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Thread: Thinking about getting a Minimax FS 41ES - Thoughts?

  1. #1

    Thinking about getting a Minimax FS 41ES - Thoughts?

    So I have been going back and forth between the Felder 941 and the Minimax FS41ES. I have about decided to go the Minimax route.

    Looking at the following specs.

    1 phase
    XYLENT cutter head
    Powered Planer Bed

    Additional drop down fence for small parts
    Comfort guard


    Mobility kit

    I am thinking about not getting their mobility kit if there is a better option out there. See anything missing or have any input that would be great!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    How often do you expect to move it? If it's infrequently, then the OEM option with two wheels and a Johnson bar works fine. If you expect to move it more frequently, one of the four wheel mobile bases might be a better choice. Bora comes up frequently with very positive comments.

    You'll really enjoy having that J/P in your shop! While I have its slightly smaller and older 350mm FS350, I've used the 410mm version in other folks' shops and it's a winner.

    BTW, if by "comfort guard" you mean a Euro/Bridge guard, great choice. I really hate "pork shop" type guards on wide jointers, personally.
    --

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

  3. #3
    It will probably be moved a fair amount initially. I'm building the shop for it now. Its $150 for the mobility kit. I figured if there was a better solution then I would drop that from the order.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    “Comfort Guard” is the Euro bridge guard? I’ve got the mobility kit on mine and wouldn’t trade it for a different one.

    The Tersa head on mine has worked out great, don’t see the need for a spiral one.

  5. I have never found a mobile base that I liked and that was easy to operate and move around. With that said, I build my own using 3 heavy duty locking casters sitting under a 2x4 frame with 2x12s cut to length for the bottom where the machine sits. You can get 3 300+lbs locking casters of good quality for under $20 each.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
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    I have Felder AD951 in my shop. when I was shopping around I wanted to buy a Nova 520 with Xylent cutterblock but it was not available and Felder agent had one in stock and I can have it the next day.

    I think you will like the Minimax.

    I put down deposit today for a SCM spindle moulder, a Ti145 EP with side tenon table, LCD screen and electro spindle, all functions are similar to a Felder Profil 45 z motion, you get the programmable control and automated fences, it cost more than the Felder but the Profil 45 did not have the side tenon table and side tenon table is a must for me due to my workshop space constraint.

    the new spindle moulder cost a small fortune but it will save a lot of time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    NE Connecticut
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    I have an FS41 Classic and used to have it on a mobile base. The mobile base itself was very nice and I wrote a review of it here. However, there was quite a bit of vibration in the machine while on the base. I eventually reorganized my shop to give the J/P a permanent home and removed the base. The vibration is now gone.

    Conclusion: I would go with the mobility kit so that the machine sits on the ground when in use.


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Location
    Wayland, MA
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    I have basically the same machine only 3 ph. It's been about a year and I still can't believe how well it works! Enjoy! Having that wide a jointer is life altering-- though you will develop some upper body strength pushing wide boards through.

    Mine (bought used) came with the pork chop guard, and I hate it. It doesn't work very well and it's constantly in the way. Some day it will irritate me enough that I'll spring for the Euro style guard. Really happy to have the powered bed, I wish it had a couple pre-sets so you could drop it down to the bottom and back up again with a single button push.

    If the "mobility kit" means the tow bar I think that if I needed to move it a lot I'd opt for an aftermarket solution like Bora. I used the built-in wheels to move it while installing it and found them difficult to engage-- but I haven't had the opportunity to practice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    Are you sure the ES is available as 1 phase? I thought only the E was.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W Evans View Post
    I

    Conclusion: I would go with the mobility kit so that the machine sits on the ground when in use.
    This is an important observation....and one of the advantages of the OEM mobility setup. When the two wheels are released and the Johnson bar stowed away somewhere, the machine is on the floor. That's not generally the case with third party mobility solutions.
    --

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens Hoffmann View Post
    Are you sure the ES is available as 1 phase? I thought only the E was.
    The FS 41 ES is available as 1ph but you won’t have the powered planer table as the up/down motor that drives it is only available in 3ph.

    The OP might want to consider the FS 41 E if this is an issue.
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 07-08-2020 at 10:09 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    NE Connecticut
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    Two other thoughts:

    I was advised to stick with the Tersa head, and I am very pleased with it. 16" gives you plenty of room to skew most lumber to help avoid tearout and you can get carbide-tipped Tersa knives. I have no experience with the Xylent cutterhead but the results I get with Tersa are excellent.

    I hate the porkchop. Aside from the size required to cover 16", it just doesn't work well IMO. I've never tried a european style guard but I can't imagine it would be worse.


  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Brian - there is an aftermarket bridge guard that fits the FS 41e for about $375 + shipping. Actually fits most larger sized jointers.
    https://www.scosarg.com/cps-txf650-surface-planer-guard

    cptxf6_l4002.jpg

    The pork chop one on mine has sheared off at the pivot point so Ill be ordering one of these soon.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    NE Connecticut
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    Thanks for the tip, Peter. My porkchop recently required some epoxy to repair several cracks around the pivot point, too. Not thrilled with that.

    Edit: I just looked at that aftermarket euro guard and it says "unsuited to machines with swing away top beds." I take this to mean that it doesn't work with J/P machines. I can't see why it wouldn't work, but that would concern me, especially since I'd be ordering it from overseas.
    Last edited by Brian W Evans; 07-08-2020 at 10:34 AM.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    I have an Minimax FS30c and for the smaller size, the porkchop guard actually works quite well. I use the Portamate PM 3500 base and it works for that weight. The FS41e is a lot heavier so you would have to take that into account. I actually chose the smaller machine because it would be easier to move around in my small shop every time I needed it.

    Most importantly, I have the Tersa head and absolutely LOVE it. I had a 8" Powermatic jointer with a helical head before and it leaves subtle lines along the board. The Tersa blades are so easy to change (like 2-3 minutes total) that I switch between HSS, M42, and Carbide depending on the situation.

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