Your first thickness planer will revolutionize your shop.
For the first time, you'll be able to thickness your stock at the pull of a button and I guarantee, you'll stand there and watch.
Make sure you're wearing hearing protection though, you'll need it.
Consider this though.
If you use your planer often/semi professionally/professionally, you could be spending hundreds of dollars each year buying replacement knives!
In which case it might be worth buying a planer with more stamina so here are our recomendations
If you're not going to use it regularly, be sure to work out how much you'll pay for a new set of knives and think about how often you'll need to replace them.
Perfect starter machines for the weekend warrior/hobbyist:
If you think that you're going to be spending the price of a new machine each year on new blades, you should take a look at helical cutter heads.
You have a couple of options here:
1. Replace the 2 or 3 knife cutter head in your machine with a helical head like this one.
2. Buy a machine with a helical cutter head
A helical cutter head has many (sometimes hundreds) of 4 sided, hardened steel cutter heads. They're orientated so that the wood is always in contact with the cutter so your machine will draw more current yet it'll create a much smoother surface.
If you start to see the usual signs of a chipped blade, just turn the affected blades around to the next sharp surface and carry on.
Right now I'm making a magician's close up pad for a client in the UK... Part of the build involves flocking which is a decorative lining process that's fun and really simple to do.
Flocking is a great craft project to try with children over the weekend or the holidays.
There are only a few things you need to complete the process:
1. Masking/painters tape to cover any areas you don't want to apply the flocking material to.
2. A small stencil brush to apply the glue.
3. A flocking kit (Glue, micro fibers and applicator)
4. Cleaning materials (paper towels, brush cleaner to clean your brush afterwards)
Go ahead, try for yourself and let me know how it goes by clicking (comments) below.