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Thread: Jointer/Planer Guidance

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    central tx
    Posts
    437
    I've had Hammer A3-41 for about 4 months. Its fantastic and I have no regrets.

    I had (still need to sell) a Powermatic 15HH and no jointer. I was jointing stuff by hand with was fine for smaller things but I have some larger projects I want to do. I like touching things up, smoothing, and flattening small pieces, but I don't get a whole lot of joy taking the twist out of a 4' long wide board.

    Because I already had the planer I did look quite extensively at getting a stand alone jointer in the 16" range. New was more expensive than a combo unit. I had one chance at a used old iron behemoth but I really had no way to transport a 1500lb machine and get it safely down my sidewalk and into the shop. Also I had refurbished the 15HH myself and while I learned a lot it's really not how I want to spend my time.

    I'm a hobbiest with 12-15 years left in the workplace so buying new high end tools is worth it for me to be able to have my limited shop time actually be about building things and not working on the machines.

  2. #17
    Richard
    Good afternoon. Thank you for the guidance. One of the reasons i was considering the combo was cost and the ability to get a 16" jointer and planer. Plan B was to get a 20" planer and a 12" jointer. If i went with the minimax 41E the pricing between the combination unit and Plan B get closer. If i was to go with the 41C or the Hammer A3-41 the cost difference gets a lot wider. Any thoughts on a 12" joiner vs 16" jointer. What i have learned in my brief experience in woodworking is buy as much as you can, within reason.

    Thanks again for your guidance.

    Craig

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    246
    Certainly the "more is better" concept always applies. However, I think that a 12" jointer and a 20" planer would be hard to beat but very expensive. Honestly, I can't really recall many situations when I used the entire 16" of my jointer or just didn't have enough room on my 16" planer. Alas, with modern trees as they are this scale of boards just doesn't come up that often. So if option A is a 12" high quality jointer and a 20" high quality planer and option B is a high quality 16" combo machine....for similar money (which seems hard to imagine). If space is not really limiting I would go with option A. However, in most cases Option B will be cheaper and more space friendly and I doubt very much that you will miss the extra width. For the record, I do not find myself pining over a bigger jointer or planer at all....maybe pining mostly after more space. With the Austrian machines, the changeover step takes just a min or so - not a problem.

    Rick
    Richard Link

    **********************

  4. #19
    Richard
    Good afternoon. Thank you for the feedback. Amen to the desire for more space. Eventually i will have a larger shop and i could make my current set up work for two machines. However, it comes down to cost as I would like to have more capacity for the jointer and planer. You are correct in that the two machines that i would consider are more expensive, ~30% assuming no discounts, than the Minimax 41E. Just out of curiosity what Felder Unit did you purchase.

    Thanks again Richard

    Craig

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    246
    Felder cf 741 combination machine. Photo is not my shop but it's the same machine.


    R
    Richard Link

    **********************

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    6,742
    Blog Entries
    7
    IMO, The Elite S is worth the additional expense over the Elite or Classic models.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  7. #22
    I've had a 6" jointer, lunchbox planer, Felder 12" combo (had to sell as downsized house), Jet 12"J/P (which I recently sold) and my Hammer A3-41 is hitting the USA at the end of the month, after a 9 month wait. I ordered an extra guard ($25), so that I can chop one in half. I had straight blades on the Felder and then got the spiral head on the Jet. I felt that I had better cuts, so I went with it on the 16" Hammer. If you can afford the extra money, I would go with the extra 4" of jointer space!

  8. #23
    Jim
    Good afternoon. Not sure how to send a PM; therefore, I am sending this email. I am not sure if it attaches to the thread or gets to you individually.

    Thank you for your feedback as well as all of the others. It has been very helpful. I was heading, and may still be, down the road with the Xylent head. The more research i did and and the more folks i have heard from it seems like a lot of folks prefer the Tersa Knives over the Xylent head which was interesting to me. Apparently the knives are easier to change and they leave a better finish. I suppose you could have a couple of sets depending on the wood you were working with. The only down side i have heard is that the knives are louder. Just wanted to check with you and see if I am understanding correctly. I was hopeful there would be more of a cost difference between the two. Based on my current pricing it only appears to be ~ 280 - 380 difference for an all in cost. The 100 difference is dependent on final freight/delivery. Prior I am wondering if i should go with Tersa knives even though the cost difference is not what i had hoped.

    Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

    Best

    Craig

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    56,622
    Craig, private messages, photos and the Classifieds are accessible by Contributors. Click on the "Donate" link up above to set yourself up as a Contributor for as little as $6 a year.
    --

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

  10. #25
    Jim
    Good evening. Thank you. I was wondering about that when i could not find the PM drop down etc.

    Thank you

    Craig

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    56,622
    J/Ps are some of the loudest machines in the shop and that's amplified by the (required) dust collection. Yes, spiral/helical heads are a little quieter because of their design differences on how they engage the material. As to Tersa...I'm 110% happy with them. Easy to change; easy to adjust slightly if there's a nick; multiple metal formulas available, etc.
    --

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

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    53
    So I decided to get out of wood working about 4 years ago and sold my A3-31 at that point.

    Iím now getting back in and Iím going back and forth between the A3-31 and the FS30C.

    A3 pros:

    Spiral head (more longevity, quieter)

    Donít need to remove the fence or guard to convert from J -> P -> J

    Both tables come up at once

    FS30 pros:

    Sharp Tersa blades will give a better finish than the spiral, and easy to swap so you can have a set of working blades and a set of finishing ones

    Dust collection is on the same side. Going from J->P on the A3 is super annoying for having to relocate the dust hose.

    Honestly I think it comes down to what color you want in your shop, as they both have good reasons to swing one way or another.

  13. #28
    just as an aside, you do not need to remove the fence on the SCM machines to convert between jointer and planer either, just pull the fence forward and it clears the other table. I like the idea of the tables moving together on a smaller machine but I am quite happy to only move one side of the 16" machine at a time.

    either machine will indeed make you happy. good luck

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex LaZella View Post
    just as an aside, you do not need to remove the fence on the SCM machines to convert between jointer and planer either, just pull the fence forward and it clears the other table. I like the idea of the tables moving together on a smaller machine but I am quite happy to only move one side of the 16" machine at a time.

    either machine will indeed make you happy. good luck
    Thatís awesome to know! Everything Iíve watched on the FS series shows them taking the guide and fence off. That pushes me over to minimax.

  15. #30
    Iíve sold LOTS of both brand mentioned here and will add 2-cents for the OPís research:

    -Both brands are high quality with proven track records.
    -Iím a big fan of Tersa heads (Felder offers Tersa heads on the larger J/Pís) and agree that they ďcanĒ give better finish results on tricky woods but that being said, based on owner feedback, I think spiral (your choice of brand) is what most weekend woodworkers are actually looking for as far as owner/user experience in their new machine. Itís the combination of longevity + carbide. Tersa is only loud when the knives get dull. Otherwise, about the same noise level as spirals. I talk to customers all the time who are still on their original set of spiral inserts years after receiving their machines. I was never able to say that about Tersa.
    -On Felder/Hammer machines, getting the right-angle dust elbow mitigates any issues with the change of snorkel direction during the switchover.
    -Whichever machine you go with, I would make sure to budget for a Euro-style jointer guard if it does not come with it as OEM.

    All this being said, two things we (Felder) offer that nobody else does are an ecosystem of useful add-ons like dial indicators, mobility kits, extension tables, etc. and also the fact that if you ever need help or support after the sale, you can pick up the phone and talk to real human being technician whose M-F/8-5 job it is to deal with nothing but standard machines like a J/P. In my mind, there is value in those things beyond just the actual machine cost. OP, best of luck in your research.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

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