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Advice on separate planer and thicknesser or combo machine?

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scubadoo

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Hello,

I'm trying to decide between a separate surface planer like the Axminster AT150SP 150mm and a lunchbox thicknesser like the dewalt dw733 or even the Axi AT330ST with the spiral cutter at £1000. Or even the floorstanding AT310T but that's £1500!

Or a combi machine - had a quote from Hammer that was way out of my budget, but the Axi with the spiral cutter looks nice.

How much of a PITA is it to change modes on a combi? It just seems like a recipe for throwing things out of alignment. The idea of dedicated separates is appealing but will the 150mm capacity of the planer limit me too much? And i like that the luchbox thicknesser could be stored under a bench.

I have a small workshop only 3.4 x 5m and it's already pretty full. I plan on getting a 16A supply when i finally choose a bandsaw. I don't have any way of collecting and transporting heavy machines which tends to limit secondhand options.

Any opinions or suggestions appreciated.
Cheers
Dave
 

mbartlett99

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Horses for courses I guess but for me th pt is the workhorse - for very minute I spend on the saw its an hour on the pt.

150mm is something I could never get on with, mine is 310mm and I'd love a 410mm to say nothing of a spiral block.

Personally changing functions takes a minute or two and I have't had any issues knocking things out of whack and a combines unit takes up no more space than a standalone planer. Although I do tend to do a whole bunch of planing in one shot rather than a little at a time so I'm not swapping between functions that much.

Have a look at this https://www.scosarg.com/itech-260s-plan ... iral-block .
 

marcros

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I had an axi 150mm planer which was a great machine. It was a ct150 I think. The downside was that it was a bit small, and a 200mm or better still 300mm, would have been more useful. I sold it and replaced it with a combined machine which I only use for planing. I also have a lunchbox thicknesser, the Axminster 330mm (forget the model number). Great workhorse which was why I keep it when I bought the combi machine.

The choice of standalone planer above 150mm becomes very limited which is why I ended up with the combi. If it was a choice between standalone machines, limited to 150mm on the planet, or a combi, I would go for the latter. You don't have a huge amount of space, so saving a bit is a help.
 

scubadoo

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That all makes sense.

I guess if i had more room and there was a wider planer available then separates would be simpler.

@Marcros which combi did you get and what do you think of it?

@mbartlett99 That iTech looks nice, and i like that the beds lift up together. Do you think that would be a better bet than the Axi with the spiral cutter?

Thanks for the advice.
 

marcros

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I bought a secondhand Inca. It is fantastic but they seem pretty rare on eBay.
 

Mrs C

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And i like that the luchbox thicknesser could be stored under a bench.
...... you may not after spending half an hour clearing your bench to find space to put it, then *****ring your back taking it out from under the bench!

Joking aside, whichever you choose needs to be easily accessible. I started with separates, but the planer wasn’t up to the job, however the lunchbox was fab, albeit noisy. I would prefer not to have to do the swap over, but then I am just lazy and normally manage to hang myself with extraction hose in the process.
 

mbartlett99

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No idea never had one and its difficult to get any reviews of iTech gear. Scott and Sargeant are a big commercially orientated supplier and I think iTech is their brand so I'd hope it'd be decent. Got to say with a spiral block and lift up tables I'd be sorely tempted.

I've a Robland combi and while it performs its also massive and I'd love a spiral block + digital readout. Will be getting one of their extractors when I get back.
 

Trevanion

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mbartlett99":37c8gdti said:
No idea never had one and its difficult to get any reviews of iTech gear. Scott and Sargeant are a big commercially orientated supplier and I think iTech is their brand so I'd hope it'd be decent. Got to say with a spiral block and lift up tables I'd be sorely tempted.
I know it isn't much but I've used an iTech Powerfeed for a spindle moulder :lol:. It's definitely the best build I've used and it was far and above cheaper than any competitor, it made the quite expensive Maggi Steff feeds feel really clunky compared to the iTech, fit and finish was much nicer, far easier to lock off since it actually locked off properly without using a monkey bar on the levers, much smoother to adjust with generous sized handwheels. Very good stuff.
 

SamTheJarvis

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We're going from a separate planer and thicknesser to a combo machine.

After installing a Byrd Tool spiral cutterhead in our DW733, I'm now looking for a combo machine with a spiral cutterhead. The iTech 310S looks like the best option right now. Similar cost after shipping compared to the Axemincer, tables lift together and the fence stays on (the Axi's 12" tables' lift separately and the fence has to be placed somewhere).

The iTech 310s also looks very similar to the current Hammer A3 in shape (having looked it over quite closely, many parts appear to be very similar) and they appear to be using the old Hammer colour scheme (teal and yellow labelling/highlights).

I think many designs for combination machines are a bit of a pain to use, especially older combination machines - would never bother with one of those in the shop - but it seems newer models address these problems quite well.
 

Trevanion

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SamTheJarvis":1q0vpch9 said:
We're going from a separate planer and thicknesser to a combo machine.
I quite like having a dedicated thicknesser, much nicer to use in that you're not constantly bending down and hunched over while using it like with most combo machines, especially the older ones where you had to crawl under the tables to use the machine :lol:
 

deema

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I would have a look at a Sedgwick PT which had fixed beds. You don’t lift up the planner beds to use the thicknesser. The Sedgwick machines are very solid, good reliable machines that professional quality machines. They are simply to maintain and fix. It’s easy to change the head from a standard knife block to either a Tersa or Spiral if you require it at any time. However, the knife options available for standard knife blocks means that for a most people the cost of moving to say a Tersa system isn’t really beneficial.

You can pickup a secondhand machine is tip top condition for c£1600 which will do everything you want extremely accurately and repeatedly.

I have a Sedgwick CP which is the 16” variant. It has a Tersa block. I’ve had it for nearly 10 years, and it’s never moved from being spot on for accuracy in that time.

I know Sidewinder, a member on here is doing up a modern Sedgwick PT machine (white and blue) up, full strip down and rebuild with all new bearings and will be looking to sell it in the near future. He’s a retired engineer so it will be a superb machine when he’s finished.
 

SamTheJarvis

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Trevanion":1qbmfbys said:
SamTheJarvis":1qbmfbys said:
We're going from a separate planer and thicknesser to a combo machine.
I quite like having a dedicated thicknesser, much nicer to use in that you're not constantly bending down and hunched over while using it like with most combo machines, especially the older ones where you had to crawl under the tables to use the machine :lol:
Ah yep, that's definitely handy, and definitely cheaper than going for a 12" combi. More versatile for setting up if you need to thickness long lengths!
 
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