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I have a 12" Portable Power Planer. Running the strips pith side up makes them all the same thickness.

Make a light weight wood adjustable starter angle form, 30 degrees to 52 degrees on one side and 60 degrees on the other side. Run it and the strips through the Power Planer. Best power feed beveler I've ever used!  (Don Schneider)

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You may have a Power Feed Beveler and not know it.

I have a 12" Power Planer that I've used with a very light weight carrier, actually an adjustable starter form. The form has a starter groove on one side and a no trapper 60° groove on the other that works pretty well.

The first thing to do is run the strips through without the carrier, pith side up and thickness plane them slightly over size for the largest dimension of the section at hand.  This goes very fast because the planer being 12" wide you don't have to wait for one to finish before you start the next one.

Adjust the thickness on the planner so it will feed the form through but not cut it. Adjust the starter form so that the enamel side of the strip is slightly above the top surface of the form. Put the strips in the starter groove side and run all of the strips through one at a time. The power feed rolls force the strips into the groove and hold the them in place.

Turn the carrier form over and run the strips through on the 60° side.

Bind and heat treat. Works well for me and I didn't have to build a Power Feed Beveler.

If you don't have a Power Planer, you can buy one for about $300 and they are a very handy tool to have around for lots of other projects.  (Don Schneider)

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I'm a one man operation, but I'm getting more orders than I can fill, and keep the quality high. I hand plane, split & flame. I have a Dewalt 12 1/2" planer for converting rough cut lumber into useable boards. I thought long & hard about how to use it for helping with the cane rods. It occurred to me, that I would set my final form wide on one end, I could plane all 18 pieces of cane down to +30 thousands of their finished dimensions with the Dewalt planer, and then toss them right into the final form, with no rough planing. As long as you are careful with the dimensions, this works great! It enables me to convert the strips (once straightened and nodes compressed) to tapered strips very easily. Also, the apex does NOT wander so much this way, as I plane the pieces on both sides AND the bottom. When you start to hand plane, they apex seems to want to stay on center. Hope this can help someone.   (Jerry Andrews)

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Over the years I have referred to an M & M moulder planer that a trained chimp could convert to a rough mill, and a higher primate could turn into a finish mill.

To make the rough mill, you remove the old shaft designed for moulding knives or planing knives, and put in a new shaft to handle the standard 2.75 inch sixty degree HSS cutters.  You need to mill a keyway, and you lock the cutters in location with one fixed shaft collar and one that you can remove.  The MDF or aluminum bed and holddowns and fence are self explanatory.  Use a full horse motor and run at 5500 to 6000 rpm you will be able to conventional feed at about an inch or a little more per second and take some pretty beefy cuts.  Rough sixties in a single pass from half inch square to 0.220" in 45 seconds or so.  And you can really shove that bamboo through.  With a one inch shaft, you don't have to worry about a wimpy router collet getting upset and bent out of shape.

This M&M moulder planer is different from other six inch cast iron moulder planers is that there is adequate rood above the shaft for 2.75 inch milling cutters.  That is why I like this simple machine.

I hope I got the link correct.  If I did not, just search for "moulder planer" and you will see the red M&M machine.  I think it weighs 85 pounds.  I cannot remember.   I sold mine a couple of years ago.  This might work for someone who won't need shipping.  (Chris Lucker)

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Has anyone tried using a small surface planer as a rough beveler?  I can see where it might work. Any thoughts?  (Tom Kurtis)

    Look here. (Don Schneider)

    Yes to your question. I use a power planer as a rough beveller. I have a 1x4 four feet long with a 60* groove cut down the center length wise. The groove is about a 1/4 " deep. It works great!.  (Mark Dyba)

    I have used both a hand power planer and a 12 inch Delta power plane with mixed results.  For the Delta I put a cleat on my roughing form and adjusted the cutting height of the planer to just clear the form.  If the strips are perfect the strip slides on the form through the planer and I get a nice 60 angle on one side.   Then I use an old wooden final planing form with the cleat (to prevent the form from moving under the rollers) and I get the other angle.  Now the strip is 60 degree, roughed out, no taper.  The problem is most strips are not identical so I was always having to adjust the planer height.  If the strips were too wide they tended to roll in the form.  It is hard to hold the 60 angle with either method.  I thought I could get very consistent strips by sawing, but they were more difficult to do the final tapering by hand planing because of grain runout.  Hand split strips, straightened and node flattened, and a hand planer along with your wooden forms are probably the best.

    But, I am back to hand planing wet strips.  (Bob McElvain)

      I roughed out the strips for my last couple rods with a bench top planer (like the Delta Bob mentioned).  Only difference is that I let the planer pull the wooden form and strip through the planner together.  That works fine with a light weight form.  I made 3 different fixed forms for the process.  One to cut the first 60, a deep tapered 60 and a shallow tapered 60.  I cut it to close with the shallow tapered 60 and lost a few strips.  The deeper 60 worked fine for rough tapered strips ready for final hand planing.

      I suppose I'll go ahead and make an adjustable wooden form to have more control of the rough taper.  I'd like to make the giant leap to a MHM, but an adjustable wooden form might be just a tad cheaper.  I'm still trying to resist the MHM.  (David Bolin)

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I think I have found an appropriate used surface grinder that I may be able to convert to a mill.  Any pointers as to how to accomplish this??  I emailed Chris Lucker as I believe he has done this in the past, but I'm not sure if he is still "on the list."  (David Van Burgel)

    You'll need a set of 60 degree side milling cutters with the appropriate size center hole and diameter small enough to clear the top of the housing, 2 3/4" should work, try www.mscdirect.com, that's where I get mine. You'll also need to invent a bed for it to hold the strip and  set the taper you want on it. Have fun, it won't be the easiest thing you've ever done, but should work well when you get it up and running. If I can find Chris's email address in my collection of past emails, I'll send it to you, he has made a lot of mills out of various pieces of equipment.  (John Channer)

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