New Planer Thicknesser

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hlvd

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I ordered a Hammer A3-31 from Russell way back in October, I'm led to believe it will be with me later this month, with the spiral cutter it came in at £4100-ish.
I read somewhere that delivers was £400, same for you?
 

hlvd

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@hvld
The Hammer is fine to use in a professional capacity of a small joinery shop etc.
The Felder stuff can be used all day every day in a factory production environment.
The specs are there somewhere deep in the small print.
In reality the Hammer is decent kit for the money. I have used mine for 3 or 4 days straight on tons of Oak without any hint of an issue at all.
The Felder ad 531 which is the same width of cut has a bit longer beds, has nicer fences with upgrade options and guards etc and is rated to run more industrially but it is nearly twice the price.
Same exact cutter head though.

My only niggle with the a3 31 I have was that the rollers were tensioned super hard when I got it and it was sniping in and out. Backed off the springs a good bit and now it's great.
Definitely get the optional DRO hand wheel its certainly worth it, and the wheel kit which is nice.

Ollie
Thanks for that 👍
 

Farm Labourer

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Russell quoted me £380 or £400 for delivery and I told him I'd collect - I'm sure it will fit in my pick-up on a Euro pallet but will need to check that, else can borrow a van. I did spec the DRO as I'd used one a couple of years ago and loved the repeatability and accuracy.

I did a fair amount of research and asked friends their opinions and it was between Sedgewick, iTech and Hammer. For me (and I'm just a keen DIY'er) who needs to reduce the tool footprint in his 'shop, this ticked my boxes.

WRT sniping and over-tensioned rollers, I've been in contact with an Ozzie (Tasmania) who had similar probs - so now know what to do if the Felder technician can't make it over here fast enough!

Note to self - dust off, photograph and advertise one Elektra Beckum 260 and one Lurem/Record 300 T/P and hopefully recoup enough to cover the electrical work and diesel for collection!
 

Ollie78

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I read somewhere that delivers was £400, same for you?

Yep, thats why I picked mine up. I am fairly close to them so i just got them to forklift it into my van. If I lived far away I would have considered the delivery. They will only drop it off curbside though, no helping you get it in the building.

It comes on a long thin pallet made of inch plywood with metal skids on it, bolted down with metal clip things.
I did a fair amount of research and asked friends their opinions and it was between Sedgewick, iTech and Hammer. For me (and I'm just a keen DIY'er) who needs to reduce the tool footprint in his 'shop, this ticked my boxes.

WRT sniping and over-tensioned rollers, I've been in contact with an Ozzie (Tasmania) who had similar probs - so now know what to do if the Felder technician can't make it over here fast enough!

I did similar research, and concluded the Hammer was a pretty good choice, having lived with it now I am happy with it.

Its pretty simple to adjust the roller tension, just pop the covers of and you can see the adjusters just make sure you do even turns on each side and sneak up on it, took me an hour or so because you have to keep testing it.


Ollie
 

Farm Labourer

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Ollie - can you recall the height of the P/T on the pallet and maybe length and width? MK is about 1h45 from mine, so I could if the weather was decent, take a trailer to make unloading at my end easier. I have pallet tines on my loader.
 

Ollie78

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I can't recall the measurements exactly, the details are somewhere in the paperwork.
The pallet is about the height of a "regular" pallet but a bit wider and longer than the machine.
It is pretty comprehensively wrapped in thick plastic, took me ages to unwrap it and get it off the pallet.

Ollie
 

Doug71

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I would definitely try and look at all the ones on your list in person.

The Sedgwicks always seem to be a favourite in educational environments as they are basic and will just run and run.

I have not seen the SCM Minimax planer you mention but I have a Minimax panel saw and it does feel a bit more industrial than the Hammer equivalent.
 

Nelly111s

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Here's a picture of my A3-41 as delivered in January last year.

XWKQ9262.JPG


The pallet just fits a normal sized pallet truck into the end.

I've had this one year. I plane 95% olive wood which is hard and has "crazy" grain in places. I use it every other day on average, although some days it almost the whole day. I haven't turned the blades yet. On average I was using a set of HSS blades every 2-3 months on the old thicknesser, so "in big handfuls" one side of the carbide tips is at least as good as 5 knife sets, in my usage. So, for me, it's not only a cost saving, but time, too.
It is a lot quieter than the 3-knife TH410 thicknesser which it replaced. I also got the DRO.

I bought via a rep. (NW England). He took me to see an A3-31 in action and I took a piece of olive to plane - this. was at a joiners near Lancaster. I'm sure the Felder rep can arrange something similar (COVID permitting).
 

hlvd

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Just an update on what I’ve ordered.

After watching a few videos on YouTube I decided to get the Hammer A3-31.

One of the main reasons was the dust extraction hood and the fact it doesn’t come off and need storing somewhere in the changeover. The Sedgwick system with its placement and hold down was very clunky in comparison.
Another was access to the thicknessing bed, the Sedgwick’s selling point of fixed outfeed tables on the surfacer would have been in the way with the short lengths I often use. An excellent feature for a lot of people but not for my requirements.
Other planer thicknessers such as the excellent Minimax were ruled out because the fence had to be removed for conversion. The iTech suffered with the removable fence, plus the tables opened the wrong way for where it would reside in our machine room.

The A3-31 with spiral block has been ordered along with the digital wheel, can’t wait!!
 
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ndbrown

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Having upgraded from an older Sedgwick PT255 in late 2017 to a Spiral Head Hammer A3-26 I have had no problems after 4 and a bit years of regular use on a variety of woods including Hard Maple and Iroko. Not turned any cutter segments yet either. Best machine I have bought.
9A1AEA0D-FEA9-490F-AFC9-F0B502BD86D0.jpeg
51A875F2-5C31-413C-AE8E-BF979D6FE171.jpeg
 
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ndbrown

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I should have added, my one was delivered to Central Scotland. The driver was happy to wheel down my monoblocked drive. Well packed is an understatement. Same scenario when I ordered a N4400 a year later.
Outer packing
306CB2AD-2580-4B61-A006-FB00045CB979.jpeg

Inner packing was a pallet placed on a pallet
CBC89C75-E6EB-4158-A635-43E13A8C31D2.jpeg
 

Ollie78

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Just an update on what I’ve ordered.

After watching a few videos on YouTube I decided to get the Hammer A3-31.

One of the main reasons was the dust extraction hood and the fact it doesn’t come off and need storing somewhere in the changeover. The Sedgwick system with its placement and hold down was very clunky in comparison.
Another was access to the thicknessing bed, the Sedgwick’s selling point of fixed outfeed tables on the surfacer would have been in the way with the short lengths I often use. An excellent feature for a lot of people but not for my requirements.
Other planer thicknessers such as the excellent Minimax were ruled out because the fence had to be removed for conversion. The iTech suffered with the removable fence, plus the tables opened the wrong way for where it would reside in our machine room.

The A3-31 with spiral block has been ordered along with the digital wheel, can’t wait!!

You won't regret it, I like mine.
Your reasoning is the same as I went through, I much prefer that the beds lift together and the hood flips easily. And you can leave the fence in place when you flip the beds up. Makes it much nicer to use than my previous planer.

Bonus tip, I used the rust protection paper it comes with to line my planer drawer.

Ollie
 

hlvd

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Just an update on our new Planer Thicknesser at work.

I definitely made the correct decision based on noise alone, it’s so quiet!!!

The quality of cut is also vastly improved from the previous two knife block on the old planer. You can still see slight cutter marks if held up to the light but nothing like the previous machine. It’s more noticeable on a painted finish where the two knife marks would show through but with the Hammer it’s not noticeable.

Dust extraction is also a huge improvement, those smaller chips extract better and fill the bag more efficiently with minimal clean up after machining.

One thing that I’m amazed with is how straight the surfacer gets an edge. Edge jointed boards can go straight off the machine into the cramps with no fettling.

The transition from Surfacer to Thicknesser is also quick with plenty of access when using shorter lengths.

One slight negative is the fence bracket, a thicker gauge of steel would have been desirable but saying that it’s rock solid when clamped.

If you’ve planning on buying this machine please consider that it’s ridiculously heavy and the delivery driver is only paid to take it to the doorstep. We had a hell of a job to get it into the building and through to the machine shop 😅
 

Spectric

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We might be securing funding at our workplace to replace our 37 year old two knife cutterblock Startrite PT260 planer thicknesser, as it’s just failed the H&S noise test, plus if it ever breaks down I doubt we’ll get parts.
That is why we have lost so much industry in the UK, it has to be soooooo safe and make no noise that it becomes unviable to continue. We have had issues with founderies because of the hot metal and fumes, yet the same process happens abroad and we now import the same goods rather than make them and wonder why we are lacking skilled jobs. Then I bet whatever new P/T you buy it probably will not last 37 years.

My local wood supplier has a big moulding machine made in the fifties and even with a good pair of ear defenders that makes a lot of noise that without the ear defenders would be painful.
 

hlvd

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That is why we have lost so much industry in the UK, it has to be soooooo safe and make no noise that it becomes unviable to continue. We have had issues with founderies because of the hot metal and fumes, yet the same process happens abroad and we now import the same goods rather than make them and wonder why we are lacking skilled jobs. Then I bet whatever new P/T you buy it probably will not last 37 years.

My local wood supplier has a big moulding machine made in the fifties and even with a good pair of ear defenders that makes a lot of noise that without the ear defenders would be painful.
The PT260’s junk compared to the Hammer.

I don’t miss wearing hot sweaty ear defenders for up to two hours either.
 

hlvd

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I can imagine, but give it it's dues as it has done thirty seven years and I doubt my Record PT107 would come even close to that.
Yes, I’ll admit it’s done really well and might last another ten or twenty years if looked after.

I can’t describe how noisy the PT260 was, and until I’d heard the Hammer I thought it was normal for a PT. That alone was enough justification to replace the PT260.
 
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