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Thread: Woodmaster W-718 Planer - should I buy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    17

    Woodmaster W-718 Planer - should I buy?

    I have an opportunity to buy a used Woodmaster W-718. The asking price is 1000 and I think that I might be able to talk the guy down to 800.

    The machine is about 10 years old but has been used very little (not at all in the past 3-4 years). The guy selling it does not know if it has any accessories to go with it b/c it was his fathers that passed away.

    Heres the question, I need a thickness planer and this 18" capacity looks good to me. The ability to use it as a drum sander is nice also. Is the price right and will I get good results with it as a thickness planer? If I can not get the guy to lower the price, is it worth 1000?

    Thanks for the help, I am just trying to avoid a impulse buy that I will later regret.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    17
    or would I be better off with a dedicated planer?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    east coast of florida
    Posts
    1,482
    I had a chance to buy one at a similar price. The owner had two that he used in his business and said they were very good. He was closing up shop. At the time I didn't have the money. He swore up and down by them and did run a shop with them for many years till he desided to retire. You can't run a buisiness wih bad equipment so they must have worked well for him. Test it first. If it planes well and switches to drum sander and back to planner and still planes without any furher adjustment I would say buy it.

  4. #4
    I have small one man shop in central pa and space as well as price is always a major factor is my tool purchase decisions. Literally last weekend I took the family up to Manchester, Vermont to pick up my "new" 718. It is about 12 years old, and I paid 750 for it.

    My plans were to sell my Grizz 20" that I had upgraded to the carbide cutter head and replace it with this multi tool. I did tons of research (Tons and Tons!) And decided that the woodmaster was worth a shot.

    At first I was dissapointed with the cut quality. - tons of chatter. I replaced the blades with the Esta disposablade system (http://www.estausa.com/posiset06.html) The guy there was great to deal with by the way. Then I changed the belt out to a link type and following the forums from woodweb.com, I mounted the motor on a hinge. I did each step and checked the results. It improved a little each time. My hinge modification by the way was much simpler than the one shown on woodweb and only required purchasing two hinges and a few bolts and drilling some holes. The hinge conversion probably cost less than $10 and took about a half hour. The advantage to the way that I did it is that the belt size didn't need to be changed and it is conpletely reversible if I don't like it.

    I still get some chatter, and I don't know if part of it is that the knives may have lifted slightly while tightening the gibs. I plan on replacing all of my gib bolts as the are pretty chewed up from years of use in a molding shop. The chatter can be "nearly" eliminated by running at a slower speed, but the the time that it takes to sand out the marks from 10' per minute was very small and I was able to start at 150 grit. To sand out the marks from my Grizzly sprial cutter (Zebra stripes) took much longer.

    In the end, I am very happy with my purchase even though in many ways the woodmaster is inferior to my grizzly. Let me explain why.

    The woodmaster is EXTREMLY user friendly to someone with mechanical skills and ingenuity who wants to tweak and modify his own machine. The only major drawback to it is its low weight. The variable feed rate is awesome. For those small projects that you get to be meticulous with, you can slow the rate down practically to a stop if you want and get great results. The design is simple (remember KISS Keep It Simple Stupid!) and the parts are off the shelf. I have already changed the feed speed to 20' per minute just by changing out the feed pullies with pullies that I got from my local TSC. The 5 HP motor is a power house. The grizz was rated a the same but I think that the woodmaster actually has it!

    I have ordered my own version of the "Pro-pack" listed in the literature and it will be here soon. I can't wait to try out the drum sander and the gang saw attachments.

    Some hate the woodmaster and some love it. I am growing to love it just because if I have a problem with this tool, or just want to change something to work for my situation, I can do that. I am always modifying things and coming up with more efficient or intersing ways to do things. I hated being tied down by the inflexibilities of my grizzly, and it's a great tool, don't get me wrong. The grizz does it's job, and does it well - but I want more from a machine! I think that the woodmaster may just be the partner in crime that I have been looking for.

    I don't buy into the theory that you need to do al of your own planing. Large runs of lumber come to my shop surfaced to within 1/16 of my finished thickness and I finish the planing as I need the lumber. The extra 10 cents/bdft is more than worth to not have the time invested in planing, changing out DC bags, and disposing of dust.

    I just don't have the need to plane lumber all day, every day. The woodmaster planes at a faster rate than my grizz did, and with less time with the ROS. Combined with it's other abilities, I think that the woodmaster is a great idea.

    The people at woodmaster(Joe Brennan) are very helpful and even threw in some freebies with my order. I am getting a ower's manual and video for free, just like I had bought a new machine from them.

    I've gone on for long enough! My vote is that if the 718 that you are looking at has the drum sander, mouliding head, or gang saws: it is a good deal at $1000. Almost a no brainer. If it is just a planer, $800 would also be a good deal. If it is local, I may still go for the machine with no accessories and piece meal them as you want them. When I contacted Joe at woodmaster for info right after buying mime, he quoted a price of about $700 to me for my own version of the pro-pack. (I removed a few things like the "Slick bed" because I can make my own out of melamine.)

    Keep in mind while making your decision that you can get a 718 with the pro-pack and a warranty for $2300 (plus shipping). For me, I figured that I can buy a lot of spare parts for the money that I saved.

    If you have any more questions, I would be glad to offer another 2 cents.

    This post may have been long, but you should hear all of the stuff that I didn't type - that's right, I held back!

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    S.E. Tennessee ... just a bit North of Chattanooga
    Posts
    967
    Matthew .. .. .. would you mind posting a few pictures of your version of the hinged motor base ?? ?? ?? I'm about to do one also, and like to get as much info as possible before starting.

  6. #6

    Post No

    I wold have to say no ~ I am not a big fan of 1 machine does all.
    that's my opinion
    Brian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rudolph, WI
    Posts
    240
    Matthew,
    After reading your post about you having chatter marks in your lumber after using your 718 I just wonder if sometime along the 718’s previous life the head was warped when the former owner changed the planner knives with a “heavy hand”. I just wonder what you would find if you could take the planer head to a machine shop and have them put it on a lathe to check to see if it was out of round.
    I’ve got the Woodmaster 712 and the boards come out very smooth and I usually run the feed at full speed. When I change out the planer knives I take great care to tighten the gibs in the sequence as listed in the manual plus I tighten all three knives equally as I go. I never just tighten one down and go to the next. All three should be tightened at the same time so the head doesn’t get warped.
    Do you use a jig to make sure all knives are aligned exactly the same height? The jig that Woodmaster sells is pretty simple but it works great to align the knives.
    I’ve not tried the drum sander because I’ve got a Performax 16/32 so I never got around to trying out the Woodmaster sander. But, the gang saw(s) are great! If you have to run a bunch of molding you can run a couple thousand board feet of material though the blades and the molding comes out exactly the same width!
    I still haven’t gotten around to putting my main motor on hinges, but so far I’ve been pretty lucky on not getting any chatter marks in my planed boards nor the molding I’ve made on my machine. But, I’ll admit that when I am running molding I slow the feed down to about 30 to 40 fpm.
    Jim
    It's a biiiig mistake to allow any mechanical object to realize that you are in a hurry.
    _____________
    Jim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    196

    woodmaster w-718 planer - should I buy ?

    I also have one and it has some viberation but no chatter marks, I agree with some thing must be out of balance. It would be the best buy I have made if I would have only bought the planer. I have the gang saw, molder and sander kit and never used them, like someone also said I don`t like one thing that does it all. BARRY BRUNER

  9. #9
    Bob,


    I've never inserted pics to this forum before so, if I did it right,
    here are a couple pics of the motor mount mods:

    Woodmaster 9-30-07 001 (Medium).jpg

    Woodmaster 9-30-07 002 (Medium).jpg

    Woodmaster 9-30-07 004 (Medium).jpg

    Basically I took the rear (Closest to motor) angle iron off of the machine and flipped it over and re-attached it to the outside of the planer base. I mounted the bolts thread out so that it would be easier to ratchet.

    Then I took two blank hinges from TSC and clamped them into the proper position and drilled them and the longer angle iron and bolted together.

    I then drilled throught the holes that were used before to attach the three pieces of angle together and bolted the other side of the hinges on. I used two hinges instead of one barn door style hinge because the two blanks lined up better, and had almost no play at the hinge pin.

    After getting the mods done at the rear of the machine, I removed the bolts mounting to the front bar and let the motor sag and weight the belt.

    Now that I know that this works, I am going to find a piece of steel plate and make a motor mount plate to replace the angle irons that the motor is mounted to. That should eliminate the slight flex that is present currently.

    If you have any questions, just let me know!

    James,

    I have similar suspicions to yours about the round and for that matter, balance of the planing head. I am planning on taking it to a machine shop to check it all over including machineing the knive slots if necessary.

    I did buy a "Better" gague to check the dispose a blades and as far as it was concerned, the knives are near dead on. Although I am going to get or make a better set of gagues, I want the machine shop to check the knife slots and remachine them if necessary so that I can properly use the Esta's. What's the point of putting out the cash for dispose a blades if you can't save time on set up?

    Thanks for your comments!




    Hey! Did anybody see the set of flat backs that went for $112 on e-bay last night. I lost the bid literally in the last second! I gues the other guys was just that much faster. It looked like a very decent set of knives though. 34 I believe including lots of stock profiles, 5 crowns, and their bottom knives.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,632
    Ryan,
    I don't own one but used my neighbor's WM718 for a couple of days. His machine was the only one that I had access to that would plane curly wood cleanly. The variable feed rate saved the day for my batch of tightly quilted/tiger maple. I didn't have any sign of chatter while running it at about 4 fpm. I would buy one in a heartbeat at that price!

    Good luck,
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick Strauss; 09-30-2007 at 11:12 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rudolph, WI
    Posts
    240
    OH Man, you are only running one link belt? No wonder....!
    Just kidding, but the fact that you are running one belt on your Woodmaster answers one of my questions about putting link belt(s) on my machine. I was always under the impression that I'd have to run two belts. You don't get any belt slip with just the one?
    It's a biiiig mistake to allow any mechanical object to realize that you are in a hurry.
    _____________
    Jim

  12. #12
    James,

    No, I don't get any slip with just one belt. A contributor on woodweb stated the opinion that two standard belts were required to compensate for inadequate tensioning. I don't know if that is true, but I know that several people after converting to a hinge mount just removed one of the v belts with no problem.

    I noticed while running the two belts that they were bouncing and dancing all over the place. With just one link belt I have no slippage (that I can notice) and there is almost no belt dancing.

  13. #13
    Well, I recently picked up a Woodmaster 718 and installed some new knives yesterday. I noticed some waves in the planed piece -- and though it was very smooth, in the light (and later with a chalk shadow) you could see the waves well. When the machine is one, the two belts dance around like crazy ... so today I'm going to try the tips out here: (1) single linked belt and (2) hinged motor.

    Bookamer - What's the latest on the motor mount since you made this post last year? Did you end up getting a steel plate, or did the angle iron work well enough?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Bookamer View Post

    Woodmaster 9-30-07 001 (Medium).jpg

    Woodmaster 9-30-07 002 (Medium).jpg

    Woodmaster 9-30-07 004 (Medium).jpg

    Basically I took the rear (Closest to motor) angle iron off of the machine and flipped it over and re-attached it to the outside of the planer base. I mounted the bolts thread out so that it would be easier to ratchet.

    Then I took two blank hinges from TSC and clamped them into the proper position and drilled them and the longer angle iron and bolted together.

    I then drilled throught the holes that were used before to attach the three pieces of angle together and bolted the other side of the hinges on. I used two hinges instead of one barn door style hinge because the two blanks lined up better, and had almost no play at the hinge pin.

    After getting the mods done at the rear of the machine, I removed the bolts mounting to the front bar and let the motor sag and weight the belt.

    Now that I know that this works, I am going to find a piece of steel plate and make a motor mount plate to replace the angle irons that the motor is mounted to. That should eliminate the slight flex that is present currently.

    Well, here are the results from today. Took the advice from above, along with a purchase of a PowerTwist belt from Woodcraft & scrap piece of steel I had around the shop (thought I'd never use it!), and viola (well, sorta)

    This is the ball bearing hinge being installed directly to the steel plate. (Disregard all of the "other" holes in the plate, those were already there)


    This is where the hinge will attach to the cross bar.


    This is the motor installed on the hinge/steel plate and "hanging" on the saw (the piece of wood under it is only a temporary stand while I tighten the bolts)


    And a view from the side ...


    The finished product


    The GOOD NEWS is the chatter is less, the BAD NEWS is it is still NOT gone (as you can see on this chalk shadow) ... so, I'll guess I'll keep trying.

  15. #15
    Nice work.
    Some of that could be from the knives not being set the same height.
    How fast is your feed rate?

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