Author Topic: Ridgid R4330 Planer  (Read 8103 times)

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Offline RL

  • Posts: 3038
Ridgid R4330 Planer
« on: June 06, 2010, 08:14 PM »
I finally bit the bullet and bought a planer yesterday. Up until now, I have either bought my lumber pre-dimensioned or asked a cabinetmaker friend to help me bring it down to size in his workshop. Apart from the higher cost of the wood, I did not want to bother my friend anymore and I also wanted to have the flexibility to mill lumber to exactly the thickness that I wanted even after I had drawn up the project plans. Plans change, right?

So the first question was whether to get a big floor model or a smaller "lunchbox" model. Normally I regret taking the smaller option but in this case I could not justify the significantly higher expense of the floor models for what is essentially a hobby. The second question was which brand to go for. After reading every review I could, two currently available models stand out- the Ridgid R4330 and the Dewalt 735. Most reviews favour the DW735, but it costs about $200 more than the R4330.

I just could not see any significant difference in features between the two, so I went for the cheaper Ridgid. After all, there is a one-month no questions asked refund policy at the BORG and the Ridgid has a lifetime warranty.

I really took my time to set it up correctly, levelling the infeed and outfeed tables as best I could and setting up a roller stand in front of the planer and a table extension behind it. Everything was as simple as it could be, maybe 30 minutes set up time? For dust collection I used my 12 gallon Ridgid wet/dry vac which I emptied and cleaned, and inserted a new fine dust filter.

The first wood I passed through was a 24" x 6" x 1" piece of walnut with practically zero warp. I erred on the side of caution lowering the head by very small degrees aiming for a 3/4" final thickness. I flipped the board a couple of times, planing both sides evenly. My digital calipers read .764" when I had finished and a straight edge confirmed that the plane was very true. No snipe either. So a satisfactory start.

My next challenge was a similarly-sized piece of purpleheart. This has the tendency to suffer some tear-out but the result was ok. At first I fed the board the wrong way through the planer as I was finding it hard to determine grain direction, but I quickly realised and turned it round. Again, the calipers read 0.76" when finished. No snipe again. I could re-calibrate the depth scale but honestly, when you are under 1/64" out, it is practically impossible to get closer (this isn't a Festool after all!).

Third and last, I decided to really go for it. My next project is going to be a wall cabinet with door panels made from birds eye maple. I found a nice piece recently, almost 9 inches wide, 9' long and 1" thick. I can probably get four good panels from it. The piece is quite warped along its length so I cut it in half before passing it through the planer. Because of its length there was some minor snipe at the start of the board, maybe 2" or so, but oddly enough no snipe at the end. The biggest problem when planing birds eye maple is tearout. The eyes can really pop out. I was taking off less than 1/32 at a time but there was still some tearout, particularly where the grain switched direction about 2/3 of the way down the board. Essentially I had to sacrifice 1/3 of the board. I decided that this was preferable to cutting the board where the grain switched direction and planing it separately as the snipe would cost me 4" more of lost board and I would rather maximise the good part of the board. I can always try to sand or hand plane the part of the board with tearout, or use it as a test piece for finishes etc.

In summary I was pretty happy with the planer's performance. I had been worried about whether my dust collection would be up to the task, but after all the planing I had done, I had filled about 2/3rds of the 12 gallon vac, and there were hardly any spilt chips. The CT22 would definitely not suffice. I used ear protection but I think more noise came from the vac than the planer to be honest. I am sure there are better planers out there, but for my needs this one did the job as required at an acceptable price.

Richard.



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Offline John Stevens

  • Posts: 792
  • Ardmore, PA
Re: Ridgid R4330 Planer
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 09:44 PM »
Congratulations, Richard.  I have an older model of Ridgid's planer, and like yours, it works quite well when the blades are sharp.  I own three Ridgid power tools and two of the three were a good value for the price.

Regards,

John
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline Wood_Junkie

  • Posts: 1313
Re: Ridgid R4330 Planer
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 10:33 PM »
Congratulations, Richard.  I have an older model of Ridgid's planer, and like yours, it works quite well when the blades are sharp.  I own three Ridgid power tools and two of the three were a good value for the price.

Regards,

John

I also have the TP1300 and like it very much.  Everything I've read about the R4330 over the Ridgidforum has been overwhelmingly positive.

Just curious... which of the three was not a good value?  ... Hrrm... I'm going to guess... Bandsaw (BS1400)?

Offline WarnerConstCo.

  • Posts: 4072
    • Warner Mill Works
Re: Ridgid R4330 Planer
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 09:16 PM »
I was once friends with a cabinet guy that used an older ridgid to do all his planning.

I think it was mainly due to the fact that his shop was like 10#'s of crap in a 5# bag.

I found it real funny that all the other equipment was either scmi or omga. [big grin]