Hey everybody, Ive been shaping for about two years now and done about 10 boards. I feel like im finally getting the hang of it. Ive been kicking around the idea of buying a modified planer. I am currently using a standard wen planer which works great. But ive always been curious to see what its like with a modified one. Is there a learning curve? Should I keep on shaping with my simple planer?
A planer modified for shaping surfboards will make it easier to get good, repeatable results. But, you will need to relearn using the planer. I started with a standard electric wood planer and got very used to it. Without the mods, I end up lifting the planer to reduce the depth of the cut because it is hard to turn the depth adjustments smoothly, and quickly.
The modified planers allow you to change the depth of the cut with the depth knob, so you need to keep the planer flat on the board and use the adjustment knob. It isn’t hard to learn, but all the different planers will have a unique feel and way they work best. Some planers will give you a deeper cut, some planers have 2 blades, some only have one. I prefer 2 blades.
You will be very happy with a modified for surfboard shaping planer if you plan on making a lot of boards. Going from zero cut to max cut and back to zero with the planer firmly sitting against the board is why they are so much better.
If you plan on making a lot of boards, get a planer that can be serviced. A good Skil 100 is the gold standard, but getting parts and finding a reputable repair shop is getting hard. Skils are also heavier, so a lot of people prefer the old Clarke Hitachi, but that model is no longer being made. If you have the money, an Accurate Planer is a modern version of the Skil 100.
Thanks man, great info.