I’ve owned my WM718 planer/molders for about four years now, so I’ve been through all the ups and downs. I picked up my planers from Woodmaster located in Kansas City Mo. and eagerly raced home with them. I purchased mine with the optional 7 1/2hp motors, everything else was standard equipment.
After uncrating and installing the casters I was done! I rolled the two WM718’s into place and I was off. Keep in mind that this was the first time in my life I had ever touched a planer/molder.
I ran the planer for about half a day with the stock planer knives in it before switching to the log siding knives in which the WM718’s were purchased for. I removed the dust collector hose and the machine hood to revile the cutter head. I unbolted the morse taper ends and carefully removed the cutter head. The log siding knives were ground perfectly and I was able to install them quickly. I set up the stock guides and by the end of the day I was cutting log siding like a pro.
Now a few years later and at least 250,000 ft. of siding, molding, gang sawing, and flat planing run through these two machines. I can say I’ve experienced nearly every problem that could ever happen.
Now for the highlights
Frame & Design
The machine frame is built from stamped steel. Although I would prefer a cast iron frame. This frame is surprisingly strong and stable. The machines design is fairly common with a rigid head and adjustable table. The footprint is compact but adequate, approximately 2 ft. by 4ft.
The Drive motor & cutter head
The standard drive motor for the WM718 is a 5hp single phase AC motor. This motor is more than enough power for nearly anything you could put through the machine. As for the cutter head it comes stock with a solid steel head with three flat planer knives factory installed.
The feed system
The standard feed motor is a 1/6hp DC gear motor with a variable adjustment from 0 to 16 feet per minute.
This motor uses a belt system to drive the rubber coated steel core feed rollers which are spring loaded.
The table & height adjustment
The main part of the table is cast iron and has stamped steel in and out feed table extensions. The table extensions are slotted for adjustable guides to keep stock running straight.
The table height is adjusted with a hand crank. This crank is connected by a chain drive to four threaded rods.
Pro’s and Con’s
Dollar for dollar Woodmaster has some of the best deals in the business, this machine is no exception. With its strong motor, 5 year warranty, and ease of use. This machine will make money!!!!!
I’m not in love with the spring loaded feed rollers. I would have preferred something that moved the rollers up and down evenly in order to keep even pressure on the board.