It doesn’t look to far off of my old Belsaw planer-molder I bought back before Sears got involved.
It was a work horse, compared to my little lunchbox planer. I sold it for that reason. I didn’t need to do a thousand feet of lumber at a run. My little Delta does fine.
I never got enough wood to run the thing on a molding project and finally sold it to a buddy, for his water bed manufacturing business. As such, I cannot speak to its quality for that purpose.
One thing to look at would be head speed. Obviously, like a router or shaper, the speed of the blades need to run at a higher speed than needed for a saw blade. Otherwise, running it as a molder would be akin to running my table saw as one using the Sears molding heads – it works, but it’s not a one pass adventure.
These days, if I was going to go with a molder, I’d stay with the component approach. Rather than fight switching the unit over to molding mode, or back, I’d stay with my Dewalt and buy a dedicated molder.
The Williams and Hussey unit has intrigued me for a few decades, but that’s a lot of machine for hobbying around.
The Belsaw, the stock planer blades were steel, so had to be sharpened. Back then, a set of carbides were around $300.00, so their cost could probably get you a little country these days.
The same applied to the molding blades. Because they were just steel, you could get (3ea) custom blades fashioned for a fairly reasonable price.
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