Advice wanted on combi woodworking machines

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DaveS

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I would like to move to a slightly larger machine than my current Bestcombi 2000 and, from a bit of searching, think the available offerings are:
Axminster AC250CM
Hammer C3 31
SCM Minimax C30
iTech C300
Robland HX 260 or 310
Luna W64
... what have I missed?
... has anyone here had experience of using any of these machines?
 

heimlaga

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My favourite combi machine is Stenberg KEV 600. It takes up less floor space than many of the machines you refere to yet has much greater capacity.
Though your likelyhood of finding one in Britain is very close to zero and having a 50-70 years old machine shipped from abroad is often not worth the cost.

However there were some British makers of combination machines in the past. Dominion is a name that comes to mind.
SCM had some very good combination machines in their l'Invincibile line that is top end professional line in the past. If you stumble on one of them secondhand do take a closer look.
 

Jacob

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SCM Minimax C30 looks like a redesign of my older Lab 300, with very similar spec.
Lab 300 is an excellent machine, solid, reliable, precise etc. No frills. C30 should be good
SCM (Nottingham) very good for spares, advice etc, have had to replace one capacitor and one switch in about 20 years - diagnosed over the phone.
PS I don't have the slot morticer add-on but expect it woud be very good.
PPS just noticed the C30 is slightly lower spec than mine (bigger motors, 3 blades).
 
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JobandKnock

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However there were some British makers of combination machines in the past. Dominion is a name that comes to mind.
Dominion machines were all cast iron and are really big - the ones worth having, the "Super Elliott"s generally come with a 16 x 9in planer/thicknesser although you do sometimes get a 24 x 9in one, so a wee bit bigger than the OP's original machine. The smaller machines, called "Elliott Minor" have only an overhand planer but no thicknesser. They also have only one motor, so changing function is a time waster IMHO
 

Jacob

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Dominion machines were all cast iron and are really big - the ones worth having, the "Super Elliott"s generally come with a 16 x 9in planer/thicknesser although you do sometimes get a 24 x 9in one, so a wee bit bigger than the OP's original machine. The smaller machines, called "Elliott Minor" have only an overhand planer but no thicknesser. They also have only one motor, so changing function is a time waster IMHO
One motor not necessarily inconvenient it depends on the design. On my one motor AEG Maxi 26 the belt change was really quick and easy, but very inferior machine to Minimax in other ways
 

DaveS

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Thanks for the responses. I keep contemplating making the workshop bigger but it's fixed for now so size matters - unusually, in this case, smaller is better ;-)
I don't want to mess-around with belt changing, so a 3-motor machine is essential.
At the moment the Hammer C3 31 is looking particularly interesting, but more research is needed.

Another thought is to make a personal import from the Yantai Shoot company in China - they seem to be the source of the machines that are re-sold under others badges - but this has the feel of being risky and stressful. Again, more research needed.
 
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Corset

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i have a hmmer b3 winner if that helps, pretty much the same as a c3-31 but no thinknesser
 

Ollie78

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It always seems to me that they actually take up more space in some ways than separate machines. In my workshop which is long and thin I don't think it would work, in a big square workshop maybe.
It's not the machine itself but the space needed to move the wood around.
Separates on wheels is better for me, also you can leave them set up for a particular workshop saving time.

Ollie
 

DaveS

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I have a Hammer b3 winner if that helps, pretty much the same as a c3-31 but no thicknesser
Thanks, I hadn't spotted those and (TBH) didn't realise that a saw+spindle combination was available. I presume the down-side (compared to a C3-31) is that the table is smaller, but in other ways it might be more convenient to be able to wheel the thicknesser against a wall when not needed.
 

JobandKnock

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With some of them, like the Hamers, some of the Felders and the Lunas you can split them into separates - providing you are willing to wire up new DoL starters on them
 

johnnyb

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I've always thought a good combo would make an amazing extra machine. ie so you could have 2 spindles or rip and crosscut or overhand and thickness. whatever. so that's in addition to a complete workshop! daft I know but it would speed up many operations.
felder are nice. as are scm. I did see another Austrian brand on ebay very rare but like the rolls Royce of combis. the name eludes me atm
 

JobandKnock

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Possibly Knapp? I thought they were bought by Robland some years back and have disappeared. There is another firm with the name Knapp - Knapp Verbinder - but they make specialist wood joining components for timber framing and biscuit jointing (nice stuff)
 
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kinverkid

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I'm with Ollie78 with this one. I also have the Bestcombi 2000 from new twenty-odd years ago and I'm pleased with. But, if I was to start over again, I would go for separates on castors too but my workshop is a long tandem garage so for me it would be nice if I could wheel equipment to the left or right to give me a clearway down the middle now and again.
 

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