Planer thicknesser quandry.

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Ollie78
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Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Ollie78 » Sat May 30, 2020 11:22 am

Hello

I have decided to buy a new planer thicknesser which is driving me a bit around the bend. I have decided to go for a helical head with carbide inserts, mainly for reasons of being able to remove nicks simply and not have to change the knives 10 minutes after spending 15minutes getting them spot on, also better finish on rippled and figured woods.

I am doing mostly hardwood furniture and some joinery like sliding sash windows and the odd door and stuff from Utile or similar.
I think 310mm is the sweet spot for me 410mm probably too big for workshop 260mm I have always seems 10mm too small.
Looking at.

Axminster at310spt which looks like a bargain at the price ,big motor and capacity, fence doesn`t look great and must be removed to thickness.

Itech 300c which looks like it has a nicer fence than the Axminster slightly smaller capacity. Fence needs removing to thickness unlike its previous model that was like the hammer design.

Robland nxsd310 which looks nicely made best looking fence of the lot but I think still needs to be removed to thickness.

Hammer A3 31 with spiral block. Looks great and can lift up the beds without removing the fence. Cannot find a price for it. have gone to sign up for the felder website upon the promise of allowing me to see prices....still can`t see prices. I find this type of sales model extremely annoying.

I am looking for single phase ( I have 3 phase in the workshopshop but will have to pay a sparky to install me extra outlets etc)

My criteria is that it will need to go on wheels due to workshop limitations, I have to move my current machine accross a bit when running longer lengths which is no chore as its on wheels. This is one of the reasons I prefer the beds to lift up as one unit. The axminster one looks particularly awkward as you have to move the guard accross to even remove the fence.

I have considered a giant wadkin at similar prices but because it has to be a tiny bit mobile and I want a spiral head I have discounted these, although I would love a huge green beast with a motor like a barrel its not possible where I am.

Does anyone have any of the above machines to give opinion or is there any machines that I am not finding that will suit me better.

Thanks for any help.

Ollie

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by jfc » Sun May 31, 2020 10:48 am

the Wadkin BAO/S isnt that big , i have one in my small workshop .

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Ollie78 » Sun May 31, 2020 2:39 pm

Hi jfc

I did look at one of those, they look a proper machine but traditional knives I guess. Also considering the Sedgwick MB with a spiral or tersa block(second hand).

Having decided to buy a new planer/thicknesser I have been "researching" a bit on forums and the internet in general which has only added to my confusion.
I am interested in spiral/helical due in part to the shearing cut of the slightly angled and radiused cutters ( for awkward grain and figured woods) and the ability to change any part that gets chipped without changing the entire width, also longevity.
However studying pictures of many of spiral head designs not all are properly shear cutting but look like straight un radiused cutters at a perfectly straight angle, so even though they are a spiral I am not sure if they provide the stated advantages other than noise reduction and I guess easy changes if damaged.
The axminster looks like it shear cuts but the Robland and itech don`t appear to.
So I have been considering a tersa block instead as these are indexed also and seem very popular.

I just hate faffing about setting the knives perfect and if I am geting a new one might as well go for ease of use so indexed cutters of some kind for me.

I have a maximum budget of £3500 but would prefer £3000.

Ollie

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Leveller2911 » Sun May 31, 2020 2:52 pm

Thing is with Felder they monitor everyone who logs in on their website and then pester the f**k out of them. In the near future I will be buying a new Spindle moulder and extraction system and although I like my old 1980's Felder F700 I doubt I will be buying Felder purely on the basis of I'm f**ked off with being phoned up everytime I check out their website.. Any company who feel the need to pester people like Felder do aren't worth dealing with.... So rather than spending £10k+ with Felder I will likely go with SCM and P&J..

As for your quandry I have a 4 sided moulder with a maximum width of 245mm and rarely need to go any wider for my work which is windows,doors,kitchens etc.

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Ollie78 » Sun May 31, 2020 3:13 pm

Hi leveller2911

Felder Hammer have annoyed me before I have even spoken to anyone so I doubt they will get my money either. This type of practice always seems crazy, even Jewsons p*ss me off when I have to basically complain every time to get a decent price.

I agree with you about the width to a degree, mostly the 260 is enough but there has been enough times I could really have used an extra 20mm. Its not for the windows and stuff more for furniture with single live edge boards or multi board glue ups. Seems like if I am upgrading I might as well go 310mm.

Cheers
Ollie

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by woodsmith » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:38 am

I've got a Hammer A3 41 and really like it. I previously had a Scheppach and I've had a couple of Chinese imports to review, as I worked for a woodworking magazine, and the Hammer is hands down better. I don't have the spiral block as it only just became available after I bought mine. I have a separate thicknesser so don't have to swap modes very often, if I did I'd like a powered thicknesser bed as it would save a lot of winding up and down!
Felder do phone up occasionally but they are not pushy and you can tell them to stop and take you off the contact list. As an extra consideration my Felder table saw stopped working and they had an engineer out pretty quick who fixed it there and then. Whereas Axminster have a terrible reputation for service, they really peeed me off years ago and since then I've never bought anything off them.
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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Meccarroll » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:41 am

I started with an aluminium built 250mm DeWalt planer thicknesser which did the job but was slow, I upgraded to a 300mm cast iron Holtztec planer thicknesser (same as Startrite) which is a better machine by far but still slow as its cutting depth is limited to 3mm at a time. The surface tables have to be lifted before you can thickness also the fence taken off. Once I've thicknessed I have to lower the thickness table so I can close the surface tables back down. Put the fence back on etc. Not only that the dust extraction fits differently for each operation so that's also extra time. If you are going to buy a combined planer thicknesser I'd really consider all the options you have to go through to use it.

Having run through the above I have also used several old wadkin planer thicknessers (in other contractors workshops) that have had fixed surface tables meaning there is no need to lift the tables to thickness and they are miles better than any of the current Axminster, startrite, Sedgwick etc trade offerings. The older wadkins machines really are built for production in a professional environment. Worth considering as an option in my opinion even if you have to pay for three phase electrics.

The best option for saving time would be a four sider like Leveller uses. Pop the wood in one end and out it come all done the other. Very very quick, a huge time saver and no messing around with tables etc.

You can pop wheels on just about any machine it's moving the bugger if it's heavy that can be a pain especially when you are tired. All my machines are on wheels even my SCM panel saw.

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Ollie78 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:42 pm

Hi

I did a reply before but I think they must be approved before they appear.
Woodsmith, good to hear from someone with the Hammer. I currently have a Scheppach which I have had for a while, it is ok but setting the knives is a pain and the fence is annoying. I shall wait to see if I can find out the price !

Meccarroll, I have been looking at the sedgwick mb with solid tables, a second hand one might be possible. It would be nice to not have to transform the machine. A four sider is pretty much not going to fit (budget or space).


Thanks

Ollie

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Ollie78 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:29 pm

Further update

I am assuming these will be posted in order once approved.

I received a call from Felder today asking if they could help me etc. So I explained what I was looking for and asked a few questions about the machine.
Good to note that their silent power head is a true shear cut and slightly radiused cutters too.

They have given me an offer price very close to that of the Robland and I am very tempted indeed, 8 week wait though.
To be fair I was expecting it to be more expensive.

Need to sleep on it.

Ollie

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by thatsnotafestool » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:40 pm

Sedgwick. Every time. I had one. Then I had to sell it. I bought a Hammer. I rue the day. Not that it's that bad...in fact, out of your list, Hammer is streets ahead.
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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by thatsnotafestool » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:46 pm

Meccarroll wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:41 am
.....they are miles better than any of the current Axminster, startrite, Sedgwick etc trade offerings. ....

Are you sure ? :o All the Sedgwicks I've seen have a fixed set of tables.
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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Meccarroll » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:57 am

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:46 pm
Meccarroll wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:41 am
.....they are miles better than any of the current Axminster, startrite, Sedgwick etc trade offerings. ....

Are you sure ? :o All the Sedgwicks I've seen have a fixed set of tables.
I do like the build quality of sedgwick machines Roger and you are right they do have fixed surface tables, that's not where I feel they fall short. The good points about Sedgwick are that they are extremely well built, second good point is they have fixed surface tables so there is no need to lift the tables to thickness which saves a lot of time. The point that lets them down really badly for a professional workshop is the amount they can take off when thicknessing is very limited compared to an older wadkin. I have been in a few professional workshops that have have had both sedgwick and wadkin planer thicknessers available and the wadkin planer thicknessers are always used in preference and outperform the sedwicks. You have to use them side by side to see what I mean. Sedgwick may or may not have improved their machines in recent years but all the sedgwick planer thicknessers I've used over the years have been quite limited when thicknessing in comparison to the older wadkin machines.

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Ollie78 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:14 pm

Hi

An update.
I have spoken to Hammer about a couple of the points made here. As far as the aluminium fence they point out that the fences on all Felder even the high end format4 stuff is aluminium too, a fair point I think.
They say that indexing problems are mostly avoided by keeping the machine clean, which I do anyway. As for tracks or scalops they suggest that most of the reported issues are from pineapple style heads. They admit that if you change one blade due to a chip if it is much sharper than the surrounding ones a line will be noticable, suggesting that turning the adjacent tips reduces this.

Had a price for a Minimax 30c with xylent block. At £1000 more it has a bit smaller capacity but also a smaller motor at 2.2kw, also the fence comes off to lift the beds.
thatsnotafestool wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:40 pm
Sedgwick. Every time. I had one. Then I had to sell it. I bought a Hammer. I rue the day. Not that it's that bad...in fact, out of your list, Hammer is streets ahead.
What makes you miss the Sedgwick, where does the hammer let you down ?

The problem is, I keep looking at nice machines and they are just a bit more than the last one I looked at, then I am looking at £10,000 machines which of course are wonderful but I can`t spend that money.
The price difference between a Hammer A3 31 and a Minimax FS41e is a pretty nice bandsaw.

I do worry a bit about second hand machines I bought a second hand CNC machine and had a good bit of trouble getting it sorted, also a wadkin morticer which is great but did need a couple of parts and some fettling to get it spot on (both good now though).

I am only one man so I am not putting a M3 through it every week, even if I make up a bunch of sliding sashes I will plane up enough for the job then not plane for a few days while I get on the spindle.

Maybe my initial instinct to get the hammer was right. It is compelling at its price point.

Ollie

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by thatsnotafestool » Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:41 pm

Ollie78 wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:14 pm
.....
What makes you miss the Sedgwick, where does the hammer let you down ?

.....

Ollie
The fence. I know that the Hammer you're looking at has the fence fitted in the middle (the right place IMO...not at the end ..as on my Hammer combi that let's it flop around at the remote unfixed end...y'know, the important end near the cutter block ! Also my fence is dished. They all are. My Sedgwick fence was (a) cast iron (b) ultra-solid (c) flat.

I prefer fixed infeed and outfeed tables. It's a faff having to wind the thicknesser table down as far as I have to in order to go between modes on the Hammer. You still do on the Sedgwick but not as far (and trust me, after you've wound those handles round a few times, it's a chore). Having said that I don't know how far you have to wind down the tables on your Hammer variant. I suspect by the same amount...a lot.

But I have saved the worst 'til last. Unless I remember to squirt Woodslide on the thicknesser bed before use on the Hammer, I can guarantee that sooner or later (and sooner usually wins :( ) the thicknesser feed roller will refuse to feed the wood through and I have to lean on it with all my weight and force. Then as the timber gets near the end, run round to the output side and haul on that timber, as if my life was at risk, to finish the cut. It doesn't matter how much I'm trying to take off.

Decisions....decisions :D

Where do you live ? I'm oop North. And I mean the proper North...not the North Midlands aka Manchester or those soft Southern woosies in Yorkshire :lol:
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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Ollie78 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:11 pm

thatsnotafestool

Thanks for replying. The one I am looking at is the A3 31, it looks like it has a fixing at the end and in the middle too. My scheppach has only the one on the end hence all kinds of flapping about.

Its funny that the winding the handle up or down doesn`t worry me so much, I am so used to doing it for years on my current machine, it needs to go 160mm down to flip the guard. I think its made me remember to face and edge everything first before I flip it, it is annoying to forget one board !

Funny, that last problem is one I do get on my current machine sometimes, gentle encouragement is more what I need rather than fulll force. I think my rubber roller is worn out it does it on pine/ fir mostly it sort of wheelspins on the shiny surface and I get black marks.
I do wonder if there is an adjustment for roller tension on them somewhere. Sounds annoying though. Has it always done it?
I was thinking of sticking some self adhesive sandpaper strips round the roller on mine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQxKDAHW9hE this guy adjusted the roller to remove snipe maybe crank those same adjusters way down to give it more grip.

If I buy new and it happens straight away surely I could claim on warranty .

I am no good at choosing stuff.

I am down south, not Cornwall south but below Birmingham a good bit.

Ollie

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Meccarroll » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:33 am

Ollie if you are currently using a Shepach 250 mm planer thicknesser then changing to any 300mm cast iron planer will seem very different.

I have used the Shepach 250 planer for three months while working for a shop fitting company and found it to be very capable indeed. Changing from surface planing to thicknessing was not too difficult on the Shepach and it used to be relatively quick for a small planer, better than the Dewalt I had at the time. Everything is a lot lighter on a 250mm planer thicknesser so changing around operations is easier and a lot less arduous than on a 300mm cast iron machine.

The larger 300mm cast iron machines may take more effort to adjust the rise and fall because they are heavier and require more force, might not sound much but can make quite a difference if you are using one all day. If you buy a lift up and have to faff around lifting heavy tables and removing large cast-iron/aluminium fences to put them to one side it can be a real chore (not quite so with Sedwick).

If you get the opportunity try to check out the machines first to see how much effort they require from you to operate and compare them. It's worth checking how long it takes to change between operations also the range, speed and capacity they can actually operate at.

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by woodsmith » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:31 am

If you have the space I'd look at getting a relatively cheap thicknesser. I had a Dewalt for years and it worked for 95% of the thicknessing I need to do and saves so much time swapping modes.
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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by thatsnotafestool » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:28 am

woodsmith wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:31 am
If you have the space I'd look at getting a relatively cheap thicknesser. I had a Dewalt for years and it worked for 95% of the thicknessing I need to do and saves so much time swapping modes.
But it's bloody noisy !
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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by thatsnotafestool » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:41 am

Meccarroll wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:57 am
thatsnotafestool wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:46 pm
Meccarroll wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:41 am
.....they are miles better than any of the current Axminster, startrite, Sedgwick etc trade offerings. ....

Are you sure ? :o All the Sedgwicks I've seen have a fixed set of tables.
I do like the build quality of sedgwick machines Roger and you are right they do have fixed surface tables, that's not where I feel they fall short. The good points about Sedgwick are that they are extremely well built, second good point is they have fixed surface tables so there is no need to lift the tables to thickness which saves a lot of time. The point that lets them down really badly for a professional workshop is the amount they can take off when thicknessing is very limited compared to an older wadkin. I have been in a few professional workshops that have have had both sedgwick and wadkin planer thicknessers available and the wadkin planer thicknessers are always used in preference and outperform the sedwicks. You have to use them side by side to see what I mean. Sedgwick may or may not have improved their machines in recent years but all the sedgwick planer thicknessers I've used over the years have been quite limited when thicknessing in comparison to the older wadkin machines.
But we're not comparing Sedgwicks with Wadkins for Ollie as the Wadkin is too large.

It's really a toss-up between the Sedgwick and the Hammer, as far as I can see, for Ollie.
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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by thatsnotafestool » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:44 am

Ollie, although they are separate, the two tables do move up together as they are linked. You use two hands on the lifting levers..

If you do go down the Hammer route, make sure you get the digital dial for the thicknesser.

Re not gripping wood...OK as long as I remember to spray with Woodslide both before and during. Still a pain.

OK..I've made your decision for you. Buy a Sedgwick MB !
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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Meccarroll » Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:59 pm

Ollie, if this does not float your boat nothing will. Fully check out the seller to ensure this is a genuine sale though as there are some con artist about.

https://www.gumtree.com/p/planers/felde ... 1373070801


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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by thatsnotafestool » Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:08 pm

If the beds on whichever one you go for are too short then it's an easy job to add extensions.

Especially if you have holes already in the end of the outfeed table
Image

This just clips over the top
Image

And if you need support on the infeed side then ...
Image

And seeing as we're on a roll, the one thing wrong with the Hammer combi (and others) is the total lack of support for the spindle moulder and also for thin pieces of wood when ripping.

Sorted !
Image
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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by jfc » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:59 pm

just because a company uses ali fences on all its machines doesnt mean it a good choise of material for a fence , It just means thats what they use .

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Ollie78 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:12 pm

Meccaroll

I am sure whichever I choose will be superior to the Scheppach 2600 I have, it does have cast iron beds at least.
It has certainly punched above its weight in terms of what I have put through it over the years but hoping to step up a level with the next one.

Also, I would love that ad951 it seems very cheap, probably because no one can move it !! No winding the handle with that thing. Unfortunately its just too massive.
thatsnotafestool wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:41 am
But we're not comparing Sedgwicks with Wadkins for Ollie as the Wadkin is too large.

It's really a toss-up between the Sedgwick and the Hammer, as far as I can see, for Ollie.
This is about the size of it by this point. I have used a lovely old Wadkin 20 inch planer before and it was very nice/easy to use. I am certainly aware of the quality engineering that these machines exude. The sheer solidity is nice. Maybe one day.

thatsnotafestool
Thanks for the pictures, should be simple enough to blatantly copy your extensions ;) , cheers.

Jfc
jfc wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:59 pm
just because a company uses ali fences on all its machines doesnt mean it a good choise of material for a fence , It just means thats what they use .
This is true but What did aluminium do to you :lol:

Ollie

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Ollie78 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:46 pm

Holy crap

Check this beast out
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wadkin-BTS63 ... Sw0t5e2kcj

No aluminium here.

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Meccarroll » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:05 am

Ollie78 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:46 pm
Holy crap

Check this beast out
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wadkin-BTS63 ... Sw0t5e2kcj

No aluminium here.

On some of the older Wadkin machines the infeed roller is sectioned meaning they can individually feed several pieces of timber through the planer at the same time even if they are slightly different in thickness. This type of setup stops the chatter that you can get on thicknessers when you try to feed more than one piece of timber at a time. Most thicknessers have a one piece infeed roller which does limit the number of pieces you can feed through at any one time. It's just a point of interest to consider looking for. Also the feed rate and number of speeds the machine has too.

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by Meccarroll » Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:45 am

thatsnotafestool wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:41 am


But we're not comparing Sedgwicks with Wadkins for Ollie as the Wadkin is too large.

It's really a toss-up between the Sedgwick and the Hammer, as far as I can see, for Ollie.
The Wadkin BAOS is a nice size machine and I would compare it to a Sedgwick MB, I did just that in a ship repair workshop at Great Yarmouth. The firm had a Sedgwick planer thicknessers and a Wadkin BAOS, I used both Wadkin and Sedgwick and I prefered to use the Wadkin. I did look at buying a Sedgwick MB at one time (second hand) but after using several sedwick PT machines in contractors workshops I decided they were just too slow at planing timber for the money people wanted for them. If I change up my Holztech 300mm PT I would not do it for a Sedgwick MB unless it was a straight swap because the only real difference I'd notice is the advantage of fixed tables which is a benefit but everything else would stay the same. I have used the Scheppach 2600 that Ollie has right now and found it was a very capable machine probably just as quick as my Holztech or a Sedgwick MB. Sedwick are certainly one of the better trade PT out there but in a busy professional workshop they create a bottleneck in the machining process.

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by baburao » Wed Aug 26, 2020 9:51 am

I have a Hammer A3 41 and truly like it. I recently had a Scheppach and I've had several Chinese imports to survey, as I worked for a carpentry magazine, and the Hammer is hands-down better. I don't have the winding square as it just barely opened up after I purchased mine. I have a different thicknesser so don't need to trade modes frequently, in the event that I did I'd like a controlled thicknesser bed as it would spare a ton of twisting here and there!

Felder telephones up at times however they are not pushy and you can advise them to stop and take you off the contact list. As an additional thought, my Felder table saw quit working and they had a specialist out entirely fast who fixed it there and afterward. While Axminster has gained notoriety for administration, they truly stripped me off years back and from that point forward I've paid nothing off them.

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Re: Planer thicknesser quandry.

Post by scosarg » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:30 am

Not sure if this thread is still active, but if you do buy a Wadkin BAO/S we can get spiral cutter blocks made for it. It’s a bit of a faff to swap them over, but possible. Make sure the BAO/S has got antikickback fingers fitted... the early ones didn’t, and If you want to test an iTECH C300 planer thicknesser, let me know.
Paul

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