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I generally buy my lumber from HD or Lowes', so do I really need a planer?
I found a used Delta 12" at a garage sale today for $150, but I really don't know if I need one, since most of the wood I get is already milled to a certain degree. Please advise.

Thanks,
j_ls
 

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I guess only you can answer that question. I would not want to be without one but I doubt that everyone needs one.
It all depends on what kind of wood work you do and what type of wood you use.
 

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You could use a planer to surface the edges of faceframe material to build cabinets. Also if you need some wood that is 1/2" thick for drawer siding, you can take the 1x4's or 1x6's the box stores sell and make your own drawer siding. A planer can be very useful however I would pass on the Delta. I have one and I spend nearly as much time re-assemblying it as I do running it. The thing keeps falling apart. I started using threadlock on it and it's getting better but I sure couldn't recommend one. Also there has been for quite some time problems getting any parts for any Delta equipment.
 

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Just some rough math: If you buy an oak 1x4 from Lowes, 8 foot long, it might cost $25. That is about 2.6 board foot, so $9.4 per foot. You can buy rough cut oak for $2 - $4 per foot. Plus what Steve said about making the board whatever thickness you want.

I bought a used one, and am very happy I did. Mine is not a great quality tool, but it really opens up a lot of options.
 

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" I would pass on the Delta. I have one and I spend nearly as much time re-assemblying it as I do running it. The thing keeps falling apart. I started using threadlock on it and it's getting better but I sure couldn't recommend one. "

I also have a Delta mod# 22-250, in fact this is my second Delta. I wore the first one out. (cutter head bearings), and found this one on CL. Nothing has happened to it and it doesn't fall apart. I have changed the blades, simple and easy but does take a little time.

I buy all my lumber rough cut and my planer gets a workout.

The one I have now has a cutter head lock, and slotted blades so they are already in alignment when installed, no need to use a tool to make sure the height is set correctly. Nice feature.

In my humble opinion, the Delta planer is a great beginner planer to start off with.

I paid $150 for my latest one, and it had only been used for, (what the man said), 8 hours of work. The blade was in terrible shape on one side, other side was ok, so swapped the blade and then bought a new set to replace when it was needed.
 

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If you are into oak, like I am, buying from HD or Lowes is just too costly....
One "oops", and there goes $25-$30 .....
I bought a Ridgid planer a while back, and starting milling my own...
Once you get a drying cycle going, rough cut is very economical...
My last load was 10 each of 3/4 x 8, 1 x 8, 2 x 8.... 12 foot.. $160.00
I cut the pieces to length, rip to width (+ a little for edge jointing), and then plane..
Beautiful results....Takes a little time, but worth it....
You may get some splitting and cupping in the drying process, if you stack
it outside, covered, like I do....But it's minimal...
I'm sure there are drying methods better than mine....
 
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