New Planer/thicknesser

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Bojam

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I bought a Holzprofi Maker DR310 planer thicknesser a few months ago. As the name suggests it has a 310mm (~12in) width capacity. The planer tables are 1.4m long in total. Like the Hammer range the tables are linked (not butterfly style) so the change over between modes is quick and easy. The machine is sold with a spiral cutter block as standard. It has a 3kW motor, single phase. Recommended 20A D curve breaker.

The build quality is excellent. It was very well calibrated straight out of the crate and I've had no problems with it at all. The motor is more than powerful enough to cope with the tropical timbers I throw at it. The fence is sturdy and easy to adjust when necessary. The thicknesser can take off 2-3mm on narrower boards though you need to be more conservative when thicknessing closer to width capacity otherwise it can bog down a bit. I generally take 1mm passes to get the cleanest finish. I don't mind spending a minute or two more to get the job done and it places less strain on the machine. There are many reviews of it on French woodworking forums (e.g. Metabricoleur, Copains des Copeaux) if anyone wants to look.

I bought it from Holzprofi France and the price was about 1800 Euros plus local import duties (I live in French Guiana, one of the overseas French territories where VAT is not charged but there are local taxes). The price has gone up since then but take the advertised price on the website with a pinch of salt as they were open to some negotiation.

I'd say it was comparable to the Jet JPT310HH. The Hammer may have a better build quality overall (though I have no experience of that machine so I'm speculating). But you will pay a premium for the Hammer. The iTech range are interesting. Problem for me is that the 260S is a bit too small for my liking; I'd rather have the extra capacity both in width and in table length. But the 300C doesn't have linked tables and has a much larger footprint.

If you're looking for a solid, well-built machine at an attractive price then I would wholeheartedly recommend the Holzprofi Maker DR310. What the import fees would be to the UK is something I can't answer. If you can stretch to the Hammer A3-31 (or the A3-26 with extensions if the width is sufficient for you) then that might be the best shout. Alternatively you could consider the Minmax FS30-C or the more basic FS30-G. However I think I'm correct in saying that the Minimax's don't have linked tables so changeover may be more onerous.

Very happy to answer any questions about the Holzprofi machine. No vested interest - just a very happy user. The customer service has been first class and they have a reputation for very responsive after sales support as well.
 
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MikeK

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Alternatively you could consider the Minmax FS30-C or the more basic FS30-G. However I think I'm correct in saying that the Minimax's don't have linked tables so changeover may be more onerous.

I have the FS 30G because I could move it to my basement without taking it apart. The G changeover requires raising only the outfeed table, while the C requires raising both tables. With the longer tables on the C model and no assist springs, this could become tiresome with frequent changes.
 

Daniel.l

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That's really interesting Bojam I haven't even heard of that brand before. I looked on there website and the price has gone up. It is out of stock though. Is the hammer worth the extra 600 I wonder
 

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Bojam

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I have the FS 30G because I could move it to my basement without taking it apart. The G changeover requires raising only the outfeed table, while the C requires raising both tables. With the longer tables on the C model and no assist springs, this could become tiresome with frequent changes.

Hi Mike. I carefully considered the FS30-G before making the decision to buy the Holzprofi machine. Minimax have a reputation for quality machines and the Genius range seemed to offer an excellent quality-price ratio. Three things put me off though.

First was that it seems quite lightweight at 140kg (compared to ~210kg for the Holzprofi DR310). Would be interested to hear your take on how solid the build is.

Second was that someone at Scott & Sargeant told me that they had decided to stop selling the single phase Minimax PTs due to motor-related issues.

Third was that I would have had to take responsibility for arranging all the transportation required from Europe to French Guiana and I much preferred to deal with a company who would take care of this (and who I knew would continue to provide me with after sales support in case of problems arising in transport or use).

When we move from here in 2-3 years time I may decide to sell rather than transport my machines. If I do then I'll need to buy again when I set up my next workshop. Would be great to hear your take on the Minimax FS30-G once you've got it up and running.
 

Bojam

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That's really interesting Bojam I haven't even heard of that brand before. I looked on there website and the price has gone up. It is out of stock though. Is the hammer worth the extra 600 I wonder

Hi Daniel. With the Holzprofi machine you might be able to negotiate something up to 20% discount on the price advertised on the website. No guarantees, but that's what I got without too much effort. Worth sending an email asking for a quote and enquiring about time frames for delivery. Christophe Jully - the boss of Holzprofi France, who I dealt with - speaks/writes well in English so don't stress if your French isn't up to much.

With the Hammer machine, does that price include the Silent Power (spiral) cutterblock? I got a quote from Hammer that had the spiral block as an additional cost and then there were other add ons as well. The total cost was substantially higher than the Holzprofi machine. I'm not saying that the machines are equivalent although I am very happy with the build quality and performance of the DR310 and would find it hard to justify spending many hundreds of pounds more for a machine that does essentially the same thing. If I was running a production shop then sure I'd want top of the range pro kit (and the Hammer isn't even that - you'd go for the Felder or even the Format4 for a pro shop I guess). But for a one man operation where I might use it for a total of a day a week (a few hours here and there) the Holzprofi ticks all the boxes. Much like I'm sure the Jet JPT310HH would.

The Holzprofi DR310 is made in the Far East. Taiwan I believe (the same as the Jet machines). That's certainly where the Holzprofi HBS430M bandsaw I have was manufactured. The delays are a combination of Covid factory closures and shipping issues along with very high demand in France. These machines are really popular. As I said there is a lot of very positive press on the French woodworking sites. Christophe Jully and his team are great to deal with and their customer service combined with the quality of their products is winning a lot of business. They don't have a presence in the UK but I can't see any reason why you couldn't import a machine from France. What the cost implication would be I'm not sure.
 

MikeK

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Hi Mike. I carefully considered the FS30-G before making the decision to buy the Holzprofi machine. Minimax have a reputation for quality machines and the Genius range seemed to offer an excellent quality-price ratio. Three things put me off though.

First was that it seems quite lightweight at 140kg (compared to ~210kg for the Holzprofi DR310). Would be interested to hear your take on how solid the build is.

Second was that someone at Scott & Sargeant told me that they had decided to stop selling the single phase Minimax PTs due to motor-related issues.

Third was that I would have had to take responsibility for arranging all the transportation required from Europe to French Guiana and I much preferred to deal with a company who would take care of this (and who I knew would continue to provide me with after sales support in case of problems arising in transport or use).

When we move from here in 2-3 years time I may decide to sell rather than transport my machines. If I do then I'll need to buy again when I set up my next workshop. Would be great to hear your take on the Minimax FS30-G once you've got it up and running.

All great points, and the first two were why I chose the G model. It is lighter than the Classic and the tables are shorter. This made it possible for me to move it down the wooden stairs to the basement without duplicating the bracing I had in place when I moved the main batch of equipment down. At 145kg (from the data label on my machine), it is about the same weight as the HOB260NL that will soon be swimming with the fish. I am a hobbyist, so don't need the heavier and larger Classic version with the 2-meter long table. When not being used, the FS 30G will be stored in a corner of my shop.

German homes have 400/230V three-phase distribution so I try to buy as much three-phase 400V equipment as I can.
 

Daniel.l

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Thanks for the information Bojam. It sounds like a good machine and good after sales service I have been reading some french forum pages on it. I will definitely be considering it when I get around to getting a new p/t. I'll have to see what delivery would be to Ireland and if they even deliver here.
That price on the hammer is without the spiral block I think, so yeah the price would jump quite a bit. From the catelogue I got from hammer last year and this year the price of that machine went up something like €400 I'm afraid if I keep putting off purchasing a p/t there going to get too expensive
 

the great waldo

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The choice of cutter head type is a personal decision, and I chose the Tersa cutter head for my new P/T. The spiral cutter head option would have cost an additional €800 and would have been a special order with delivery sometime this summer. The machine with the Tersa cutter head was in stock and is in my garage now waiting for me to move it to my basement shop. While I can afford the extra €800, I did not see any value in the spiral cutter option beyond the novelty factor. Noise is not a consideration for me since my shop is in a below-grade basement with no exterior doors or windows.

Replacement Tersa knives are €50 for a set of three disposable HSS double sided knives. I don't know what the life expectancy of a set of four-sided carbide cutters for the Xylent head is, but I can buy 16 sets of HSS Tersa knives, which is 32 knife changes, for the initial cost of the Xylent head. None of the production shops in my area use spiral or helical cutters, but use the Tersa cutters instead. Time is money for these shops and paying an apprentice to rotate the dozens of cutters and torque the cap screws is not cost effective.

The total time to change the three Tersa blades is less than a minute and does not require any special tools. I intend to keep two sets of knives, one set of chrome for bulk removal and a set of HSS for finish work. The ease and speed of changing knives makes this an economical choice.
I've got an ancient emco b20 and putting a spiral cutter block turned it into a machine that pretty much planed wood to a finish. I use a lot of curly/flamed birdseye maple and other figured woods and the difference between spiral and normal cutter block is night and day. The spiral block does'nt chip out at all saving be a load of work/time cleaning up. I would like to upgrade the machine for maybe a hammer but as it works so well what for? although the power of the spiral block is a bit reduced compared to the original but that just means I take lighter cuts. It's much quieter too. I would never go back to straight cutters !!
Cheers
Andrew
 
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