Record Power PT300
Friday 31 October 2008
This planer thicknesser gets tested by Colin Eden-Eadon
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.
FenceThe 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.
SurfacingThe 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.