360w360 E.97 – Widebelt vs. Planer

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widebeltIn this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, the 360 guys discuss the virtues of widebelt sanders, drum sanders and thickness planers.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

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7 thoughts on “360w360 E.97 – Widebelt vs. Planer

  1. Glen and Chuck, Boy Howdy, Was this information helpful for me. I use a Foley-Belsaw 121/4″ thickness planner that I’ve , owned since 1982. And, yes I’ve failed on occasion to attempt to flatten a board too wide for my 6″ jointer. I thought as you’ve pointed out in this podcast that the upper feed rollers were applying too much pressure and all I was doing was continuing to make the board sides parallel. Another problem I’ve experienced is when planning cypress I get the tall cathedrals to peel up leaving a deep gully to try to deal with
    . Probably because I didn’t watch the grain direction carefully enough. Any help with this?

    1. Foley-Belsaw planers are versatile and really great machines. Sharpen and change knives often and definitely pay attention to grain direction.

      The rollers and chip-breaker on all planers exert a fair amount of pressure. If you find that your planer seems to be pressing out major amounts of cup and bow, then you might need to adjust things a bit.

  2. What are your opinions on using a sled that is longer than the piece your milling, shimming it from underneath than running it thru the planer to flatten one side so that you can flip the board and run it back thru the planer to parallel the two sides? One reason I ask is that I’m debating the expense between a 6″ planer versus an 8″. The price seems to jump significantly.

    1. Jay,

      I have no problem using a sled and shims, but in the long run you’ll be better off with a wider jointer. Ultimately it will give you more options and make the work go quicker.

    2. Jay,

      I’m agree with Chuck. Using the planer and a sled is OK, and a feat that can be accomplished when need be. Flattening using a jointer, however, is way better. Plus there are a few milling tricks that help make your jointer even more valuable. Also, I have yet to hear anyone who purchased a 8″ jointer say that they wished they had saved the money and went with a 6″ machine. You’re more likely to hear the reverse being said. In fact, most woodworkers covet the next widest jointer available.

  3. “Honey, Chuck & Glen say I need a wide belt sander in the shop”
    (can’t hurt to try…)
    Thanks fellas.

    1. Eric,

      Just let us know to which hospital we should send the flowers.

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