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Thread: Sliding Panel Saw Brands. New or Used?

  1. #1
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    Sliding Panel Saw Brands. New or Used?

    Iím starting to seriously look at sliding panel saws and trying to figure out the best bang for the buck but I absolutely have to have dead on accuracy. I will be using it mainly for cutting down 4 x 8 plywood sheets on a daily basis and a dado must work with the machine (for all I know they all accept dados). I would also like to stay at 10K and under.

    It looks like I can get a new Grizzly or Laguna for under 10k but searching at the X-Factory web site brands like Robland, Altendorf, Powermatic, and SCMI seem to be prevalent with many machines under 10K and many look like much better machines than the new Grizzly or Laguna . Any used machine I would consider would have to be less than 10 years old.

    Except for one new Grizzly model it looks like the rest are 3 phase machines which means Iíll have to spend another 1,000-1,500 for a phase converter. Any ideas which would be the best way to go? Are any of the used machines brands better than another? For some reason the SEMI 300 series looks interesting.

    Thanks,

    Terry

  2. #2
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    Get a VFD,it will be much cheaper.

  3. #3
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    What's a VFD?

    Terry

  4. #4
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    The fear in buying used is if the track is worn. Repairing them is outragous.

    If I where buying one, I would get a Felder. The X-Roll system seems far superior. They are available in single phase or 3 phase. A Felder Slider can be had for $10k but its entry level.

    Look at the blade system in Felder, it seems to use two holes in the blade which may irritate you. I am not sure.

    SCMI has a line called Technomax which are also available in single phase. I dont like SCMI... period.

    Altendorf is the Caddilac slider. (as is Martin). If you can be sure its got lots of life left in the slider, it would be a great saw.

    I would not buy a Chinese slider unless I had used it and spent some time making sure. If you start to have problems with one, you could always have problems with it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Teadtke View Post
    What's a VFD?

    Terry
    A VFD is used to transfer single phase power into 3 phase power. It can also add soft start and variable speed.

    For 3hp and under, they are super cheap. Over 3hp they start to really get expensive. They are technology, and over time, they will continue to fall in price..

    Many larger sliders are 9hp. At that point, an RPC (rotary phase converter) could be comparable to a VFD.
    An RPC doesnt offer the bells and whistles but can be used to run lots of different tools. A VFD is exclusive to the tool its running.

    Do loads of research on this type of purchase. Investigate the companies as well as the tools. EG. The Felder 500 uses concrete (or they did) as a ballast. It wouldnt bother me but I wouldnt want to find out after. I find SCMI horrid to deal with in my area.. This would stop me from buying from them... It may be different in your area?

    Some companies will try to force you to pay $1500 to have it set up. You need to know this before you have paid a deposit.

    Griggio makes a decent slider. Laguna may sell it .. I dont know. In the USA Mini Max sells sliders which are called Technomax in Canada..
    Last edited by Rick Fisher; 02-22-2009 at 9:41 PM.

  6. #6
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    A couple other Felder brands that use the X-roll slider, at least as an option, are Hammer and Format.

    I think you will be very happy with a good sliders accuracy, and they will do exactly what you are thinking of. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    As far as I'm concerned there is only two brands of panel saw. Striebig, and Holz-Her. The rest are just a disapointment after those two.

    But we all know what opinions are like.

  8. #8
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    I was of the impression that Hammer didnt use the X-Roll system. I could be wrong of course.

    It may be worth looking into.

    A person can sit on the track of a fully extended Felder 500. Another person can push them all the way back to the saw with one finger.

    Its pretty impressive.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for mentioning Felder Rick. I looked at the web site and the machines look nice. Might even be able to get a used one at that.

  10. #10
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    SCMI Sliders

    I purchased a used SCMI 350 N a year ago and I am one happy puppy. I run it on a Rotary Phase converter and your estimate on the price of a rotary is quite close. My Rotary is an American Rotary out of the Milwaukee area. Good product with excellent service. My saw is 6 years old and unbelieveable for accuracy. I paid $8900 USD and I paid another $900 Cdn to the SCM dealer to have them set it up. It was worth every penny. They are not your usual cabinet saw and accessories are expensive. A miter guage is $900 but again is probably worth it.The SCM rep set the fence for square and it is still dead on. I could have bought a new Mini Max or Nova series saw for what I paid for mine but there is no comparison. This saw sold for approx $17000 new. The price of used sliders seems to have dropped since I bought mine as a lot of the bigger shops are switching over to CNC equipment and the sliders get used less. Excellent for sheet goods. I had looked at Robland but service is not available in my area and they do not seem that popular. I have seen used WA 8 Altendorfs for IIRC in the $8900 used and they have only been around for 4 or 5 years. They are assembled in China now but the early one were assembled in Germany. I am slowly accepting that being Chinese does not necessarily mean poor quality

    Brian

  11. #11
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    There are lots of real good brands of sliding panel saws the two most common brands in commercial shops are Martin and Altendorf you might be able to find a used one for under 10k especially in todays economy. Seems like over on the Yahoo felder forum a lot of people lust after Martin equipment as being some of the best.
    If buying used I would look at the shop it is coming out of. A saw from a one or two person cabinetshop is probably going to be in better shape than one out of a large shop.
    I find that the prices on the x-factory web site a fairly overpriced compared to what equipment goes for in the real world a better site is www.woodweb.com although exfactory is a good place to see the wide variety of stuff out there.
    I wouldn't worry about a brand I've never heard of but I would research what kind of support that is available for it, you should also do this for the popular ones, just because everbody loves a company it doesn't mean that they can get parts for a 10 year old machine and parts for some of these saws are very expensive.
    I have a Rojek that has a 6' slider it's okay and was inexpensive when I got it but I proably wouldn't buy another one.
    Tom

  12. #12
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    Both Martin and some Scmi machines use concrete ballast. I believe that Martin started doing it first. My old shop mate had a felder it was OK but didn't like to keep its settings and had a kinda cheap tinny feel to some parts of it, he has since replaced it with an Altendorf which he says is much nicer. The Felder was not the current model but was probably bought 15 years ago. That said the Felder would have probably been fine in a one or two man shop but it couldn't stand up to 5 people very well.
    Tom

  13. #13
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    At our local Felder dealer, there is an older green Felder K-700 for sale. Its sitting amongst some newer 500's and 700's.

    The newer ones are far.. far superior.

  14. #14
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    At that price point, you can get a new loaded Felder 700 Series, which has been recently redesigned with a more robust trunnion and other refinements. I've had a Felder K700S Plus for about 5 or 6 years now, and cannot say enough about the quality, accuracy and durability of this machine. Some of the high-end Mini Max machines are also in your price range, and are fine machines as well. I would not recommend the Grizzly sliders for daily commerical duty. I don't feel that their crosscut fence and flip-stop system is very accurate, I looked at them in detail at the AWFS show in Vegas. I'm not a fan of Laguna organization, although they make a nice band saw.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Fisher View Post
    I was of the impression that Hammer didnt use the X-Roll system. I could be wrong of course.

    It may be worth looking into.

    A person can sit on the track of a fully extended Felder 500. Another person can push them all the way back to the saw with one finger.

    Its pretty impressive.

    No Rick, I think I was wrong. I just looked at the Felder site again, and I thought I had seen a Hammer with the X-roll there. Now I cant find it, but I did find a 500 series with it. Due to the vague color similarities, I think that's what I was thinking of.

    Scratch the Hammer off the X-roll list. Speaking of riding the slider, have you seen the video of Sep riding his? It's on the Felder sight. It's a long video, but worth the download time. About spilled my coffee the first time I saw that!

    What you said about the changes on the new Felder series over the last are very true. I looked at a 2000ish model 700 series when I was buying mine, and practically everything is changed. I think the older ones are probably good machines too, but, I'm glad there is a new one sitting in my shop

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