Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Spending, Again!!

You remember that ‘profit’ I talked about making on eBay last weekend? Well, it looks as though it may not even last me for one full week. Auction sites are very dangerous, at times. There I was, casually ‘watching’ an auction for a 6in/150mm surface planer (jointer) in Newport (just the other side of the River Severn). That one sold for only Β£200 and, in a moment of intrigue, I clicked on the ‘see similar items’, not expecting to find much. Certainly not anything even relatively close to home…

I picked it up this afternoon, straight after work – I’m glad I haven’t yet been able to sell my van! πŸ˜€

It’s an Axminster CT150, with a planing width of 150mm and beds (or tables) nearing 1.2m (4ft) in length. So, it’s narrower than my combined planer/thicknesser but also, several inches longer. I cannot recall a time where I’ve had to flatten or straighten a board any more than 6in in width… I rarely work with anything wider than 4in/100mm, if I’m honest. Anything wider can be ripped down and re-joined after thicknessing, anyway. Sometimes, that’s even of benefit to the machining process, where the board may be badly warped or distorted.

Having that wheelchair ramp in the back made light work of loading the machine in to the back of my van. With built in wheels (that I wasn’t aware of, on this model), it rolled straight up the ramp. I had a job to try and restrain it, though. I meant to bring some scraps of wood, ply and cardboard with me but, didn’t really give myself the time for preparation. It’s about half the weight of my larger AW106PT planer/thicknesser and, as it’s quite top heavy, it doesn’t take much for it to lean in any direction.

I did have some bungee straps to hand and I did attempt to ‘wedge’ it in place with some general ‘crap’ that I had lying around in the van (tyre pump, my backpack, bubble wrap…) but, not long after leaving and having to break suddenly when a bus pulled out in front of me (the ABS is more sensitive than I’m used to), the planer did tip back and forth for a moment, giving me a real fright – thankfully though, I’d left the ramp in the ‘up’ position, meaning the rear windows were always protected.

This machine was located in a storage unit in Frome (near Bath, Somerset) and had been there, unused, ever since the seller bought it, along with several other machines. It was a nice drive through mostly unknown roads (for me) and the location was surprisingly easy to find – I think this is the first such outing where I’ve not gotten lost or ‘deliberately‘ taken a wrong turning! πŸ™‚ From Farrington Gurney on the A37, through the village of Midsomer Norton and then through the town of Radstock, before I reached Frome. I did pass somewhere called ‘Ammersdown’, which made me smile. My route home was slightly different, with a familiar wind down Burrington Combe, near Cheddar. With all the dips, bends and sweeps along the way, it really put my driving and cargo-caring abilities to the test.

…That’s why the machine isn’t upright in either of those first two photos! 😳

I wasn’t far from Interesting Timbers on the way home and also passed by Charltons World of Wood, which I’ve always wanted to visit. But, I stayed strong and avoided a visit to either, which would ultimately have resulted in more money being spent! I’ve just had an e-mail from one of my buyers asking for a partial refund or some form of compensation as well… 😦

Like a lot of used machinery, it’s covered with rust in places (some much worse than others) and it’ll need a serious deep clean before I look at setting it up properly, if it needs it. The motor sounds fine though. Even for Β£180, the cost of a new motor wouldn’t have been unreasonable, in this instance. As I mentioned earlier; this planer feels a bit unstable on its own, especially on my wonky concrete floor.

There are holes for you to secure it permanently to the floor but, if I don’t buy a mobile base, I’ll start building a wooden surround to fix it to, as I find the working height to be much lower than what I’m used to. Not sure if I’ll bother with the wheels, as it is about half the weight of my other machine.

When the machine is running, it is surprisingly noisy, for an induction-motored planer. This isn’t so much to do with the motor but I suspect there may be an issue of vibration, somewhere. Some of the screws were loose in places and it’s possible they’d worked lose from this, over time. Looking closely at the main V-belt, you can see a slight ‘kink’ where it’s distorted, just to the right of the next image. This machine’s been sat stationary for so long, it’s possible that this may be the culprit and it may also warrant a replacement (no great expense).

I’ve downloaded and printed out a spare manual from Axminster’s downloads page but, I haven’t yet figured out how to relieve the tension on the belt, if I do intend to swap it for a new one. Usually, this simply involves loosening the screws or bolts securing the motor to the body of machine so that it can be moved.

Now, I should add that I am also looking to keep my AW106PT planer/thicknesser. It seems daft now, to consider doing anything else with it, like selling. It has good capacities and, unlike too many stand-alone thicknessers on the UK market, it has a quiet induction motor. Even the old single-phase Multico mahines on eBay sell for at least Β£350. They look much bigger than mine and they only seem to pop up every once in a while.

My new planer/jointer is by no means in its permanent resting place. That’s likely to be closely to the wood rack you can see, where the table saw/router table station is currently sat – which I’ve decided to try and sell (I’ll go in to that more in another post, over the weekend). You can just see the AW106PT sat in front of the pillar drill. I’ve actually removed both cast iron surfacing tables, the main fence and the bridge guard and what a difference that makes, in terms of the lesser space the machine now consumes, without those great big tables halfway up in the air!

I’ll try to store these somewhere safe, just in case I do decide to sell the machine or, maybe I’ll even want to fit them back on the machine, some day.

My bobbin sander’s also been relocated to a position just beside the mitre saw station. It won’t stay here for long and, once the table saw’s gone, it’ll probably find its way back towards that corner near the extractor, where it was before.

Before I can let you know what I think of the machine, I’ve still got a lot of work to do in giving the planer a very thorough clean. I’m sure I’ll have to strip some parts of it as well.

At least I managed to avoid buying any wood today. I just hope I don’t find myself searching for small, used drum sanders too often…! πŸ˜‰

Thanks for reading.

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6 responses to “Spending, Again!!

  1. Stephane Daury 16/03/2012 at 21:30

    Good investment though! πŸ™‚

  2. Bongodrummer 16/03/2012 at 22:31

    looks nice. And like you have some new cabinet room beneath it πŸ˜›

    • Olly Parry-Jones 17/03/2012 at 09:25

      You’re right, Bongo – I hadn’t thought of that but, it’s more of a reason to build my own base or stand so I can utilise the storage space inside! πŸ™‚

  3. Jeremy Cook 17/03/2012 at 15:43

    Soon you’ll have all the tools that you want and will never have to buy another. Wait, that’s not right at all :)… Hope it works out for you!

  4. anthony 09/03/2015 at 22:30

    Hi Olly. 2 years on, I’m wondering how you got on with the ct150. I’m about to get one (maybe..)
    anthonyjamesbrown@yahoo.com

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