Machinery upgrades for medium workshop

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WarrenDublin

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Hey,

I'm looking into upgrading some machinery and wondering if anyone as any advice. I'm a full-time furniture maker and use only solid wood. I have around 25000 euro and need an edge sander, planer thicknesser, small panel saw and dust extraction.

I'm looking at getting a new planer thicknesser with spiral head, currently looking at
Hammer A3-41, or robland nxsd410

Small panel saw like the Hammer k3 winner or robland e300

And good quality extraction, I was thinking Axminster Trade AT154CEH 1.5HP Cyclone Extractor and two JET DC1100CK DUST COLLECTOR WITH FINE FILTER

Any help or advice before I buy would be great.

Thanks
 
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Sideways

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There were some useful insights in this recent thread by folk who are worth listening to :

I would be trying to break my budget down into an amount per machine.
I'm wondering which machines are most important to you in terms of time saving or improved finish / precision needed. What are you using now by the way ?
I'd be wondering if buying used could save you money in some areas to spend more on the most important.
And I'd be interested in ease / cost / availability of service to keep you up and running.

Do you need a sliding table saw for ripping hardwood planks ? What is the largest size stock you work with 90% of the time ?
Do you need a spiral block planer rather than a tersa block ? Tersa is so much faster to change and to clean.
Can you put your extractor outside the workshop as many shops do. 1.5hp dust extractor sounds small to me. You might find a more powerful, multi bag extractor secondhand for less money.
 

WarrenDublin

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Thanks for the reply, I'll give that thread a read now.

I'm currently using a robland x31 combo machine for planer thicknesser and spindle moulder and a sip table saw. I've used the tersa blocks alot and they're great but I've heard lots of good things about the spiral blocks so I thought it might be worth the investment.

I usually use between 1" and 2" stock but occasionally need to cut 3" timber aswell.

I've looked at used machinery but majority have a hard life and I know I'll have to spend alot of time and money maintaining them. There doesn't seem to be as many good used machines in Ireland as there is in the UK.

There's no room outside for the dust extraction unfortunately so it'll have to be inside. I was keeping it relatively small as I'lll only be using one machine at a time. I was thinking of the cyclone extractor for the planer, saw and drum sander. Then move the other two extractors between the rest of the machines.

Are the multi bag extractors worth the money and are they good for fine dust filtration?

Thanks for all the advice
 

heimlaga

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The bag over bag collectors are essentially chip extractors not dust collectors. The fine dust passes straight through the filter and is ejected into the air of the workshop. All right for occasional use but clearly not a healthy everyday workplace.
I got problems with my eyes and sinuses because of this. I bult a Bill Pents style two step dust collector with 4kw motor and hooked it up to a system of 160mm ducting and immediately my eyes and sinuses started behaving again.

The principle behind two step dust collectors is that you use a set of very fine cartridge filters to catch the fine dust. However theese fine filters clog easily if too much dust reaches them and if larger particles get there and start blowing around inside the filter medium gets punctured by thousands of small holes letting out fine dust. Therefore adding a fileter cartridge to a standard bag collector isn't a good solution in the long term. To maintain a good air quality you would have to shift the expensive cartridges fairly often

Therefore one uses either a cyclone or a filter cabinet with filter bags inside as a first step to get rid of all the coarser partcles and some of the fine dust. At the moment Bill Petz cyklone design is among the best on the market. The air that comes from my cyclone and heads for the fine particle filter is already cleaner than the air that passed though the synthetic felt bag of my old bag over bag collector.

For a planer/thicknesser I would look for secondhand heavy cast iron. I would go mad with frustration doing professional work on a small and lightweight machine like the HammerA3-41.
 

WarrenDublin

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The bag over bag collectors are essentially chip extractors not dust collectors. The fine dust passes straight through the filter and is ejected into the air of the workshop. All right for occasional use but clearly not a healthy everyday workplace.
I got problems with my eyes and sinuses because of this. I bult a Bill Pents style two step dust collector with 4kw motor and hooked it up to a system of 160mm ducting and immediately my eyes and sinuses started behaving again.

The principle behind two step dust collectors is that you use a set of very fine cartridge filters to catch the fine dust. However theese fine filters clog easily if too much dust reaches them and if larger particles get there and start blowing around inside the filter medium gets punctured by thousands of small holes letting out fine dust. Therefore adding a fileter cartridge to a standard bag collector isn't a good solution in the long term. To maintain a good air quality you would have to shift the expensive cartridges fairly often

Therefore one uses either a cyclone or a filter cabinet with filter bags inside as a first step to get rid of all the coarser partcles and some of the fine dust. At the moment Bill Petz cyklone design is among the best on the market. The air that comes from my cyclone and heads for the fine particle filter is already cleaner than the air that passed though the synthetic felt bag of my old bag over bag collector.

For a planer/thicknesser I would look for secondhand heavy cast iron. I would go mad with frustration doing professional work on a small and lightweight machine like the HammerA3-41.


Thanks for this, having a fine dust filter is a must. I went out on my own 3 years ago and have been breathing in dust ever since, so I want to get this sorted.

Do you think the hammer planer will be too lightweight? I mainly make chairs which tend to be smaller pieces but I would make around 5-10 dining tables a year and a couple of large-ish display cabinets
 

heimlaga

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I may be wrong but my limited experience is that there are few customers willing to pay more than the cost of the materials for smaller pieces of furniture.
Most professioonals end up doing an assortment of custom jobs of which some involve rather large dimensions of timber. Because such jobs are usually way better paid. That was the wiewpoint I was speaking from.
 

Inspector

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To add to what Heimlaga said here is the link to Bill Pentz's website. It is a long but information packed read and there are instructions for making a cyclone if you need/want to. Dust Collection Research - Home The cyclone is good enough that you can direct vent the air outside when the weather is warm and recirculate it through fine filters when it isn't. ClearVue Cyclones in the US make theirs to his design and the dimensions are on their site. It is a fairly small footprint as long as you have the height. They use MERV 15 filters and you would have to source similar ones in the UK. I have a couple links for companies if you go that route. Clear Vue Cyclones – Dust separation at its finest | Designed by Bill Pentz. Importing one would be costly but they are looking for a company to sell them for the European market.

Pete
 

Ollie78

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I have a Hammer a3-31 with silent power head, I like it. It's not lightweight.
I have a axminster edge sander which is pretty decent, I looked at more expensive ones from other brands and found them to be largely identical just more expensive. They are a simple machine really.
Dust extraction can get crazy expensive, I have a record dx5000 and a camvac. These are good because they filter fine dust as well as chips, and use large bags. You can always add a cyclonic separator barrel as well. I think some of the "cyclone" dust extractors are a bit of a rip off and some have really small dust bins too.
Table saws, personally I would make sure it is a proper sliding panel saw with an overhead crown guard.
Don't fear second hand stuff, and with your list it might be worth just sending your requirements to machine dealers, you might get a deal.

Ollie
 
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JBaz

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If you have 25,000 euro's available have a look at the Felder combination machines.

I have been using a CF741S Pro for many years and it does everything I have ever needed. It is very well built and with 3 motors it's very easy to switch between functions. It does need quite a lot of space around it, and you do need to configure it (like a German car!) but (touch wood) it has been very reliable.

The extraction is very good as well.
 

WarrenDublin

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I have a Hammer a3-31 with silent power head, I like it. It's not lightweight.
I have a axminster edge sander which is pretty decent, I looked at more expensive ones from other brands and found them to be largely identical just more expensive. They are a simple machine really.
Dust extraction can get crazy expensive, I have a record dx5000 and a camvac. These are good because they filter fine dust as well as chips, and use large bags. You can always add a cyclonic separator barrel as well. I think some of the "cyclone" dust extractors are a bit of a rip off and some have really small dust bins too.
Table saws, personally I would make sure it is a proper sliding panel saw with an overhead crown guard.
Don't fear second hand stuff, and with your list it might be worth just sending your requirements to machine dealers, you might get a deal.

Ollie

Thanks for this, good to hear you're happy with the hammer planer, seems like most of the reviews are good.
Will look into the extraction a bit more, might be better to stick with standard fine filter extraction instead of going for a cyclone 👍
 

Clonwoodman

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I bought a Robland E3200 single phase new in 2006 .
Never had a problem with it ,great machine . The only thing to get used to is that all the final sizing is done on the sliding carriage side including full length rips as there is a second width stop behind the operator on the carriage. Everything comes off it 100% the same width on both ends. It's hard to get that result on the rip fence especially on an 8ft long fitted wardrobe gable .
 
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