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Thread: Makita 2012NB / A quieter planer for townhouse workshop

  1. #1

    Question Makita 2012NB / A quieter planer for townhouse workshop

    Hi everyone, first post here!

    Iím trying to find a thickness planer for my small, 1-car garage workshop in my townhouse. Ideally, I would love to find something thatís on the quieter side due to shared walls with neighbors and the fact that I get to do most of my woodworking in the evenings.
    I came across the Makita 2012NB, which seems to be touted as one of the quietest lunchbox planers. But, while itís quieter than maybe the DeWalt or Ridgid solutions, what I would love to find out from people who own it, is how quiet is it actually? If I run it at 7-8pm at night, will I still be pissing off the neighbors?
    Itís also a bit more expensive than the DeWalt and Ridgid versions. If itís quiet enough that I can use it in the evenings, then Iím happy to pay the extra for it. But if, in reality, itís still too loud to use in the evenings, then I might as well just save some money and get a DeWalt or Ridgid and just use it during the day on weekends when Iím home.
    And before anyone mentions it, while I would love to have a big 15Ē or larger floor standing model, Iím very limited on room and need something I can move to a shelf when Iím not using it.
    Additionally, I do have several hand planes, so Iím not lacking there and I understand thatís the quietest solution. Iím more than happy to use them to flatten sides and for finishing work. I would just like to offload the actual thicknessing to a planer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    8,905
    If your garage walls are shared with neighbors' garages, you might get by running noisy tools in the evening. But if your shop walls are your neighbors' living space, you should likely keep your noisy machine work for the weekend days.

    Or even better, get serious about soundproofing your workshop. There's quite a bit of information and materials out there, and it isn't difficult work while your shop is still relatively empty.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
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    742
    What tools are you currently using in the garage, and how are the neighbors responding to those?

    Matt

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Hills View Post
    What tools are you currently using in the garage, and how are the neighbors responding to those?

    Matt
    Currently, I have a Grizzly 1019Z bandsaw, Makita circular saw (that I use sparingly), Dewalt miter saw, orbital sander, and that's about it as far as powertools. The bandsaw is pretty quiet, and the neighbors don't seem to mind me using the miter or circular saw in the evening as long as it's not for a very extended amount of time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
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    15,277
    Aaron, welcome to the Creek. I watched some videos of the Makita in operation. It doesn’t sound much quieter than the Delta I used to own. Universal motors are just loud by nature. I agree with trying to soundproof your garage as an alternative.

    I sold my Delta lunchbox and bought a larger 15 planer. The 15” is still loud but has a lower pitch that makes it more tolerable to my ears.
    Please help support the Creek.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    - Steven Wright

  6. #6
    Unfortunately, any planer with a universal motor (pretty much all lunchbox type planers) is going to be loud. The Makita says 83 db, which may be quieter than some others, but is still quite loud. Spiral cutterheads are quieter than straight knives, so that would be one option, but with the lunchbox planers you are still left with the noise of the motor itself.

    My Uncle used to run a little side gig out of his garage and it involved a metal stapler machine (for fastening sheet metal with metal staples). His neighbors were 50 or 60 feet away but still complained about the noise and threatened to turn him in for running a business in a residential area. So he built a little booth around the machine lined with sound deadening material and it helped enough. Maybe you could do something like that, leaving room of course for the stock entry and exit. It would be a smaller job than soundproofing the whole shop, although that would obviously be a more flexible solution.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  7. #7
    Seems to be the consensus is that it's going to be loud no matter which lunchbox planer I get. Bummer, I was hoping the Makita was notably quieter than the rest. But that might mean I get to save some money and go with something a little cheaper.

  8. #8
    I'm a power tool guy, I have a few hand planes but don't use them much. However, if I were in a condo or townhouse situation with shared walls, I would think twice about lunchbox planers. My DeWalt 735 was screaming loud...like jet engine loud...I wore earplugs AND earmuffs and I still thought it was loud. I replaced it with a European jointer-planer combo machine with an induction motor and spiral cutter head - it is whisper quite in comparison. What about using winding sticks and hand planes? It is definitely slower, but it would be opportunity to learn new skills... and with properly sharp tools and good technique you will get as good results as a machine.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bernstein View Post
    I'm a power tool guy, I have a few hand planes but don't use them much. However, if I were in a condo or townhouse situation with shared walls, I would think twice about lunchbox planers. My DeWalt 735 was screaming loud...like jet engine loud...I wore earplugs AND earmuffs and I still thought it was loud. I replaced it with a European jointer-planer combo machine with an induction motor and spiral cutter head - it is whisper quite in comparison. What about using winding sticks and hand planes? It is definitely slower, but it would be opportunity to learn new skills... and with properly sharp tools and good technique you will get as good results as a machine.

    I've already got some nice planes, so I'm good there. I'm totally comfortable flattening a side or two, or using them for finishing. But I would love to leave the actual thicknessing to a powered planer if possible. It just gets really time consuming with hand planes, and since I mainly just get a couple hours in the evenings or occasionally on weekends to build things, it would be a big time saver.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
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    2,232
    Are you able to run a dust collector? I had a DW735 a few years back, I installed a byrd shelix head in it and removed the extremely loud blower, it was very quiet after that. But you have to run a dust collector, and if that is too loud for your situation its a moot point.
    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

  11. #11
    Even with spiral heads, any of these bench planers will be loud because they are spinning around 10k rpm. My old 16" powermatic with a 5hp is quieter than the 13" bench ridgid that I started with.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    658
    I know this will not help you, but it gives you an idea of how loud, or quiet, these machines are.

    I sold my DW735 and bought the Hammer A3-31. I was amazed how quiet it was compared my Dewalt with a Shelix head.

    In the video, I have my Jet Dust Collector running, my overhead Jet Air Filter running and then face joint, on edge and on face, a piece of wood.

    If you were outside my garage, you would barely hear these machines running.


  13. #13
    Honestly, really loud hobbies and townhouse living are incompatable. When my son asked for drums, he got electronic drums and even that was limited to daytime hours.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    It seems that so far I'm the only one responding who does have the Makita planer. How loud is it? I don't do sound comparison reviews but I can tell you it's much quieter than the DeWalt I had a few years ago. Highly satisfied. I understand about the neighbor issues.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by william walton View Post
    It seems that so far I'm the only one responding who does have the Makita planer. How loud is it? I don't do sound comparison reviews but I can tell you it's much quieter than the DeWalt I had a few years ago. Highly satisfied. I understand about the neighbor issues.
    Thanks William. Is it noticeably quieter than the Dewalt? Or just slightly? Quiet enough to keep neighbors from busting down your door?

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