Woodstar PT85 Planer Thicknesser Product Review
Similar Planner Thicknessers are also sold, branded as: Charnwood, Clarke, Fox, Sealy & SIP.
These models may have slight differences in build and specification that address some of the problems I've identified with the Woodstar.
Conclusion, It's OK for the Money, but you would be better off spending the same on a better second-hand machine, if you can find one.
Well this is the advertising blurb, don't believe it all!
Woodstar PT85 Planer/Thicknesser. Ideal for those with limited space, if you are looking for a combination planer that is powerful, compact, and sturdy, the PT85 is just the number.
It's a perfect scaled down version of full sized machines but at a much lower price.
Having a 1250 watt motor it handles timber sections easily up to a maximum capacity of 204mm X 120mm.
4 metal wing feet ensures the machine will remain stable whilst planing longer timber sections.
The HSS knives give a smooth finish and keep the amount of sanding time to a minimum.
Made from steel and cast alloy components, the woodstar PT85 is of sturdy construction and will give years of perfect planing results.
Motor power 1250 watts.
Planing width: 204mm.
Thicknessing capacity: 204mm x 120mm.
Table size: 7347/210mm.
Two things I'd disagree with here:
“handles timber sections easily up to a maximum capacity of 204mm X 120mm.” For “easily” read - just about manages on a thin cut.
Two instances of the word “perfect” should say – adequate, for the money.
Detailed Planer Thicknesser (Jointer) Review.
Video Part 1. Overview and planner / Surfacer
Summary - The top planer / surfacer is a bit of let down although with some effort you can get reasonable results from it.
Problems with the Woodstar PT85 Surface Planner
1.The fence is really flimsy. No use when you to have an accurate square edge. The fitting of the fence isn't good its fiddly to take on and off when converting from planner to thicknesser.
Clamp a piece of squared up timber to the out-feed table
2. The in-feed table is difficult to adjust accurately. The adjustment knob doesn't move the table in alignment with the blade and out-feed table.
Solution – Knock it sideways and hope it stays in the right place.
3. The blade has to be set high. This is so that when the thicknesser is being used, marks left by the in-feed roller are removed. With the Blade set at this height you can't adjust the surface planner to take a really fine cut.
Solution – Reset the blades every time you change from planner to thicknesser. No chance am I going to be doing that every time. So I put up with the poor surface planer performance on the odd times I use it.
Video Part 2. Overview and Thicknesser / Jointer
Summary - Good performance. As long as you how how to maintain it. The instructions don't tell you.
Problems with the Woodstar PT85 Thicknesser
Only a couple. After a few hours use the timber was getting wavy finish. The adjustment and support of the platen had “worn in” so it went a bit wobbly.
Tighten the chain adjuster so the 4 screwed rods don't have any slight independent movement. Tighten the nuts on the bottom of each screwed rod so there isn't any movement in the bearings.
Cutter Block and Feed Roller Gearing
The drive system, although a bit roughly put together with cheap components does seem to be standing up well. It's not given me any problems.
Verdict on the Woodstar PT85.
Similar planer thicknessers also sold by Charnwood, Clarke, Fox, Sealy & SIP
I don't think anything else is available with a similar specification for the same money. The thicknesser part works well and gives a good finish. The surface planer works but its difficult to get a good degree of accuracy with it. I've put a few hundred meters of timber through mine and it's holding up well. The blade clamp screws could be better quality and the maintenance instructions more comprehensive.
On a limited budget it's a good buy.
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If you would like to leave a comment or add your experience I've added a blog post here