Craftsman is the latest machine manufacturer to bring granite to the table. The company has introduced 13" and 12-1/2" granite-top planers and a 4-1/8" planer/jointer with a granite table and fence.
"Granite brings that very smooth, flat surface," says Craftsman representative George Gibson. "You buy it today and 10 years from now you get that same surface. It will maintain its integrity."
The Craftsman Professional 13" planer, model 21748, has a 13" wide x 34" deep work surface that includes a granite table. Additional features include an eight-position preset depth gauge, depth-of-cut gauge and a reversible dust-collection chute with a 2-1/2" to 4" adaptor.
"The 13" gives you a larger capacity width-wise and goes to a maximum 6" depth of workpiece," Gibson says. "It has a steel cutterhead that contains three high-speed steel blades that are indexed, which means they are double-edged and the index pins set the alignment. The blades are available from Sears as replacement parts. It is a single-speed unit and the three-blade system has a cutterhead speed of 10,000 rpm, so with the three blades you are at 30,000 cuts per minute. The feed rate is 26 fpm."
The 13" planer is also available with an optional helical/spiral cutterhead.
Craftsman's 12-1/2" planer, model 21758, includes a granite table, cutterhead with two HSS double-edge blades, extension tables that fold up for storage, and reversible dust-collection chute.
"The 12-1/2" has a 12-amp motor and utilizes two lead screws to raise and lower the cutterhead," says Gibson. "The 13" unit uses four lead screws."
The Craftsman 4-1/8" jointer/planer, model 21789, offers a two-blade cutterhead and a 7-1/2-amp universal motor. The 22-7/16" fence tilts up to 45 degrees for chamfer cuts, providing an accurate work surface for jointing.
"The 4-1/8" jointer is designed with the granite table and the granite fence to give you an extremely accurate cutting surface," explains Gibson. "The alignment of the table is much better than what you would get with cast iron because cast iron does have a tendency to warp ... It's a bench-top jointer that can be brought on to a house construction or remodeling site [to produce] a very flat edge."
The Craftsman brand is available at Sears. The 13" planer sells for $500, while the 12-1/2" model is priced at $279. The 4-1/8" planer/ jointer retails for about $200.
For information, visit www.craftsman.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 2010 issue.