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Any opinions about the usefulness of a portable handheld planer such as Bosch PL2632K 3-1/4'' Planer Kit? How good a substitute for a "real" free standing planer?
 

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Not the same tool, Tom. You can't just carry a lunchbox planer up to a 12' plank and clean up an edge. Or dress down a sticking door edge (or put a slight bevel on it for that matter.
The handheld planer is closer to a jointer than a planer. I've had one for donkeys' years but I hardly ever use it; I'd rather hand plane.
 

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They are great for making wedges. For example when the bottom of a door is too tight at the bottom of a frame but good at the top of the frame, a common occurrence doing renos.
They can also be used to flatten slabs as in live edge sections of tree stump. If you want the slab an even thickness after that you could use a sled mounted router. I did use my Makita to smooth out some of the humps on the rough sawn 2x10 floor joists in my house when I built it and some PL400 evened the remaining variations well enough.

A thickness planer insures an even thickness from one end of a board to the other.
 
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Not the same tool, Tom. You can't just carry a lunchbox planer up to a 12' plank and clean up an edge. Or dress down a sticking door edge (or put a slight bevel on it for that matter.
The handheld planer is closer to a jointer than a planer. I've had one for donkeys' years but I hardly ever use it; I'd rather hand plane.
Hand planing door bevels is quite time consuming,especially if you have to do 100 of them and they are 10' long oak stiles 1 3/4"thick. You can pay for a power plane in no time. This was not uncommon in commercial construction years ago. Now they are ordered premachined from the door company.

The other day I did see an article where a guy took a power hand plane and built a "U" shaped trough and mounted the plane on top. the trough was the width of the plane shoe. He then clamped ot to the wookbench and fed his boards through. Worked for him.


Herb
 

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Replaced all the doors on my cousins beach house with one. The door jams were not square so I used the hand planer to take off the excess. I would cut them to fit, then chisel out the hinges. You wouldn't even notice the jams are not square unless you really look. Nice tight fits to keep the light from shining through. Leave the bottom open for air flow. I think I left a 3/4" gap on the bottom if I remember right. Also beveled the outside edges to get rid of that sharp 90 degree edge. The planer has a notch just for that.
 

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I've always thought of it as a tool for doors. But if it's only one or two doors, I'd rather use a hand plane. Not on my tool wish list.
The side fence rotate up and you can use it to plane flat planks like the hand plane. My Dad had one made by Stanley that was a router attachment. He could use the old r-100 "Domey" stanley router in it with the special helical cutter to plane doors or joint boards,and also to flat plane boards.

Here is a newer model: http://www.routerforums.com/woodworking-classifieds/44884-stanley-router-accessories.html

Herb
 

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Tom, I bought a Towa hand held planer close to thirty years ago and doubt that I've used it more than half a dozen times. I never did get the hang of holding it square to the work-piece, bottoms of doors ended up well off square. I think that the speed and noise cause me to hurry along unlike a hand plane where one takes ones time. On one of the first doors that I planed I missed punching in one of the panel pins which resulted in a nick out of the blades.
 

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I tend to think of the power planer as a sledge and the hand planer as a percussion hammer. There are times when either could be used.

In repairing teak swim platforms on boats I've used the power planer on site to size pieces to fit. If I were doing it in the shop I'd use hand planes...maybe some easy listening music in the background...y'know...for the rhythm.

Door edges would be a good place for a power planer...some come with a bevel guide to get that small angle for the lock side. Use it with an edge guide and you can rebate for insulating strips. Turn it upside down, slap a fence on it and, Viola, a jointer. (Everybody remembers Viola)

From a practical perspective, You could use a power planer, with some finesse, to do any planning job...from a preference perspective, I would rather use a hand plane for the same job.

As Scooby-Doo would say "to reech his rown"...
 

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@harrysin Harry, I'm with you, that kind of tool has a way of causing damage very quickly. I have a #6 hand plane that I love to use. Nothing like that sound. Hope you're doing well these days. I'm beginning to see evidence of 75 years of use of my body...brain might not be quite as sharp as in the past either.
 

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Like they say it is as good as the operator.

I have never owned one. used them on the job to bevel both sides of doors, Seen the cement masons planing brick pavers and concrete with ones with diamond cutters.

I dislike hand planes, although had to use them at times, give me a belt sander anytime.
Herb
 

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Fastest crown remover this side of anyplace...
flat framed walls everytime..
 
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Power hand planes definitely are not a precision woodworking tool, not as all as precise as a chainsaw say, but they do have their uses.

When I had my wood lathe, and put an out of balance piece of wood in, I didn't crank it down slow, and use a gouge to take it down. Nope, take the plane and run it back and forth a few passes, and you get that wood in balance, fast. Loads of fun too, noise, lots of wood flying, can't beat it. I've also got some old wooden beams, about 12"X12", that I'll be making Tikis out of. The plane will do a great job of smoothing them out, and rounding the front two edges, fast, and doesn't matter if the wood isn't perfectly flat or round, because they'll be Tikis. I made one or two carving mallets in my lathe too, using the power plane to shape them. It worked, but boy those mallets turned out consderably thinner than planned. If I were to do that again, I wouldn't freehand it, I'd have a board in the back, to rest the front of the plane on, and give me a lot more control.

Before I tried balancing a rough piece of wood in the lathe, got told by a number of people that it wouldn't work, it was dangerous, the blade would catch on a knot, and so on. But I thought about it, then did it. The blades in the plane spin at a bunch of RPMs, and just blast thru a knot like it wasn't there. That plane wasn't catching on anything. I do think things thru before I do them, and do cancel out some ideas, but wind up doing a lot more - with no issues.
 

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"Seen the cement masons planing brick pavers and concrete with ones with diamond cutters."
-Herb

New one on me; never seen that done. Does it act more like a grinder?
I'm trying to picture removing 'curls' of masonry... :)
 

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"Seen the cement masons planing brick pavers and concrete with ones with diamond cutters."
-Herb

New one on me; never seen that done. Does it act more like a grinder?
I'm trying to picture removing 'curls' of masonry... :)
No curls just slurry,used with water. Similar to a grinder except has depth guide on front and shue on the back to set precise depth. The cutters are heavy diamond impregnated wheels.
There is also the walk behind drum type.

https://www.amazon.com/Makita-PC5001C-5-Inch-Concrete-Planer/dp/B001TWV93K

Cutter: https://www.amazon.com/Makita-A-949...rd_wg=hFpB2&psc=1&refRID=F5EJKM8PT6AEZTRYJQPM

8" Walk-Behind Crete-Planer? - EDCO

Herb
 

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Power hand planes definitely are not a precision woodworking tool, not as all as precise as a chainsaw say, but they do have their uses.

When I had my wood lathe, and put an out of balance piece of wood in, I didn't crank it down slow, and use a gouge to take it down. Nope, take the plane and run it back and forth a few passes, and you get that wood in balance, fast. Loads of fun too, noise, lots of wood flying, can't beat it. I've also got some old wooden beams, about 12"X12", that I'll be making Tikis out of. The plane will do a great job of smoothing them out, and rounding the front two edges, fast, and doesn't matter if the wood isn't perfectly flat or round, because they'll be Tikis. I made one or two carving mallets in my lathe too, using the power plane to shape them. It worked, but boy those mallets turned out consderably thinner than planned. If I were to do that again, I wouldn't freehand it, I'd have a board in the back, to rest the front of the plane on, and give me a lot more control.

Before I tried balancing a rough piece of wood in the lathe, got told by a number of people that it wouldn't work, it was dangerous, the blade would catch on a knot, and so on. But I thought about it, then did it. The blades in the plane spin at a bunch of RPMs, and just blast thru a knot like it wasn't there. That plane wasn't catching on anything. I do think things thru before I do them, and do cancel out some ideas, but wind up doing a lot more - with no issues.
When I get back on my wood lathe I'll see if I'm brave enough to try your method of balancing bowl blanks Theo.
 
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