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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a harbor freight bauer thickness planer. It is a decent planer. The main problem I have is that it doesn’t have a locking mechanism for the depth. I am trying to plane multiple boards to the same thickness, and without a depth lock it is hard to get the consistency that I want. The only thing I can think of is to plane a small amount from the boards and than set them next to one another and check them with a straight edge to see if they are close enough in thickness. Any additional advice or recommendations?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did it never have one or is it there but not functioning properly? Seems odd that it never had one but I haven't looked at the HF planer that closely.
As far as I know it doesn’t have one by design. I don’t see anything in the manual. Below is the planer I have.



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I have a harbor freight bauer thickness planer. It is a decent planer. The main problem I have is that it doesn’t have a locking mechanism for the depth.
Is the problem that it drifts out of adjustment as you plane multiple boards or that it is hard to repeatedly adjust it to the same thickness? My answer is more for the 2nd, but maybe will help with the first. My DeWalt doesn't have anything to lock it in place but it doesn't drift during repeated cuts.

I'm not an expert, but 3 possibilities come to mind:

A no cost way: say you want to plane a dozen boards, set the planer for the first cut of the thickest, run all of the boards through the planer. Lower the planer to the next level, run all of the boards, repeat until your target thickness.

Expensive but good to have anyway:
I have one on my DeWalt planer, love it, not sure if as good as a physical stop for repeatedly going to the same thickness but I'd say very good, far better than trying to eyeball the built in scale.

I've never heard of doing it, but maybe put a collar on one the shafts that the planer moves on. Maybe a pain to adjust? Horizontal clearance problems? McMaster is expensive but they have a huge selection.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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My DeWalt doesn't have anything to lock it in place but it doesn't drift during repeated cuts.
If you have the DW735 it has an automatic lock, works great on mine. My old 733 had a manual lock that also worked well but I rarely used it because the carriage just didn't move during cuts.
 

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If you have the DW735 it has an automatic lock, works great on mine.
Yes that's what I have. Been awhile since I read the list of 735 features, and "out of sight, out of mind". lol. Is it really a lock mechanism or is there just enough friction in the system that it stays where it's put?

If adjustment drift is the problem @Cls89 is having maybe try a way of locking the adjustment crank in place? Or add friction to it? There might still be an issue with play/lash.

Maybe the problem is play/lash between the hand crank and the head? If so try lowering the head below the desired thickness and then raising to where you want it. Sounds like a pain, especially for small adjustments. I think a Wixey would be a huge help for that situation.
 

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You can't take a lot of wood off with one pass so the locking part doesn't matter that much. I have the 735 but only set the final cut depth once the boards are all planned down. If I was going from 1 1/4" down to 3/4" I couldn't set the depth to 3/4". So, I run all the boards through taking off maybe 1/16" and keep doing that until I got down to almost my desired thickness. Then I would set the thickness to 3/4" and run them through the final time. Since that would be a lot of passes I would normally resaw the wood thinner to start with either a bandsaw or table saw.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Since that would be a lot of passes I would normally resaw the wood thinner to start with either a bandsaw or table saw.
Ditto on that. Any time I want to reduce a board more than 1/4" then resaw comes into play. That way I'm not wasting wood and I end up with a thin piece to use on other projects.
 
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