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Best planer (planer/molder) for the money non commercial operation

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Going to need a planer for my various projects going forward. Can be a stationary type, as I can make a cart to move. Prefer a self feeding one. $1,500 or so budget. 

Also how does a planer/molder work?


As to how they work - you put ugly, nasty, fresh off the mill, wood in one side and out the other pops perfection, dental crown moulding.  :D At least that is the theory.  In all seriousness there is a big difference between a planer and a moulder.  What is is you need to make?  

Williams and Hussey
Find a decent used one with knives for the price you're looking for. Capacity is a little limited but it depends on what you are looking to do.

Edit: rereading your post, it looks like you primary want a planer so my suggestion isn't too relevant.

Tom King:
I bought a Grizzly 12" planer/molder off Craigslist that's probably in that price range new.  

I used it as a molder once, but I mostly just need a few feet of something, so make that by hand with molding planes.  It did fine as a molder too, but is pretty slow, since you have to do multiple passes.

As a planer, it is surprisingly good, for a finish planer.  The feed rollers are rubber, and with sharp knives, the pieces come out with little left to do to them.

I use it as the final pass when I'm making replacement window sash, and use that surface as the outside, which will be painted, without touching it again.

Check with WDH and see where he got that tree smoother from. :D


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