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Axminster CT330 Thicknesser

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johnjin

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Axminster CT330 Thicknesser
Hi All
After sorting out the Planer the portable Thicknesser was the next for the treatment.
Fortunately when I opened the box this was already assembled. It is pretty heavy at 34 kilo so forget about the portable part and think lugable. I had opted for the stand for this at an extra 40 pounds. This had come in a separate box and had to be assembled. All the parts were there and believe it or not the exact amount of nuts, washers and bolts. I think this must have been a first for me as I’m sure like most of you I’ve either got important pieces missing or nuts, bolts and washers left over. The assembly didn’t take very long and produced a very stable and strong stand. The Thicknesser was easily attached to the stand and I suppose what really struck me was the solid appearance. I had had a Thicknesser before but it was a Performance Pro model from B&Q that quickly went back where it came from. This one albeit for a hundred pounds more just had professional stamped all over it. God I was getting excited and I hadn’t even turned it on yet. Everything about it seemed solid. It had the longest bed of any that I had looked at, at about 950m/m. A 330m/m wide cut and a 150m/m thicknessing ability. A fast 8 m/min feed rate and a Max 3 m/m depth of cut. A 4”x2”x 30” piece of sawn pine was the first wood to have the honour of seeing the inside of the machine. It had previously been through the planer and jumped at the chance of being first again. Well to me the results were stunning. It came out shining and parallel across the width and the length. This was a really nice looking finish.
There is a large Knob on the top of the Thicknesser that can be positioned on the right or the left of the machine. One full turn is 1.6 m/m and so it is pretty easy to take off an extra 0.2 or so. There is a gauge on the front showing you the thickness that the machine is set at. There is another little gauge that shows how much you are taking off. A very simple but useful feature is the two rollers set on the top of the machine. This allows your better half to send the timber back to you much easier than walking around the machine with it or handing it over to you when it is heavy. There is a cutter block lock that seems to stop any up or down movement at all. Snipe seems to be something that other people experience but I’m still looking for it on this tool. At 8 meter a minute this tool is pretty fast and if you are doing the thicknessing on your own you will be nearly trotting round the m/c to keep up with it. For long lengths I recommend getting her indoors to come outdoors to help or you will be a puddle of sweat in no time. No I’m sure that’s not fair for some of you but looking at my physique it’s definitely true for me. I happen to be the 6’2” brick sh**house variety.
Thicknesser’s do make a lot of shavings and as I haven’t purchased an extractor yet I can’t comment on the extractor hood. However a very useful work around is to arm your better half with a broom while you have a tea break every half hour. There is very little dust produced by the machine but even so I will be getting a dust extractor in the next few weeks. The beech I put through it came out perfect as well but I do recommend not trying to take to much off at a time with any thicknessing that you do. Although the blurb says Max depth of cut 3m/m it should point out that this is depending on the width you are thicknessing. I keep it down to 1 m/m Max and the m/c seems to love it.
The disposable knife blades are not exactly cheap at just over 28 pounds a pair but if you don’t thickness any nails they should last for a goodly time. Noisy! well yes I suppose it is a bit noisy, but aren’t they all. For me its no problem at all, but then I think I have passed the point of no return with my ears, but yes I would recommend ear protection of some type.
After many years of buying P.S.E. timber and then moaning about it not being square or sometimes not even parallel. After many years of making do with a thickness or width that I didn’t really want and not having the time, skill or tools to do something about it, I decided the time was now.
As to why did I go for this Thicknesser? I can put the blame for that squarely at the door of Charley Fell. His review on this Thicknesser sold it to me. After that it was a case of looking around trying to find something better. I didn’t find anything that made me change my mind although the DeWalt and the Makita both seemed pretty good to me. So for 302 pounds and another 40 for the stand this became another feature of my workshop.
I recommend anyone thinking of buying this Thicknesser to read Charley’s excellent review of this product.
Well that’s the lot for now until I bore you again with tales of the Axminister SBW3501B Bandsaw
All the best

John
 

Alf

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Nice review, John. I felt like I was right there in the workshop with you - heck, I could even feel heat from the nasty looks you were getting from your SWMBO as she wielded the broom... :lol: Just one thing though:
johnjin":1snjbffy said:
God I was getting excited and I hadn’t even turned it on yet.
Erm... Perhaps just a leetle more time outside the workshop in the fresh air is called for, eh? :roll: :wink: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Charley

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Hi John,

Great review! I'm glad you found mine helpful and that you're happy with the thicknesser :)
 

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