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Thread: Jointer/Planer Guidance

  1. #1

    Jointer/Planer Guidance



    Good afternoon. I hope this finds you all well this Easter Weekend.

    I am considering purchasing a jointer/planer combo for a small shop. I currently have an 8 powermatic HH jointe, a DeWalt DW 735 planner and a Supermax 19-38 drum sander. I am a hobbyist at best; however, as my skills get better i would like a larger planer 15 or 20. The 8 jointer is great and works most of the time; however, there have been times when i would have liked to have a larger jointer. i would not mind having a 12 minimum as i have enjoyed working on some larger projects. The cost of a 12 jointer and a 15 or 20 planer got me to thinking about a combination unit. As I look towards slowing down in my professional life i would like to have a my shop set up when that day comes. I got started in woodworking 3 years ago. Therefore, i am trying to make good purchases one time. I dont mind spending more if the value is there.

    To that end i am looking at the Hammer A3-41 and the SCM Minimax 41C or Minimax 41E. I have found some information about SCM but not much on the Minimax 41C. There is more information about the Hammer product on YouTube etc which has been helpful. I dont have the experience at this time to do a thorough side by side comparison between the two. The minimax with the xylene cutter lock is more expensive; however, close enough to consider. The 41E may get out of my price range as it appears to be $2,300 more expensive based on the pricing that i have received. Upon review of the specs I can see the differences; however, I do not know enough about the machines to know the value of the additional costs. With all of that being said i want to consider the machine if it makes sense.

    Any thoughts, guidance etc you would care to share would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    Craig




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    56,630
    Both brands are great machines. I'm in the SCM/Minimax camp. I like the Tersa knives I have and don't regret not having any kind of helical or spiral cutting head at all.
    --

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
    Posts
    787
    As Jim has said, both brands have good machines. I recently spent a considerable amount of time researching these and other machines prior to purchasing a Hammer A3-31 with the Silent Power head. I was selling a 15" 4 post planer and had been "getting by" for 15+ years without a jointer. After narrowing my choice to the Hammer line, I really soul searched before ordering the 12" model. I looked at the types of projects I do, and though I very occasionally would wish for a larger model, decided the 12" was the sweet spot for me. Good luck with your decision.

  4. #4
    Another vote for the Hammer A3 series. Also a hobbiest with a garage shop, so I need highly mobile tools which can be stored as compact as possible. Hammer is the "hobbiest" line of Felder products. Felder is the professional/small commercial line and the most costly heaviest-duty machines are the Format4 machines which, I believe, are intended for commercial production and industrial shops. I am extremely happy with my Hammer A3-41 16" jointer-planer combo machine which I've had for about 18 months.

    For a hobbiest, this is a huge, powerful machine. Dust collection is great. I like the finish the segmented helical cutter head provides. Very easy to convert from jointer to planer and back. The digital height gauge, an add-on, works great for the planer. You can also add table extensions to the jointer infeed & outfeed, as well as the planer outfeed. Lastly, this machine also supports the slot mortiser attachment so with one machine you get jointer, planer, and slot mortiser. It is indeed expensive, but considering the capacity and flexibility it is actually a great deal compared to purchasing separate dedicated machines with the same capacity. Have you looked at the size and cost of stand-alone 16" jointers?

    I have also heard great things about the SCM products.

    SB

  5. Make sure you check out CWI machinery scorpion units. Im really happy with mine.

  6. #6
    I have a minimax 41C with a Xylent head and am quite happy with it. the giant plastic pork chop guard is junk, especially at the price point, but it does the job. I think a Euro guard is another $400. I frequently handle 14" and larger wood and the machine handles everything well. Sam Blasco is a great resource for SCM and can help with any questions about their products.

  7. #7
    Alex
    Good morning. I hope this finds you well.
    Thank you for your feedback. Did you consider the Hammer or the 41E as you were making your decision. I think the 41C may fit my needs as well however trying to evalute if the 41E is worth the additional cost for my needs in the future as well. I am probably overthinking it. The price difference would help purchase some other tools/equipment.

    Thanks again

    Craig

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    10,403
    Im enjoying my second Hammaer A3-31.

    Great machine, wouldnt hesitate to buy it again...Regards, Rod.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Greater Manor Metroplex, TX
    Posts
    252
    Brent (Brent's Woodworking) has a couple of youtube videos on Hammer A3 jointer/planner combos:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ3Y8yM0GjE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0JAZ9kBy6k

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    West Granby CT
    Posts
    706
    For what it is worth.....

    I went from a smaller helical head to a larger combo machine with a tersa head. I wanted a helical style again and was hesitant to go with the Tersa. The only reason I was considering it was a crazy deal for a new machine, but they only had tersa heads at that price. So to go helical style it was the normal up charge, plus I’d lose the discounted price. I went tersa and actually like it better then the helical. I never put anything “questionable” across my old jointer in fear of chipping blades or whatever. Now I take a couple minutes and pop in an old set of blades, no issues. I like the flexibility that the quick blade switch allows for. The helical head is great, but there is a bunch of them to rotate when you mess them up. Do it once and you won’t want to do it again. Then if one doesn’t seat just right......Well, that’s not fun.

  11. #11
    Craig,

    I did consider the Hammer, Felder and the SCM41E. The Hammer and the SCM 41C were basically the same price. the Felder and the SCM41E seemed nicer but didn't offer enough for me to justify the cost increase. After almost paralyzing myself with worrying about this or that I realized that I have been getting along planing and jointing for years with no computers in my machines at all. I was overthinking my needs. I would like the nicer fence on the SCM41E or the better 4 post support for the planer bed on the 41ES but the 41C meets all of my needs and does it without a lot of extraneous electronics so I have a high level of confidence that it will continue to do so far into the future. I mounted mine on a grizzly mobile base as the built in mobility kit, which works great, moved the machine in the wrong direction for my layout. After trying to parallel park it a few dozen times I gave up and used the grizzly. I would have been happy with the Hammer as well and I am fully confident that any of the machines you mentioned will make you very happy while helping you save space.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rochester, Minn
    Posts
    164
    I have the 41c with a tersa head, and have had no complaints. I purchased it a few years ago when there was a sale of new old stock (11/2017, labeling was changing, but not the machine). There was some paint rubbed off one corner in shipping, but they sent me a rattle can that fixed it right up. In retrospect I wish I had gotten the 41E: there was one available and I could easily have afforded it; but a decades old habit of being cheap dies hard. I suspect that the larger cutting diameter may have been less prone to tear out. But as I said, I have no actual reason to complain. The mobility kit is well worth it by the way.

    I also think that the porkchop jointer guard is subpar: it is hard to get mine to self close reliably. That said, I rarely joint on it. I still have my 6" Yates (direct drive, early 1920s), most parts end up at <6" for what I mostly build, and cranking the table up/down is just enough of a nuisance to make me hesitate.

    A 16" planer can fill up the collector bin in a hurry!

  13. #13
    Alex
    Good afternoon. Thank you for the reply. Sounds like you went through the exact process that I find myself in. Based on my current pricing the Hammer and 41C are very close. I just have to decide if i am going to make the jump to the 41E. I will do a little more research and then decide

    Thanks again for taking time to give me your thoughts, much appreciated.

    Craig

  14. #14
    Terry
    Good afternoon, I hope you are well. Thank you for taking time to give me your thoughts. I have no doubt the the 41C will probably meet my needs most of the time. I am going to call SCM and see if i can get some additional information The longer beds, different fence, digital readout are of interest to me; however, not sure how necessary for the added cost. There appears to be about 160# difference in weight. i assume part of this is due to the longer tables. I will see what SCM has to say about that as well.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Craig

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    246
    Craig,

    You've already gotten a lot of great advice so I will keep mine short. I bit the bullet about 10+ years ago and purchase a Felder combination machine. I've been very happy with it and having a 16" jointer/planer is a luxury that you quickly forget is a luxury. I originally went this route because of limited space and the combo jointer/planer certainly does save space. I also switched from an 8" helical head jointer and the Dewalt planer. Changeovers aren't really much of a pain although I've toyed with the idea of getting a "baby" six inch jointer for small stuff someday (probably with a helical head) to spare changeovers. If I had the space it would have been ideal to just keep the other stuff since a lot of what you do can probably be handled with the smaller machines with ease. If space and jointer size aren't really your driving forces, separate machines are more convenient. I don't have any experience with Minimax personally but the Felder/Hammer stuff really is made to a standard higher than most modern stuff (at least 10 years ago!).
    Richard Link

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