View Full Version : Which Power Planer?

03-17-2007, 08:41 PM
OK....we're in the market. Gonna use it to re-round the tree that'll be squared by the mill that fell it before we make it round again (what a world!!) to be our new main mast. :rolleyes:

Any recommendations? We've heard the Makita with the 4amp motor might be too small. Bosch?


Paul Girouard
03-17-2007, 11:19 PM
For rounding a mast ?

Bare foot planing I use a Dewalt,


The one on the right , Model # DW680K 7.0 amps $149.99 Tool crib of the North. Not worth a hoot for beveling a door for that the PC on the left is hard to beat.

The Makita's $20 buck less and 3 amps less powerful, but it more than likley get you thru one mast without letting you down.

03-17-2007, 11:37 PM
I own two Makita's, the 1900B (the 3 1/4" smaller one) and the 1912B (the larger 4 3/8" width ). The 4 3/8" model is very powerful and can handle just about anything. The carbide blades are expensive but last awhile and are worth the money. I keep a - John Henry planer/scarffer attachment- on the smaller Makita planer which is used for scarffing plywood...and use the larger model for general planing. Love both of em... they are quality tools. The larger model is a bit expensive but a worthwhile investment. A John Henry planer/scarfer attachment is available for the larger Makita planer which allows for scarffing ply up to 1/2" thick.


03-18-2007, 06:43 AM
Thanks Paul and Rod. The mast is 32/33 feet long, so it'll be a bit of a job. We'll see what we can find up here.

Bill R
03-18-2007, 06:58 AM
I have a Bosch 3365 w/carbide blades. I have had it for a couple years now, and am very happy with it. I have no doubts that it would be up to the challenge of a 33' tree.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
03-18-2007, 07:13 AM
A mast might be good place to use a hand held power plane - but its no place to learn about them

Hand help Power Planers are not much used, very seldom by amateurs. They tend to be heavy and need skill.
I once used an electric planer when making a mast; getting impatient after a long hard slog, I reset the blade too deeply and the next minute I had seared away too much wood.
As a result, for five years I sailed in the shadow of a mast just slightly too thin and whippy.

Jay Greer
03-18-2007, 11:24 AM
Ah! I see I was about to post concerning my favorite brand of "planer" when I discovered we are discussing "power planes!" There seems to be a tendancy to change the time accepted nominclature of tools of late; though I don't understand what purpose it serves other than to add confusion to an already confused world of tools. Long before power planes hit the market, the accepted term for a surfacing machine with a power driven head and feed mechanism was "Planer".
Skil came out with a keen power plane and since it was the only one on the market, it was called a "Skil Plane". There was also the "Skil Saw" Simple enough until Makita, Porter Cable and others got into the act and made "circular saws" and the ubiquitus "Power Planer!"

Then there was the, once well known, "Jig Saw" which was a stationary table with a fine vertical reciprocating blade. It was so called because the earliest versions were treadle opperated by jigging the operators foot on a treadle plate. That tool is now called a "Scroll Saw" and what was, first, called a "Saber saw is now a "Jig Saw! Gadfree Daniel, a feller hardley knows what to ask for at the tool crib anymore!

03-18-2007, 12:09 PM
It's still jigsaw and sabersaw to me! Jigsaw puzzles were cut on a jigsaw.

Bob Cleek
03-18-2007, 02:46 PM
As Jim Ledger said, a length of abrasive belt is handy. If you want to really get fancy, use a fairly heavy grit and attach a couple of small bars of lead to the ends. The weight of the lead will save you a lot of elbow grease, since most of your effort will go into pulling it back and forth, instead of bearing down on it.

Another trick is to get a regular belt and turn it inside out, with the abrasive on the inside. Rig a spool of wood with a bolt through it and put the bolt end into your drill motor. Use the drill motor with the spool on it stuck inside the belting loop to turn the belt.

Dave Fleming
03-18-2007, 03:21 PM

Dave Fleming
03-18-2007, 03:24 PM

03-18-2007, 08:27 PM
good 'ol skill model 100.... i still have one, it's almost as old as i am, too!

03-18-2007, 08:37 PM
I used a Makita (as Jim Ledger has pictured above) on my boom - same size as your mast - 30'.

I started with a spar gauge and then knocked the corners off with a worm-gear circ. saw, followed by the makita, and then a jointer plane.


Then I used a drum tool similiar to what Bob advised:
It's a 1/2" threaded rod with a spinning piece of pipe and a bolted drum (old fish floats work great since they are oval they keep the belt centered) with a mountain bike tire screwed to it:


Always keep the tool moving.


Perhaps more then you asked for.... anyways - the Makita works for me.

03-18-2007, 09:16 PM
Good photos Stephen.

I don't suppose anyone has a simple easy :D:) method of finding a 36' x 9" mast inside a round barkon pole about 16" in diameter at breast height .It's a big lump of timber .

03-19-2007, 01:26 AM
Thanks, Stephen. I'm a visual learner, and that's just what we need right now.


03-22-2007, 07:21 AM
George Buehler describes a technique in his "backyard boatbuilding" book, consisting of using a circular saw to score the surface of the log to a preset depth - more at the tip, if you want a taper - and splitting away the excess as chips. I''ve done the same thing ( on a MUCH smaller scale_ for fitting tool handles and making lap joints. With that bulky a log, it might behoove you to contact a fellow with a portable sawmill to at least rough in he shape.