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WooHoo! A Wood Planer

TABLE TOP PLANER

Forgive me if I seem excited, it’s just that I am.

I have finally added to my shop the tool I’ve been coveting for years – a table top planer like this one. I Like I said, I’ve wanted one over the years and over the years I have often been tempted to buy a cheap 12″ planer but 2 speed planermanaged to hold off. Not that I’m professing to think that there’s is necessarily anything wrong with more inexpensive choices. Depending on a person’s nature and needs, a cheap planer might be exactly the right choice.

Over time, however, I have learned my nature and needs, and I am often unhappy when I have given in to my more sensible side and saved a few dollars on tool. Any type of tool.

When I was finally in a position to buy the quality thickness planer that I wanted I went on a hunt for just exactly the right one. There are good models available from many of the reputable suppliers out there as well as from some of the best of the second tier manufacturers.

I spent several months actually deciding just what features I wanted or needed choosing a manufacturer. I admit to a bit of bias when it comes to machinery, perhaps because being around the trades has given me an impression of what the most  popular tools are for the tradesmen around me. That currently is DeWalt, Makita, Bosch, and to a lesser extent Delta, since it really focuses on larger tools and leaves the smaller hand type tools to the others.

I actually put Delta in league with Powermatic when it comes to shop tools. Powermatic, though, stays with high quality power tools and even if they did make a portable planer it would undoubtedly be out of my reach.

There are several reasons I ended up going with the DeWalt 2 speed planer rather than an offering by Delta or one of the others. For one thing the reviews are very positive. For another I find the four post design to look very robust, and like it would make the depth adjustment very accurate. I also like the way the depth measuring worked, that the lock was solid and that the adjustment wheel is large (I find the smaller wheels on some tools are too hard to operate to make repeatable fine adjustments easy), and the shutoff switch is a paddle, which is a safety feature that every bench tool should have on it.

Last but not least is the two speed option. Supposedly this allows for finer cuts at times by taking smaller bites, but in my limited testing I honestly can’t tell any real difference between the finish the two speeds achieve. Maybe in harder or furrier wood the extra setting might have benefit, but to be honest, if I was to advise a friend I would tell them to move this down on the list of features.

I am more than pleased to finally have the abilities that owning a planer give to me, and hope that soon I will be able to add a jointer to my collection as well.

There’s always  tool to look forward to. It’s an addiction that keeps on giving.

 

My Truck

Now what is the point of somebody writing about their truck for anyone to read. Especially if their truck isn’t something to write home about.

If you look at it that way there really is no point. But this blog isn’t necessarily just about putting stuff out there that has a point. It is about what I want it to be about. And in order for it to be about that, I am going to have to get to be a lot better writer than I am. And they say that the best way to get better at something is to practice it. So I’m going to practice. And that will be hard to do if I am constantly thinking about the fact that I have to write stuff that only has earth shattering relevance.

So about my truck.

If you look at it from the outside you’d see a truck that doesn’t look like much of a workhorse. It isn’t full size. It isn’t 4 wheel drive. And it certainly isn’t pretty. But that’s ok, it’s mine. And it does what I need it to do quite well. Though I am sure not to get it into places where I might not be able to get out of. I have spoken before about the fact that if you are serious about having a work truck it needs to be a 4X4. But then again, rules are made to be broken.

it hauls everything I need it to haul, and if it won’t then it’s probably something that I should be having delivered anyway. I holds a tool box that will hold all of the tools I use on a regular basis and it’s big enough to handle the tools I only need occasionally.

And best of all it’s rust free and can be upgraded easily. That means that I can dream of stuffing a big V8 in there and having a vehicle that would make my younger self envious. That matters since even at my age I love the feel of having power on tap, and it is still important to have dreams of building myself a custom ride.

For all it’s faults, it’s my truck and I really like it. Dodge is where it’s at. At least until Fiat really gets hold of it and turns the ram into something like a downsized Volkswagen pickup truck. Or that may not matter since I don’t really plan on ever owning a new truck anyway.

Let’s not even talk about electric. Even when the average base level electric pickup truck can beat the pants off of my old fashioned gas powered little truck, I will still drive one. No electric car will ever sound like the full throated roar of a V8.

And that is a sound that will never go out of style.

Pride

There’s a lot of pride to be had by finishing a hard days work and being able to look back and see what you have actually accomplished. If you see a finish wall that you spent the day on, or a field that is fresh black dirt where there was not the day before, you can actually know -know!- that you have accomplished something. Try that when you have spent the day putting little pieces of paper in a filing cabinet, or moved bits arounhd on a computer screen.

So many things that are called work today don’t have that honest component, the one that leaves you happily tired at the end of the day, content to relax for the evening before hitting the sack ready to get up again and do it the next day.

Maybe that’s why so many of the things that people do for hobbies on the wekends or of an evening involve those types of things. For guys that means doing things that involve building or fixing. Working with wood or on vehicles so that when they get done with a project they can actually physically haul somebody over to it and say “see, I did that”.

I’m sure the guys who build Angry Birds can impress people at parties with all their wealth, but really, is it the same as taking someone to a real log cabin you built with real logs? Nope. Wihen you have that beer at the end of that day, you’ll know you earned it.