try. How will you learn?

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by Zac wingert View Post
    I have no experience with a planer like this, but you canít write it off after one bad try. How will you learn?
    Hi Zac,
    I have one of these planers, but have not used it much. I have learned a lot from this discussion, particularly from the comments by Robert Hazelwood. I wonder if it would be possible to make a "shoe" for a power planer to help keep it level (side to side). This might be an idea for Al Ladd to delve into.
    Thanks,
    David

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich Weidner View Post
    Thanks all. I appreciate the advice. But in truth, I don't think I'll ever have cause to use it again beyond this project and I got the other 5 panels done with handplanes, it just takes me 5-6 hours each panel. I was trying to go fast as I'm very behind schedule.
    Hi Erich,
    I don't know if anyone asked, and maybe I overlooked it, but what are you making these panels for? What is the application, and what are they used for?
    Thanks,
    David

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,602
    Hand Held Electric Planer Disaster
    More like Hand Held Electric Planer = Disaster

    in my humble experience.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    305
    Maybe read some of the other posts! Not everyone has had your experience.
    David

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    4,667
    Adjust to zero cut, add just a slight bit and use it like a hand plane. You would not do that deep of a cut with a hand plane even if it was able, so you treat the electric the same way. I will mist with flat black lacquer, hit the top with a large float to show the high spots and just take those down a bit, not all the way. I use them often on large slab tables, get close, switch to a straight line sander, the most obnoxious tool in the world, and then to a RA air board with successive grits. I make a lot of tables out of crotch cuts and hand planes are a pain with the grain constantly changing direction and crotch cuts always being full of dirt.

    I have seen some of the cheaper Electrics that would not go to zero cut, those are junk. Currectly I have a Bosch. An electric plane is a good tool. I use an older one set light when recycling painted wood to get the paint off so I don't have to sand, an older still one for OSB flooring that has swelled on the joints, etc. And I will never give up my PC door plane!

  8. #23
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Highland MI
    Posts
    3,603
    Blog Entries
    11
    This shipwright is a genius with an electric planer, he has a ton of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a1HCqK5i-A How to tune your electric planer.
    NOW you tell me...

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Posts
    425
    Quote Originally Posted by David Buchhauser View Post
    Hi Zac,
    I have one of these planers, but have not used it much. I have learned a lot from this discussion, particularly from the comments by Robert Hazelwood. I wonder if it would be possible to make a "shoe" for a power planer to help keep it level (side to side). This might be an idea for Al Ladd to delve into.
    Thanks,
    David

    This is something I've pondered a bit. All electric planers that I know of are based on a powered jointer instead of a hand plane. There is an infeed and outfeed sole, the cutterhead is set level with the outfeed sole and depth of cut is adjusted by raising/lowering the infeed. This is probably ideal for stock that is narrower than the cutter. What would be more useful to me is something that works best on a wide board that is too big for my jointer or planer. For that I think it would be better to base the design on a bench plane, with a fixed flat sole wider than the blade, and a depth adjustment mechanism that moves the cutterhead up and down instead of the sole. This should be as accurate and controllable as a handplane, with less hassle than the alternative flattening methods like router sleds, etc. Basically it would be the ideal tool for the job the OP is trying to do.

    I've made a proof of concept prototype - I removed the front and rear soles from my Makita 3-1/4" planer and mounted it into a plywood body with a large flat sole (about 24" long x 8" wide) so that the cutterhead hangs down about 0.010 below the sole (depth of cut not adjustable on this crude prototype). I've only experimented a little with this, but so far it is almost exactly like using a try plane with a powered cutter. I can thickness a wide panel down to a marked line accurately and quickly. The surface quality is pretty good- if I could get the knives adjusted more perfectly (I hate the quick-set system Makita uses on this), and could reduce the depth of cut for the final passes, it would be even better. There are shallow marks from the corners of the knives but they come out quickly with a smoothing plane.

    Another, simpler solution I've thought about is to simply make the front sole wider, leaving everything else as is. This would mitigate the worst of the problems.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by David Buchhauser View Post
    Hi Zac,
    I have one of these planers, but have not used it much. I have learned a lot from this discussion, particularly from the comments by Robert Hazelwood. I wonder if it would be possible to make a "shoe" for a power planer to help keep it level (side to side).
    My Makita planer came with one.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    My Makita planer came with one.

    Hi Doug,
    Which model Makita planer do you have? Could you please post a few photos of the accessory "shoe""?
    Thanks,
    David

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    305
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hazelwood View Post
    This is something I've pondered a bit. All electric planers that I know of are based on a powered jointer instead of a hand plane. There is an infeed and outfeed sole, the cutterhead is set level with the outfeed sole and depth of cut is adjusted by raising/lowering the infeed. This is probably ideal for stock that is narrower than the cutter. What would be more useful to me is something that works best on a wide board that is too big for my jointer or planer. For that I think it would be better to base the design on a bench plane, with a fixed flat sole wider than the blade, and a depth adjustment mechanism that moves the cutterhead up and down instead of the sole. This should be as accurate and controllable as a handplane, with less hassle than the alternative flattening methods like router sleds, etc. Basically it would be the ideal tool for the job the OP is trying to do.

    I've made a proof of concept prototype - I removed the front and rear soles from my Makita 3-1/4" planer and mounted it into a plywood body with a large flat sole (about 24" long x 8" wide) so that the cutterhead hangs down about 0.010 below the sole (depth of cut not adjustable on this crude prototype). I've only experimented a little with this, but so far it is almost exactly like using a try plane with a powered cutter. I can thickness a wide panel down to a marked line accurately and quickly. The surface quality is pretty good- if I could get the knives adjusted more perfectly (I hate the quick-set system Makita uses on this), and could reduce the depth of cut for the final passes, it would be even better. There are shallow marks from the corners of the knives but they come out quickly with a smoothing plane.

    Another, simpler solution I've thought about is to simply make the front sole wider, leaving everything else as is. This would mitigate the worst of the problems.
    Hi Robert,
    This all sounds very interesting. I would be interested to see some pictures of your prototype. I'm surprised that such a tool is not already manufactured and available to purchase. Perhaps the big manufacturers feel that there is not enough of a market.
    Thanks,
    David

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    106
    I guess, I'm just admitting that I have no desire to learn it. I'll just focus on getting faster and more efficient with my hand planes.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    106
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    2mm is waaaaay too deep a cut. That is not planing, that is excavating. :^)
    That is just two clicks from "zero" on the Festool electric planer. I thought it pretty light for a power tool. Maybe those marks didn't indicate MM. I'll probably never know now. (I've already returned it).

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Posts
    157
    Quote Originally Posted by Erich Weidner View Post
    I guess, I'm just admitting that I have no desire to learn it. I'll just focus on getting faster and more efficient with my hand planes.
    I gotta give you credit, most of the time the reasoning is opposite re: hand tools v. Power tools.

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