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Thread: How well do "planer pals" work...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    How well do "planer pals" work...

    I have looked at these for a long time. Looking for input from people who have used them. I have the adjustable magnet jigs that come in the cheap wooden box and seem to be everywhere. Even after careful setup I am left wanting,seems that the magnets are not strong enough so there is always a little shift when tightening the knives. Wondering if the "pals " are better than these ?

  2. #2
    I have the "mini" planer pals that I use with the lunchbox planer. They have worked fine for me. I do sneak up on tightening the blades, make several passes up and down the head to gradually tighten.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Germany
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    After spinning my wheels with the adjustable magnets similar to yours and getting nowhere but Frustrationville, I abandoned them and use a variation of Bob Vaughan's method below. Instead of starting low and working up using the dial gauge, I use a pair of welder's magnets to hold the blades. The welder's magnets were handy and they work well. I put a sheet of copier paper between the outfeed table and the magnets so the blades are slightly proud of the outfeed table. I also removed the springs that push the blades out of the roller since the magnets do a better job of holding the blades in place while I tighten the gib screws.

    After spending hours trying to set the blades using the adjustable plastic magnet holders, I can now adjust a set of three blades in about 20 minutes.


  4. #4
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    I am looking to use the planer pals on my 20'' planer. I have a system for my jointer that I am happy with. It is a magnetic jig that I built from the design in John White's book "care and repair of shop machines". The key is the top dead center position which he also has a jig for. I have used this for about 5-6 years and it works well for me. I might have to source or get someone to machine me a holder for a dial indicator to make a planer head gauge.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    IMO, they get the knives close, but not close enough. I used them when I had my PM15. After setting the knives I would check them with a test indicator (ex-machinist) and they would always be 5-6 thousandths off from knife to knife and end to end.
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  6. #6
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    Ok so I just found Bob Vaughns video on youtube about setting planer blades. Extremely informative,goes thru the whole setup for a planer as well. I will be doing this on my machine tomorrow. The planer pal option is out,now I will be looking for another dial indicator and making my own jigs like Bob's except I think I will make the knife jig from steel or aluminum.Thanks for the info Bruce on the fact that the planer pals are not real accurate.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I just set a 12" fat bladed steel ruler on edge (one from a combo square works well). Adjust the infeed table so it is flush with the outfeed table first. Then just rotate the cutter, adjusting the blade so it just catches the ruler and moves it about 1/8", first one side of the blade, then the other. No biggie, no special tools. This is for my old King-Seeley Craftsman jointer, my planer is just a Delta lunchbox with indexable blades, no adjustment there.
    NOW you tell me...

  8. #8
    I like the planer pals, pays to check how straight the knives are. A friend in the sharpening biz was getting complaints
    because his sharpener was worn. Cost him $60,000 to replace it, probably 20 years ago.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    4,171
    The ones for the little Delta lunchbox disposable blades work fine. Any other way would be a pain with that machine. I have no experience with any of the others. Amana sells one of those mentioned kits in the wooden box more money than on ebay. I was never sure if it's any different, or not.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Exeter, CA
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    382
    I used Bob Vaughn's method (his video) for setting my older Powermatic 8" jointer after having the knives resharpened and installing new head and motor bearings. Thats been about 4-5 years now, still going strong, worked perfectly. Time consuming but as long as it worked, which it did, well worth the time (educating too). PS I know its not a planer but Bob Vaughn knows what he's doing. Randy

  11. #11
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    Well it turns out that I may have the chance to find out for myself how good the planer pals work. I bid on a set on 'the auction site'if I win then I will give them a go,also bid on another dial indicator so will be able to make a gauge for the planer to check how good the accuracy is and use alone if needed. Got the bases covered now. I have used the steel gauge that Delta included with my DC 380 until now. I think it would work well with spring loaded knives,but Delta had jack screws on this cutterhead which did not work easily. Used the cheap magnet jig on my jointer with a large diameter cutterhead( 4").The homemade jig that I got from John Whites book is far more accurate than that magnet piece of junk on my jointer. When I am done I get consistent end to end and knife to knife movement of a piece of wood with a set of marks on it.

  12. #12
    Mike, I have a different brand of magnetic holders - I think they came from Woodcraft - and they have worked out really well with my old Monarch planer. It doesn't have gib screws and I used to spend hours getting the knives set. Now I can change knives in 15 minutes.

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