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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
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    70
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    259

    Smile Thicknesser meeting Festool Forum User Standards?

    Now I have everyone's attention......... the recent purchase of the Domino has made me realise that I need one badly....... I mean a good Thicknesser that enables the full joining potential of the Domino to be realised.

    I was wandering what Festool users are actually using out there as I find the Thicknesser choices/pricing somewhat bewildering.

    At one extreme there is the GMC cheap and cheerful - but fairly uninspiring then there's cluttered $1000 market with Makita and DeWalt "portable" units. Beyond that I see Carbatec have some interesting industrial strength looking machines for not much more.

    I need something that enables me to accurately machine re-cycled timber I'm not machining 200 tones of hardwood wood and mainly interested in DIY furniture size pieces and box making at this stage. and yes with the odd garden gate replacement. I would prefer something reasonably quiet......

    I like the look of the DeWalt 735 but note a number of non complimentary comments on this site re after sales service and the low quality of blades. But this aside, it does provide solid build quality and good dust extraction......... Tassie Kiwi pls check your mail!

    So what are the options at say $1100? - I'd be also be interested in the receiving advice on the Carbatec and other "industrial" thicknessers

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria
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    5,513

    Default

    Jet, and Triton are both worth looking at (the Triton is not out yet however). After playing with a quality jointer (my new jet longbed), I'd love to see what the corresponding thicknesser is like.
    "Clear, Ease Springs"
    www.Stu's Shed.com


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Perth WA (Carine)
    Age
    62
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    Default

    If you want a thicknesser to match the domino superior quality and wish to pay around $1100 then I can suggest the Carbatec CTJ381. 15" 3hp. ( it may actually cost a bit more). I have had mine for almost 2 years now, and the quality of the thicknessing is second to none.
    Regards
    Les

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria
    Posts
    5,513

    Default

    I have had the GMC for a few years now- would like to experience a top-end machine to know what is really possible.
    "Clear, Ease Springs"
    www.Stu's Shed.com


  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    70
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    Default

    Guys, thanks for the feedback and advice on Carbatec alternatives....... having not personally ever used a Jointer or Thicknesser (like a few other newcomers to the Art) I am still trying to grasp the basics.....

    After reading some of the various threads on Thicknessers and Jointers I think I have now started to appreciate the challenge of producing stock that is truly sized AND square...... Stewart your description was perfectly clear!

    The bad news is it seems that ideally you need BOTH of these machines or a combination machine(!)

    It looks like my foray into serious woodworking is becoming more complex than expected!

    So what comes first the Thicknesser or the Jointer? And why can't the Jointer do the whole bloody lot? Admittedly the Jointer would not be as convenient as a Thicknesser which presumably guarantees absolute "thickness" repeatability. For thicknessing large quantities the benefits are clear!

    But on face value, the Jointer would seem to be more versatile since it can provide both a flat surfaces and a square edges the Thicknesser I assume can't do this?

    Have I missed something?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Margaret River, Australia
    Posts
    371

    Default

    Warmtone,

    First you plane a flat surface (via planer or jointer). Then you can turn side on and achieve a squared edge if you need one. Then you thickness using the flat / planed surface as a base.

    I recommend a combination "over & under" planer & thicknesser. This machine will be the starting point for your fine woodworking.

    Richard

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Barboursville, Virginia USA
    Age
    74
    Posts
    2,364

    Default

    I should think a jointer first, but Richard is right about starting with a combo machine. Hitachi make a well-designed one, but it may be more than $1100 AU. Sells here for about $1200 US.

    Now if I can get the picture to load.:confused:
    Cheers,

    Bob



  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria
    Posts
    5,513

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by warmtone
    Guys, thanks for the feedback and advice on Carbatec alternatives....... having not personally ever used a Jointer or Thicknesser (like a few other newcomers to the Art) I am still trying to grasp the basics.....

    After reading some of the various threads on Thicknessers and Jointers I think I have now started to appreciate the challenge of producing stock that is truly sized AND square...... Stewart your description was perfectly clear!

    The bad news is it seems that ideally you need BOTH of these machines or a combination machine(!)

    It looks like my foray into serious woodworking is becoming more complex than expected!

    So what comes first the Thicknesser or the Jointer? And why can't the Jointer do the whole bloody lot? Admittedly the Jointer would not be as convenient as a Thicknesser which presumably guarantees absolute "thickness" repeatability. For thicknessing large quantities the benefits are clear!

    But on face value, the Jointer would seem to be more versatile since it can provide both a flat surfaces and a square edges the Thicknesser I assume can't do this?

    Have I missed something?
    Yeah, I think you have. But guess what - we (the various members of this BB) are now doing little videos that you can watch. The first one is precisely on what you need to know - Jointers and thicknessers!

    Head on over to this thread

    http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com...ad.php?t=35496

    and hopefully more questions will be answered than you knew you had. You probably will have more questions - that is cool, but at least you will have had a chance to see a jointer and thicknesser doing their thing. Gumby's machine is a combo, so you can that type of unit in action.
    "Clear, Ease Springs"
    www.Stu's Shed.com


  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Port Sorell, TAS
    Age
    56
    Posts
    1,634

    Default Thicknesser first, maybe?

    I had a heap of 200x50 RS boards to dress recently. Some had metallic paint, all had 60+yrs of grime and dust from being the perlins in a workshop. I only have a 150mm short-bed jointer, so here's what I do:

    • Skim all gunge and paint of using the 'lectric planer
    • Get one side flat and true within 1mm or less with the planer and wind sticks/3m aluminium straightedge
    • Joint one edge with the planer/90░fence attachment
    • Poke this throught the thicknesser with the flat side down
    • Cut remaining undressed edge through the TS.
    • Dress edges smooth with #7 jointer
    • take out planer marks with LVLA jack
    Done.

    This only takes about 15 mins a board, less if you're doing lots. I don't often use the jointer, but probably would if I had the Jet longbed.
    Many joiners do not use boards over 150mm anyway, for stability reasons.
    The only way to get rid of a [Domino] temptation is to yield to it. Oscar Wilde

    .....so go4it people!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Canberra
    Age
    60
    Posts
    1,280

    Default

    Warmtone

    I have the Dewalt "tractor" DW735. I personally don't think that all the bad press is warranted. I have had mine for over 12 months and am still on the original blades. I think that amazon reviews tend to get more of the dissatisfied than the satisfied.
    The 735 blades are reversible - so two sets of blades for the price of one. You can shop around for good blade prices especially from the US. Easy blade change with alignment pins/screws unlike many other machines.

    The machine itself is fantastic two speeds, inbuilt chip extraction, three blades etc very well made.

    I bought it as I considered it the best portable machine - which I needed due to space constraints.

    If you are planning on thicknessing a lot of recycled hardwood and you have the space I would go for a stationary machine. Go Jet if you can afford it.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    5,215

    Default

    Warmtone, congrats on being one of the enlightend and privileged few on the Forum Now you can understand what all the fuss is about

    I see you will be thicknessing recycled a fair bit. Having done that myself for a few years, one thing is you will get alot tougher timber than new stuff. I have the little Jet and its a great little machine, but it is still a bit of a toy, and it dose handle new timber ok (but has its limits) my oppinion it woldnt be that great with second hand stuff.
    As i dont know your financial situation apart from looking at $1100, i would look at the $199 GMC if its still avail and the ballance get a cheap 8" jointer (dont get the 6" for recycled) That combo will be great to start with and get you started, and then with all the money Baby Domi makes you Save and swap the GMC for a JET/Carbatek/Hafco 15 or 16"

    Need pics of your Domi and her work

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sth. Island, Oz.
    Age
    61
    Posts
    754

    Default

    Warmtone, I believe that you need to accurately assess your needs in a machin., and aim for one with the capacities and capabilities you really need. Otherwise you'll just be either wasting your money on a expensive lemon, or an inadequate toy. Inexpensive machines will do a lot of work. Cheap machines won't. Do get an under and over. You can only really perform any one function at one time. The efficiency in space and expense of modern "under and overs" or planer/thicknessers as they're more commonly known makes them superior in all but commercial environments. Aside from CCA treated pine I haven't needed to buy a single plank of dressed timber in over 30 years. I've also worn out the surfacing tables on two machines working them mercilessly doing whole house lots of framing, lining and flooring. But the best machine you can afford. If you use a lot of timber, it will pay for itself in a very short time if you buy your timber from local sawmillers, especially if you rack and dry it yourself. You buy an expensive power tool because you want the best. The same (only more so) applies to machinery. While there are very few of us who could justify. let alone afford the likes of a Knapp or Felder, we can still buy a reasonable quality alternative. Some of the better classes of machinery are still within reach, such as Startrites, Sedgwicks, SCM's and Minimaxes. For those on a tighter budget, there are the Roblands, or the fantastic, innovative Moretens machines from Sweden. Me, I'm really satisfied with my 20 year old Kity 12" by 9". But I wouldn't mind a new Robland 20" by 10" either! I really recommend that you bypass those flash little buzzers that the hardware stores sell. You just can't dress timber properly on a tiny little thicknesser with a two foot bed. It just can't be done. There's a lot of top quality single phase machinery out there if you take the time to look. There's just no substitute for the heavy castings of the older machines. A grand should get you into a really nice used Sheppach, Elektra, Elu or DeWalt under and over that will last you for many many years.
    Sycophant to nobody!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
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    Default

    Ratbag, thanks for the advice! You did a brilliant job of summarising all my various dilemmas!

    I guess I do have a problem with buying "low end" landfill products that are simply too depressing to contemplate. I hate to reward companies who simply produce high volume thinly disguised junk!

    Even though buying Festool is initially "painful" at least you are buying high quality engineering that cconsistently delivers outstanding results and always a pleasure to use.

    I can honestly say I have never regretted buying a Festool product.

    I'm always happy to consider a "yesterdays hero" because there is real engineering count in these older industrial machines and as Her Festool points out for older Festools: "was good is good and will always be good!"

    These principles apply to the machines you have mentioned.

    As a relative novice, I'm not sure how far I should go at this stage and I have decided to spend the next few weeks just learning from others before I shell out serious brass.

    I am increasingly convinced you can spend a grand on a "run of the mill" lightweight" thicknesser to to actually go nowhere... or alternatively spend say $1500 on a good combination planer/thicknesser made of real steel that willl last a couple of lfetimes for a part-time woodie like myself!

    I haven't seen too many really good secondhand combination units come up for sale of the caliber you mention except maybe a s/h Dewalt currently on eBay..... not sure how this particular machine rates. Can you recommend where to buy the "good stuff"?

  15. #14
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    Jun 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
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    70
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Childress
    I should think a jointer first, but Richard is right about starting with a combo machine. Hitachi make a well-designed one, but it may be more than $1100 AU. Sells here for about $1200 US.

    Now if I can get the picture to load.:confused:
    Bob, Thanks for taking the time to post the picture...... I haven't found one of these Hitachi machines here in Melbourne yet but I'm inclined to agree that a serious combination planer/thicknesser is the way to go......

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    70
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lesmeyer
    If you want a thicknesser to match the domino superior quality and wish to pay around $1100 then I can suggest the Carbatec CTJ381. 15" 3hp. ( it may actually cost a bit more). I have had mine for almost 2 years now, and the quality of the thicknessing is second to none.
    Regards
    Les
    Les, indeed the CTJ381 looks like a fine machine of serious build quality - current price is around $1400 from Carbatec...... It's the additional cost of buying an equivalent high quality planer that is slowing me down!

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