Gearing Up to Make Tongue and Groove Boards

What's the best way to equip yourself to machine T&G decking and planking (on a budget)? September 17, 2008

I'm looking for advice and suggestions on what machines are recommended to make surfaced tongue and groove decking, planking and paneling, I have about 50,000 feet of various widths and Im planning on processing 1", 2", and 3" thicknesses up to 24" wide.

I would also like the option of being able to use large timbers and make log siding. All the lumber is pine or fir and has been sawed by a Woodmizer. I'm trying to limit investment to under $15,000. I have 3 phase 400 amp electrical service. Not sure if I should be looking for a planer single, double or four sided, or a moulder, shaper or jointer?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor A:
Most machines are limited in width and thickness. The widest T&G machine I know of is a Baker M412 and it does 12 inches wide by 4 inches thick. Many more will only go 8 inches wide. Large planers will do one side but are often limited to 6 or 8 inches in thickness. You will run out of your $15 grand really quickly. There are some older machines cheap enough but require lots of space and are very heavy. I have done wide boards T&G with a router and bits and though it seems slow it does not take long to cover a floor with 1x22x12' boards. The Logosol PH260 and the Baker M412 are two machines you should look at.

From contributor C:
It sounds like you need a decent sized planer. 24" will get you about 9" tall, a straight line rip saw, and good shaper. If things take off, look at what you are doing the most of, and see about a moulder at that point. If you're making things that fit in a moulder, great, or if you are doing timbers a 4 sided planer might be better.

This is set-up will push your budget a little bit (assuming buying used), but will be very versatile for you. Of course, it will also be slow compared to a moulder, but I can't think of one that will cover everything you want to do, in your price range. One other note, keep in mind dust collection, especially if you get a moulder, air and tooling for each machine, which can add up quickly as well.