“While any cabinet shop can benefit from this planer/sander machine, a production shop will enjoy significant savings in labor,” says Bill Crofutt, Grizzly quality control manager. “It’s fairly common to buy lumber that has been planed, but not to the finished size. In one operation, the stock can be planed and finish-sanded to exacting tolerances, which of course saves one whole step. Or said another way, it doubles output.”
The planer/sander, model G0677, operates with a 3-phase, 15-hp motor for planing and sanding, 1-hp conveyer motor, and 1/4-hp motor that controls table elevation. A 5"-diameter spiral cutterhead, featuring six cutter rows and 188 indexable carbide inserts, spins at 4,600 rpm.
The cutterhead is mounted on a track and roller system that allows it to slide out of the machine for maintenance.
“Spiral cutterheads have a couple very distinct advantages over a straight-knife version,” Crofutt explains. “First, they are much quieter; thereby reducing noise pollution in the workplace. And more important to most is the excellent finish they leave on the wood. If some imbedded material were to damage the cutting surface, it is a simple matter to rotate one or more of the inserts to the next of their four cutting surfaces.”
The machine’s sanding drum is behind the cutterhead and accommodates a 25" x 60" belt. Grizzly has incorporated pneumatic belt tracking and three pressure rollers. The belt-changing procedure is the same as for a wide belt sander. The user simply has to shut off the machine, open the cabinet door, turn off the pneumatic tensioner, flip a lever and remove the sanding belt.
The variable speed conveyor belt measures 24" x 102-3/8" and operates from 14 to 60 fpm. Table elevation is digitally controlled and can be moved in several ways. The digital display is in 0.005" increments (0.1mm) and is shown in either inches or metric.
“It can simply be set to the desired final thickness by keying it in on the keypad,” says Crofutt. “If you see 0.750" on the digital display, you know the wood will be within a few thousandths of an inch of that after machining. Or you can move it a particular amount. For example, if you want to move the table 1/64" from its current position. It’s also possible to just use the up and down buttons or even the manual hand wheel.”
Other features include a steel body and frame, digital amp/load meter, disc brake emergency stop, and four 5" dust ports. The machine has a pneumatic requirement of 75 psi to provide the tension of the sanding belt and its oscillation.
The combination machine can also be used for a single function. If material is already sized and doesn’t need to be planed, the cutterhead can be quickly raised so the machine functions as a wide belt sander only.
“It will leave a very smooth finish that, in many cases, will be the final stage,” says Crofutt. “For fine furniture, in most cases, I think it would require some random orbital sanding, just like any other wide belt sander.
“This machine is all about saving money and increasing productivity. Lumber is often a little oversized and, at the same time, may vary in thickness. Normally, if a piece of stock is even 1/64" thicker than the rest, it will not have the same sanded finish due to the much heavier ‘cut’ with the sander. Worse yet, it can ruin a sanding belt and the stock. With this, even much larger variances in stock thickness have no effect on the final finish. And skipping a step by going directly to the wide belt sander, instead of planing first, saves labor and increases production.”
The Grizzly 24" double-head planer/ sander, model G0677, has an introductory price of $12,995.