Record Power PT300 archive

Friday 31 October 2008

This planer thicknesser gets tested by Colin Eden-Eadon

Gallery

If like me your workshop has a limited floor area you need the biggest machine that a single person can manage. The Record PT300 is just such a machine. It is solid but can just about be moved by one person. The reason this is relevant is that to be of any significant use for furniture building, a planer thicknesser needs to be able to handle a long heavy stick of timber without overbalancing, so you want the heaviest machine that your particular situation will allow. A planer doesn't get manhandled often but a totally immoveable machine is always a potential restriction in a small workshop.

Fence

The next thing one looks at is the fence. Is it solid and will it deflect? Well I can tell you that the fence is robust and doesn't deflect. The mechanism is a bit unsophisticated and clunky, but this is a machine that has been built to do a job at a certain price and to be honest, elegant engineering wasn't really high on the wants list.

Surfacing

The set-up for surfacing was straightforward - the controls where you wanted them and the extraction effective. What is the finish like? I was impressed. The three-knife cutter block gave a good result.

Blade changing on most machines is usually fiddly unless you have sophisticated engineering but this operation was no worse than expected within the price bracket. For overhand planing I would have preferred a longer take-off table, but then I would have to have paid more as well as need more workshop floor area. However, if you do have that extra space, you could use a good take-off roller or shop-built take-off table and you will be able to handle the longer lengths. There was a small but acceptable amount of snipe, and timber would normally be prepared to longer lengths and crosscut at a later stage, so any snipe would then be lost. I expect a longer time setting up the knives, and the tables would slightly improve the snipe.

Thicknessing

The conversion to thicknesser was simple - just lift the take-off table and lock into vertical position then flip up the extractor hood, lock that and you are ready to thickness. The thicknessing table is supported on four threaded columns and doesn't have a central pillar, but we found no problems on the version that we were testing. The production models will be fitted with brass collars on the columns to make the action slightly smoother and quieter. I would have liked to see a slower speed option because I prefer to take slightly longer but achieve a better finish on the final passes. As that is only a circuitry adjustment, perhaps that will be an option in the future? We are certainly looking forward to having a PT300 in our workshop for a long-term test.

The verdict

Although this machine is constructed abroad, Record Power is based in Sheffield and therefore easily contactable. If you want to buy from a British company that controls the design and production then you should be satisfied with the PT300 Planer Thicknesser. It is a simple, robust entry-level machine. If you want a bigger more capacious planer thicknesser, then worry not as Record Power has those in their showroom too!


Woodworkers Institute

Tagged In:

colin eden-eadon , Record Power PT300 , Planer Thicknesser

"It is a simple, robust entry-level machine"

The Numbers

Record Power PT300 Planer Thicknesser
Price: £999.99 (inc. VAT, correct at time of publication)
Surfacing width: 310mm
Thicknessing width: 305mm
Thicknessing height: 200mm
Infeed/outfeed: 600 x 320mm
Knives: 3-knife block, single sided HSS, £40 to replace
Motor Induction: 2.75kW, 3hp
Height: 1020mm
Width: 1250mm
Depth: 900mm
Weight: 175kg

The PT300

Contact Details

Contact: Record Power
Tel.: 0870 7701777