Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23

Thread: New Hammer combo machine on the way!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    275

    New Hammer combo machine on the way!

    Fellas,

    I just pulled the trigger on a new Hammer C3 31 Comfort. Really excited about getting back into woodworking after a seven year break!

    After laying out the 1-car shop space for the shop in my 3-car garage, it became clear that I didn't have enough room for separates. I initially tried to get a Hammer A3 31, only to find it's on back order for 6+ months. They had a Hammer K3 sliding table saw in stock, but the slider was only 31" long, I quickly realized that I wouldn't be getting the benefit of the slider for much of my planned projects. However, they had a C3 31 combo machine in stock locally and at just the right size. I've watched enough videos to see that switching between jointer-planer to saw work is not a biggie. The big hit comes when I want to use the shaper. At this stage as I near retirement, I'm in less of a hurry and want to enjoy the process of woodworking, so I decided to pull the trigger.

    Hammer has a pretty comprehensive package as part of their sale on the machine. I knew what I wanted, as I used to own a couple of Felder machines. To my surprise, those extras were pretty much what I was looking for. Upgrades included in the discounted package deal are:
    • 80" slider and outrigger
    • Spiral cutter block on the 12" jointer planer
    • scoring unit with blades
    • precision miter index system (exactly sets common angles with a pin)
    • prep for dado
    • Various shaper goodies, including upgraded precision fence system, 1-1/4" spindle, and a 1/2" router collet
    • mobility kit


    I added a couple of extras that I will use frequently:
    • shorty crosscut fence for smaller work
    • a couple of table extensions, one for slider and one for saw outfeed or planar outfeed
    • digital planer thickness readout in the handwheel


    First project will be a lot of fun and will be putting this beast through all the paces. It's a large armoire for my daughter to hang her clothes in. I have a beautiful stash of African mahogany, including some nice figure for the raised panel doors. One piece of wood is just over 11" wide and another is 9", perfect for the capacity of this machine. I'll get a ton of work on the shaper, jointer-planer, and will make full use of the 80" slider stroke. I kinda wish I had a bandsaw, as I need to book-match resaw the doors. I may pay the local lumberyard for this, as all but 4 cuts can be done on the slider. I'm keeping my eyes open for a used bandsaw.

    I'm most excited about learning to use the shaper, as I've had a fair amount of experience with the rest.

    I'm in the process of moving, so I won't be able to set up the shop for over a month. In the meantime, I'll have to settle for Norm Abrams re-runs

    Cheers

    Todd
    Last edited by Todd Solomon; 04-27-2020 at 10:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Nice! Enjoy your combo machine — I love mine (cf741)!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Austin Texas
    Posts
    1,845
    Welcome back to wworking Todd. I imagine you will enjoy your new machine putting it through the paces. Sounds like the package will do some good. A word about the probably beautiful looking African Mahogany you have - it can move considerably. I have never had kiln dried wood move as much after initial dimensioning as I have for the one larger project I completed using African Mahogany. Best to sneak up to final dimensions in two-three steps and clamp down to prevent movement or to have it settle in at a flat/straight state. It is some pretty stuff though and finishes nicely. Easy to work when you can get it to settle down. Good luck and have fun with your new machine.
    David

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    275
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike King View Post
    Nice! Enjoy your combo machine — I love mine (cf741)!
    Very nice! Years ago I had a K700S Plus and an AD741. Sweet machines both of them, actually remarkable the level of quality and attention to detail. The Hammer is the little brother haha. It gets pretty solid reviews, looking forward to actually cutting something again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    275
    Quote Originally Posted by David Eisenhauer View Post
    Welcome back to wworking Todd. I imagine you will enjoy your new machine putting it through the paces. Sounds like the package will do some good. A word about the probably beautiful looking African Mahogany you have - it can move considerably. I have never had kiln dried wood move as much after initial dimensioning as I have for the one larger project I completed using African Mahogany. Best to sneak up to final dimensions in two-three steps and clamp down to prevent movement or to have it settle in at a flat/straight state. It is some pretty stuff though and finishes nicely. Easy to work when you can get it to settle down. Good luck and have fun with your new machine.
    Thanks David, and I appreciate the insights on the African mahogany. Years ago I made a settee with carved cabriole legs out of it, I was impressed at how well it worked. Really nice wood and beautiful once finished. I bought these boards already kiln dried about ten years ago, they have been patiently waiting in a rack this whole time.

    Most of the grain is straight, but I wonder if the raised panels will give me any trouble? The bigger pair of panels will be about 10-1/2 x 35 x 3/4" each, solid one piece. I am planning to book match them, where the left door is the mirror of the right door, but each panel is one piece. They do have a bit of figure, not too crazy. Fingers crossed they won't move too much. Any thoughts? Maybe the wood has reached equilibrium after all this time?

  6. #6
    Does your machine include the power feeder for the shaper? If you use the shaper, you are going to want the feeder.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    52,855
    That's a really nice machine, Todd, and a great re-entry into the "sport".

    And thank you for your Friend of the Creek contribution!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    9,967
    Very nice Todd, I essentially have machine in 2 pieces, a B3 Winner and an A3-31.

    Three suggestions are;

    1) a stock feeder especially with an arm long enough to use on the jointer

    2) a curve guard and rebate head with matching guide ring for pattern copying

    3) a 30mm spindle for the shaper so you can share the dado cutter between the shaper and saw. In addition Felder have tooling sales, 30mm tooling is very common as most of the tooling in the world is metric.

    You’re going to love your new machine.....Regards, Rod.

  9. #9
    Also a happy C3-31 owner, here. You're right that the comfort package has nearly all the goodies you're likely to want. Enjoy the new tool!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    275
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That's a really nice machine, Todd, and a great re-entry into the "sport".

    And thank you for your Friend of the Creek contribution!
    Thanks Jim, good to be back! The hardest part is that, with moving to a new home, it may be two months before I actually start using it. But I'm excited.

    You're welcome, I can't think of a better cause than to support this hobby and community. We all need our mental health too, especially with this shelter in place.
    Last edited by Todd Solomon; 04-28-2020 at 2:34 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    275
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Friedrichs View Post
    Also a happy C3-31 owner, here. You're right that the comfort package has nearly all the goodies you're likely to want. Enjoy the new tool!
    Thanks Dan!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    275
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    Does your machine include the power feeder for the shaper? If you use the shaper, you are going to want the feeder.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Sheridan View Post
    Very nice Todd, I essentially have machine in 2 pieces, a B3 Winner and an A3-31.

    Three suggestions are;

    1) a stock feeder especially with an arm long enough to use on the jointer

    2) a curve guard and rebate head with matching guide ring for pattern copying

    3) a 30mm spindle for the shaper so you can share the dado cutter between the shaper and saw. In addition Felder have tooling sales, 30mm tooling is very common as most of the tooling in the world is metric.

    You’re going to love your new machine.....Regards, Rod.
    I'm trying to go a little more minimalist this time, saving money for retirement which is hopefully only three years out. So this time around, I plan on buying tools only as I need them.

    I've been wondering about the feeder though, and I am glad you both brought it up. I plan on making a prototype of the frame and panel doors before cutting my nice wood. It is then that I was hoping to find out if I can do this without a feeder. I am hoping that if the work is securely clamped to the sliding table, I can slowly push it into the shaper with enough control. Is it that hard to do without a feeder? Is the concern quality of cut, or primarily safety? I don't mind if I need to sand out a few imperfections.
    Last edited by Todd Solomon; 04-28-2020 at 2:33 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Solomon View Post
    I'm trying to go a little more minimalist this time, saving money for retirement which is hopefully only three years out. So this time around, I plan on buying tools only as I need them.

    I've been wondering about the feeder though, and I am glad you both brought it up. I plan on making a prototype of the frame and panel doors before cutting my nice wood. It is then that I was hoping to find out if I can do this without a feeder. I am hoping that if the work is securely clamped to the sliding table, I can slowly push it into the shaper with enough control. Is it that hard to do without a feeder? Is the concern quality of cut, or primarily safety? I don't mind if I need to sand out a few imperfections.
    Hi Todd, often (but not always) the feeder will give you better finish, but the big benefit is safety. It'll help you keep your digits away from whirling sharp things. The Shaw guard will let you make your door parts safely without a feeder, but it takes proper setting and push sticks etc. I suggest you purchase this book and study it extensively! https://amzn.to/2R7mqkU

    It will open your eyes a lot but also help you be safe.

    If you take a look at my YouTube channel, I have a couple of recent videos about using the shapers for kitchen cabinet doors. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCER...m_y9dzcAHMMbWQ

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    275
    Quote Originally Posted by brent stanley View Post
    Hi Todd, often (but not always) the feeder will give you better finish, but the big benefit is safety. It'll help you keep your digits away from whirling sharp things. The Shaw guard will let you make your door parts safely without a feeder, but it takes proper setting and push sticks etc. I suggest you purchase this book and study it extensively! https://amzn.to/2R7mqkU

    It will open your eyes a lot but also help you be safe.

    If you take a look at my YouTube channel, I have a couple of recent videos about using the shapers for kitchen cabinet doors. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCER...m_y9dzcAHMMbWQ
    Book ordered, thank you! I'll check out your YouTube channel as well, much appreciated.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    275
    Quote Originally Posted by brent stanley View Post
    Hi Todd, often (but not always) the feeder will give you better finish, but the big benefit is safety. It'll help you keep your digits away from whirling sharp things. The Shaw guard will let you make your door parts safely without a feeder, but it takes proper setting and push sticks etc. I suggest you purchase this book and study it extensively! https://amzn.to/2R7mqkU

    It will open your eyes a lot but also help you be safe.

    If you take a look at my YouTube channel, I have a couple of recent videos about using the shapers for kitchen cabinet doors. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCER...m_y9dzcAHMMbWQ
    Brent, it is a surprisingly small world. Coincidentally, I watched both of your frame and panel door videos before you replied to my post, one of them twice. Your videos are instructive and entertaining, so much so that I went onto the Whitehill website and picked out insert tooling that matches the profile I was looking for! I ended up finding an American company, Rangate, that offers a very similar limiter cutter heads and tooling (I'm guessing it's the same mfr as Whitehill). Any how, they talked me out of using the insert cutterheads for the rail and stile cuts. The gentleman told me that the cuts would not be accurate enough (too loose or too tight Etc.), and I wouldn't be happy with the result. Any validity to this? His recommended tooling was more fit for a pro shop rather than a hobbyist ($3,000!). He rents the tooling for $300 for a month. I decided to pass.

    Long story short, I went a different direction and bought an Amana 3-wing reversible carbide rail and stile cutter, and a raised panel cutter (not insert tooling style). However, for future projects, I would prefer an insert style limiter cutterhead as you had used, as the inserts are not that expensive once you have the head. You clearly had good results with your cutterhead. Sounds like I should reconsider and get one?

    Great YouTube channel, thanks!

    Todd
    Last edited by Todd Solomon; 04-30-2020 at 1:48 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •