Machinery Advice - Spindle Moulder/Tenoner and Bandsaw or Table Saw

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10 Jun 2008
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Having recently moved I am now in possession of a large garage which I'll be converting into my workshop. I have the luxury of a fair amount of space and one of my first projects is to replace some single glazed sashes and make my own double glazed units, however I'm looking for general advice on machinery selection.

Having looked at a few videos a sliding carriage something like a Sedgwick TE seems like a good machine and having 2 heads is a bonus. If I'm looking at the £1-2K mark (used) what other options should I be looking at. Can I use this unit with spindle moulder tooling? Im not looking at working with massive timbers so maybe a separate decent quality router for moulding work, or should I just invest that money into a more capable single machine?

I've noticed some people have both a separate spindle moulder and tenoner. For a professional shop I can understand this, reducing setup time etc. but for me if there was a decent combined unit that would probably suffice.

I've only ever had a cheap bandsaw which was rubbish and I got rid. All of my work to date has been with a circular saw/free hand router/sliding mitre saw. I was all set to go the table saw route but watching a video on youtube a good quality bandsaw looks as though it would do the job and take up less space. Opinions?
I would just get a decent spindle moulder, some can be had with sliding tables but if you’re only doing small-scale work (kitchen doors, small sashes, etc) you can easily make your own sleds for making tenons. A spindle moulder is far superior than a table router in almost every respect, especially when it comes to custom work such as matching existing mouldings as custom router bits are very expensive and custom spindle moulder cutters are relatively inexpensive.

There are some very inexpensive spindle moulders that are quite capable, the Charnwood machines come to mind as good value for money for light use.

Unless you’re planning on making loads of sashes I wouldn’t bother with the tenoner.
The machines are designed to do different things. That said a spindle can cut tenons very well, there is windows tooling sets for spindles that simply the process but…’s scary expensive. Most will use either something like Whithill tenon blocks or a stub spindle with a universal block.

A Mutico tenoner is also a very capable machine, these are very small, but excellent. I’ve cut 100 x 75mm oak on one of these without it losing a heartbeat.

A tenoner cannot however operate to do the work of a spindle.

If you can only accommodate one, get a spindle Buy the biggest heaviest machine you can. You also should get a heavy duty power feed for it too.
As above. Decent spindle with a dedicated rebate head and a profile block should do you fine. I have a 5 head tennoner and it only gets turned on for very large jobs or where a certain scribe is needed. They're great when they're setup, but a PITA to get everything bob on.
it sounds like your at a relatively early stage with machinery. I would try and hook up with someone who can show how they do it. but safely. these machines are and should be a bit intimidating.
anyway my tuppence is cutting straight square timber is most important. so that should be your first focus. one sash can be made with hand tools easily( relatively) marking and picturing the joint is harder.
I was all set to go the table saw route but watching a video on youtube a good quality bandsaw looks as though it would do the job and take up less space. Opinions?
If space is an issue but you’d like a spindle & table saw consider a combination saw/ spindle moulder machine, this is the option I went for due to limited space & I’ve been really happy with it.
Obviously there are compromises but once you get into organising your work flow it becomes second nature & I’d rather have both options in one machine than have to do without one or the other.
I opted for the smallest Hammer machine which comes with a sliding table another feature I really wouldn’t want to be without particularly on a table saw.
I have both a a table saw and a bandsaw, both industrial quality machines that are highly capable. It is very rare that I use the bandsaw and only do so if the table saw can’t make the cut; ie normally any cut that’s curved.
However, if either space or funds were under constraint I would probably buy an industrial bandsaw first. Why? Well it can do the largest variety of work.
Bandsaw blade tension is the most important factor in determining how well the machine will perform. Sideways wrote a thread on a SCM S45 we restored which highlights a number of things to check and how to do it. I’ve also written a thread on bandsaw blade guides which I would highly recommend you reading. The synopsis is, blade guides are for safety only and not involved in cutting. Do not get sucked into thinking ‘better’ blade guides will improve a machines performance, they categorically will not unless your using it 8 hours a day where heat can become an issue.
There's an excellent YouTube series from Bradshaw joinery on making a casement window. He has all the kit but talks about how to do it with less.
that is an interesting video. I think he's got and use most machines. he just doesn't use a tenoner. he also puts the rebate on the outside whereas on his " stock" windows he rebates on the inside. this makes the inside moulding more flexible as its just a bead. and the fixed outside putty fillet is then standard and possible to productionise. to me its a bit retrograde as I reckon rebates barely drain even if holes/ outlets are introduced.
For making several sash windows my suggestion is band saw, router table, sliding mitre and domino. It's tricky to just replace the sashes in a box sash window with DG because you will increase the weight significantly. Many SG windows are 3mm. DG will be 2 x 4mm.

All the DG windows and doors I have made recently are internally beaded and dry glazed.

Lots of different solutions - take your pick.
Table saws, especially those with sliding tables gobble huge amounts of space so I would go with a good quality bandsaw every time unless you will be using a lot of sheet material. For more occasional use a track saw/rail will do all you want with very little investment in space. I assume you plan to have a decent planer/thicknesser which I regard as essential. Don't forget good quality extraction too (preferably properly ducted) which is something all too many skimp on to the detriment of their health.

I have a startrite 18-s-5 bandsaw for sale also a start right jolly 280 planer thicknesser and an old multico bench saw. All 3 phase
Don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you though as I’ve only just joined
Thanks all, been working so just been reading your replies now.

I had a lovely Multico planer back in the day but had to let it go as I didn't have the space. I have a Makita 2012NB thickness planer but got the Multico as it was a much more capable machine.

First thing is to get my workshop plumbed for electrics and extraction. Sorry for going off (my own) topic, but if aim only going to use one machine at a time, what is a good dust extraction system. Its an area I know very little about.

I've thought about a combination machine, but I've got the space now and having the flexibility of separate machines is a benefit and less haddle setup wise. I think getting a planer/thicknesser, table saw and spindle moulder is a good start.

If anyone has any items for sale let me know. I live in North Yorkshire so in the vicinity would be ideal.

Plotter1222, not sure about 3 phase. machinery. I know you can get single to 3 phase converters now but not sure of the cost/complexity. I've got a 32 amp supply to my garage, and 16 amp feeds are fine according to my electrician.
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Oh and I know converting sashes to DG can be a bit of a pig. My brother in law had his converted, and there was much swearing from his dad :) Any tips gratefully received. I need to get the dimensions into SketchUp and see what i've got to play with.
Oh and I know converting sashes to DG can be a bit of a pig
As the boxes themselves are relatively simple construction, it might be easier just to remake the whole window to incorporate decent weights. You can then pump your sashes to say 56mm which is enough to take a 24mm DGU.
Incorporating DG into old sashes doesn't work.
It's either new windows altogether or secondary glazing.
There is a half way house - draught proofing can make a big difference, and suitably well fitted blinds, curtains, shutters- most heat is lost at night when having them closed is no prob, and it's no coincidence that all solar gain happens during the day when having them open is useful!

PS Re the kit question: small one man workshop needs good table saw, planer thicknesser and spindle. What most combis come with in fact.
Also a morticer and a bandsaw but I wouldn't bother with a tenoner particularly, unless you hit on a spindle with a sliding table and can fit tenoner block.
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These are the dims of the ones I made with a bandsaw, thicknesser, mitre saw, router table and domino


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OK, I've hopefully found an Axminster AT254SB for £500 near me. Would have been nice to have a dado compatible saw but for the price I'm not complaining! Watched a few YT videos and it seems a decent saw.

Only issue seems to be the poor dust extraction so will probably get a dedicated unit just for this. Anyone got any recommendations, the Charnwood W691 with 1um cartridge looks okay.