Shopping for a Planer-Sander
From contributor P:
My understanding was that the cut capacity was limited with planer/sander machines. Based on this our company opted for separate machines.
From contributor G:
Ours is capable of removing as much material as we want it to. Maybe it varies for other brands.
If you go for a planer sander there are a few huge things you want to get right. After the planer you need at least a 120 grit belt to remove the normal marks from a planer head. I would rather see 100 or even 80 grit. A drum and then a combi-head is the best option. If you are going straight from planer to finished parts you want at least two sanding heads.
Second, shoes hold parts down. Rollers hold parts tight to the conveyor so they drive through. You have to know the difference. The longer the distance between hold down rollers the less positive the drive on parts shorter than the distance between them. Many of these machines were designed by idiots. They leave huge distances between rollers. You want a roller as close in front and behind the planer heads and sanding heads as possible.
Third, the more uneven your parts are going in, the harder it is to get them perfectly level coming out. If the parts are 1/8" off level on one side going in, the parts will not sit flat on the conveyor as the run through. This can cause issues with seemingly warped parts.
If you can afford it buy quality dead shaft heads are the best. When you have dead shaft sanding heads you can get the machine with air exclusion so you can pop heads up or down with the flip of a switch. It makes the machine much more versatile. The heads are more rigid so there is less vibration and better quality finish.
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