One of the last (haha) tools that I had on my radar was a thickness planer. If you have no idea what that is, it’s basically a machine that will make two faces of the board parallel with each other and will also thin a board down. In the past, Tim was nice enough to loan me his for a month or two while I worked on Tyla’s jewelry box, but I didn’t want to keep borrowing his every time I needed one.
My original plan was to save my pennies and probably buy one next spring. But on the woodworking discussion list at work, somebody offered up their DeWalt DW-733 for about 30-40% of the price of a new one. He said it was barely used and came with an extra set of blades. It’s probably not the model I picked (and you actually can’t even buy it anymore), but it was in the same category and the price was right. I also prefer buying used items from people at work because it’s more likely to be a good/easy transaction than when you go through Craigslist. So I went for it!
I’ve been using it on my latest project to plane down maple and walnut and wow, this thing works great! I think it would work better if I had a better dust collection system to pull all the chips away from the board, but still, it’s a great machine. I love how easy it is to dial in the exact height and to see how much wood you’re going to take off with the next pass.
It’s a great tool to use in conjunction with my bandsaw. I can take a 3/4″ piece of wood to the bandsaw, saw it in half (the thin way) to get to 3/8″ pieces and then plane both down to 1/4″ or whatever I need. Without the bandsaw, I’d be planing off 66% of the wood and that’s a lot of money being turned into wood chips.
I’m quite happy with this purchase. One of my next projects needs to be a cart for this thing though. At 80lbs it’s a beast to pick up off the floor.