Gelplane

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Steve W, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    I was wondering if any of you guys own a Gelplane? The reason i am asking is that i want to build a similar tool for my own use (i just cant justify 3 grand for a tool i would use infrequently) and am trying to gather together all the info i can to do so, specifically i need to find out what the sfpm of the cutterhead is. This is not a spec that is typically given for any tool but if i could find the motor rpm, motor pulley diameter,cutterhead diameter and cutterhead pulley diameter i can calculate it. I am planning on using a larger diameter cutterhead so my pulley diameters need to be different to achieve the same sfpm , im assuming they have it right and there is no point me reinventing the wheel.

    Steve.
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The sound of it is about 10,000 RPM unloaded. Good luck with your home build. The real key to them isn't the cutter, but the evac system.
     
  3. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    I made one by cutting up a porter cable planer and fabricating some parts to make it work, similar to what this guy did I think. I don't quite know what he did, but I pretty much cut the front off to expose the cutter and used some different sized aluminum rollers to control the depth of cut. The roller on one side was flush with the cutter head blades and that rode on the planed surface, the other one allowed a cut depth of x thousandths of an inch, I don't remember how much. I believe I had two of the same size for the first cut and then switched one wheel so it was flush with the cutter.There was a guy that had one of those Gelplanes at the marina and it used the same disposable blades as my wood planer did so I figured the rest was probably about the same. It looked like it anyway. A strong vacuum hooked up will keep most of the stuff away from the innerds of the planer and the bearings are sealed. I had to fabricate the roller supports and a tight vacuum housing was pretty much it. I had to cut some of the aluminum housing on the planer that supported the cutting head, for clearance, and that was a one way thing as the planer can't ever be used as a normal wood planer anymore. I left as much as possible and didn't have any problems with it weakening the support of the head.
    [​IMG]

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenandpat/1060523097/

    I'm not sure what is said on this thread but it looks like they're trying the same kind of conversion. Maybe use Google translate to figure it out.

    http://foro.latabernadelpuerto.com/showthread.php?t=48050

    This planer they posted looks to have a flexible sole, that might work on convex and concave surfaces all by itself with a good vacuum hookup, but it wouldn't get into tight curves very well.

    [​IMG]

    I think this might be an exploded diagram parts list for the Gelplane. I cant quite remember how it regulates the cutting depth, but I think those U shaped arms are what does it.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?q=gelp...=120&start=8&ndsp=14&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:8,i:115

    .
     
  4. 30boat
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Portugal

    30boat Junior Member

    http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=342869
    Let me know if you need any more information.
     
  5. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    congratulations, it looks like it will do the job just fine, i love it when people actually build things, i didnt get around to building mine, i bought a new 10amp De Walt 4 1/2" angle grinder and an Amana spiral shaper head with indexable carbide blades and was doing a mock up, but then i found an actual Gelplane on Ebay, this was the first used one ive ever seen for sale and i got it for a decent price, not exactly cheap but its a $2700 tool new in the US and i got it for $800 which i was comfortable with, i dont mind paying for tools but the new price i couldnt justify. It came from a defunct motorhome company and looks to be very lightly used, i havnt used it yet and probably wont until next summer.

    Steve.
     
  6. 30boat
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Portugal

    30boat Junior Member

    Thanks.I can't understand why the Gelplane is so expensive.It's not a very complicated machine.I certainly can't afford to buy one so why not make one?
     
  7. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Since Gelcoat problems are rare these days I never see Gel planners .

    In the shipyard they use Concrete Surfacing grinders to remove gel.

    Bosch, Makita make them

    Perhaps rent one and give it a test drive.

    http://[​IMG]
     
  8. 30boat
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    30boat Junior Member

    It looks interesting but how does it work on concave surfaces?I've googled it but it's not on Bosch's website.It's for sale in the US but apparently not in Europe.
     
  9. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Ive never used one.

    I just see the shipyard guys using them . Be worthwhile to investigate.

    The last time I was involved in a gelcoat removal , we sandblasted it.
     
  10. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    Just so you guys understand, a gelplane is not for just removing bottom paint or gelcoat, it is for when you need to remove layers of glass without building in unfairness. While i havnt used mine yet i have seen boats that have been peeled with them and they do a far better job than anything else ive seen. Ive sand blasted the bottoms of fiberglass boats but only to strip the bottom paint and open up blisters, i wouldnt like to be removing substantial amounts of glass, its also very messy although i saw a guy in florida stripping the bottom of a powerboat with a unit that collected all the sand and reused it, it was impressive, while he was wearing a full face mask he was in shorts and sandels. Michael, theres a company here in the US that makes a tool similar to the makita you showed called the paint shaver pro or marine shaver pro depending on what market they are marketing too, it is under a grand and there are usually used ones on ebay but i dont see them working as well on a sailboat hull.

    Steve.
     
  11. Herman
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: The Netherlands

    Herman Senior Member

    Keep in mind the Gelplane also has a learning curve. Your first boat will not be the nicest one, and will need some fairing. As you get the knack, you can produce work that hardly needs fairing. (if at all)
     
  12. 30boat
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Portugal

    30boat Junior Member

    Homemade gelcoat peeler

    I've managed to finish my gelcoat peeler.It'll be used for about two days in all but the effort will be worth it if the finish attained minimizes the sanding and fairing that would have to be done had a grinder been used to remove the gelcoat.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. midnitmike
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    Location: Haines and Juneau

    midnitmike Senior Member

    Now that's a tool I'd be proud to have sitting on the shelf. Hmmm come to think of it I have an old planer laying around that might provide me with the parts for just such project. I see you added extra handles and a vacuum pickup port...very nice!

    MM
     
  14. 30boat
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Location: Portugal

    30boat Junior Member

    Let me know if I can help you in any way.I've had an idea or two since finishing this tool that would result in a lighter ,easier to make machine.
     

  15. midnitmike
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    Location: Haines and Juneau

    midnitmike Senior Member

    Well then I'd like to hear your thoughts...lighter and easier to build are enviable traits.

    MM
     
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