oOOohh aAAahh

’bout time (a week after purchasing) that I finally put power to the new tools to see what they were like.  Had a mate around who wanted a look through the shed, and it seemed as good an excuse as any to fire up the machines.

First up was the thicknesser – I am so used to brushed motor thicknessers, and the most common characteristic is they SCREAM!  Their noise is phenomenal.  Given these are the only thicknessers I have pretty much ever dealt with (and certainly used myself), I was expecting noise – I hadn’t even thought of the possibility of it being otherwise.  Thicknessers are incredibly noisy machines (>100dB) as far as I am concerned.  Or should I say was.

The silence (comparatively) was deafening.  Sure, it made noise, but only a bit louder than my induction motored tablesaw.  I’m used to a thicknesser that actually hurt your ears if you stood by it without hearing protection.

So, altogether now….. oOOohh aAAahh. Nice.

Next, after I recovered from the ability to continue to think even though the thicknesser was running, I ran some timber through – cyprus pine in this instance.  It’s like sword smiths of old (or at least fantasy) – you cannot draw a sword then return it to the scabbard without it having drawn blood.  You cannot turn on a thicknesser, and then not make some sawdust (or a lot of sawdust!!) 3HP, 3 blades, aggressive infeed roller all working together pulled the cyprus pine post through without a care in the world.  The dust coming out of the machine is probably more a function of the cyprus than of the machine, but I’ll test it more tomorrow with a timber infamously renouned for producing heavy chip-type shavings, and masses of them: Pinus Radiata (crappiata).

Next, it was the drum sander’s turn.  I’ve never used a drum sander, nor even seen one in operation (at least not in the flesh), so I really didn’t know what to expect.

What I got was a smoothly spinning drum, with a separately powered (and variable speed) feed bed with an impressivly slow speed.  I fed a bit of jarrah through, and copious amounts of fine dust started to be produced.

oOOohh aAAahh.  The potential of the machine already started to become apparent.

It comes with a preloaded with a pretty aggressive grade of sandpaper, so I’m considering that it’d be worth running it with a 400 or so grit – after all it is a finishing machine, not a stock removal machine, and I’d like to get a really good finish coming off, ready for final finishing with a ROS.

It’s going to be really interesting putting these machines through their paces for a real project, and see how they really perform, but until then, I’ll just make some more sawdust for the fun of it!

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