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Benefits & Drawbacks of Combination Machines?

by builtinbkyn
posted 04-25-2018 03:14 PM


17 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4127 days


#1 posted 04-25-2018 04:03 PM

I had a Woodmaster drum sander. It was the
same as the combination models but I didn’t
have the planer head. The drum on these is
about 4” diameter, maybe less. This makes
wraps short and easy to change but also
means the paper wears out faster than
larger drums and the drum may heat up more
too. Good dust collection is a must for
cooling.

The other big difference is the sanding feature
is fed not by a conveyor belt but by rubber
rollers like a planer. I didn’t have complaints
about mine about that but I never tried it on
small or thin parts.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2942 posts in 1420 days


#2 posted 04-25-2018 05:03 PM

Thanks Loren. Yeah I noticed the difference regarding rollers vs belt. The molder/planer uses a UHMW liner over the cast iron table for some of the operations. The minimum sanding thickness is 5/16”. That would limit it’s use as a drum sander. The other functions such as gang ripping and profiling moldings are nice, but not something I would need. This probably isn’t the way I’ll go unless I see other benefits in it.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Andre's profile

Andre

2748 posts in 2286 days


#3 posted 04-26-2018 04:28 AM

Having never owned a drum sander really don’t see the need for it considering the quality of the finish from a planner? I have a 12” jointer/planner combo (carbide inserts) and have to admit I do sometimes miss the convienence offered from seperate machines but the extra floor space makes up for the changeover time.
Think if I could of found the extra 3 or 4 feet, would of gone for the 16” model!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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builtinbkyn

2942 posts in 1420 days


#4 posted 04-26-2018 12:23 PM



Having never owned a drum sander really don t see the need for it considering the quality of the finish from a planner? I have a 12” jointer/planner combo (carbide inserts) and have to admit I do sometimes miss the convienence offered from seperate machines but the extra floor space makes up for the changeover time.
Think if I could of found the extra 3 or 4 feet, would of gone for the 16” model!

- Andre


Andre which P/J do you have? I’ve been looking at a Jet 12hh since Hammer is seems to be an ordeal to obtain with long lead times.

I’ll probably go this route and get a smaller DS for sanding thin stock for veneers and small box panels – well unless I consider trying to make one.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11757 posts in 3908 days


#5 posted 04-26-2018 12:54 PM

Bill, do you have a lathe? If so, you might want to take a gander at fellow LJ, Shipright’s set up for drum sanding.
See it here.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Andre's profile

Andre

2748 posts in 2286 days


#6 posted 04-29-2018 04:49 PM

Having never owned a drum sander really don t see the need for it considering the quality of the finish from a planner? I have a 12” jointer/planner combo (carbide inserts) and have to admit I do sometimes miss the convienence offered from seperate machines but the extra floor space makes up for the changeover time.
Think if I could of found the extra 3 or 4 feet, would of gone for the 16” model!

- Andre

Andre which P/J do you have? I ve been looking at a Jet 12hh since Hammer is seems to be an ordeal to obtain with long lead times.

I ll probably go this route and get a smaller DS for sanding thin stock for veneers and small box panels – well unless I consider trying to make one.

- builtinbkyn

Mine is called a Scorpion from CWI, Canadian version of the Jet basically other than I have seen some Jets with ribbed tables? Sorry for the late reply, not keeping up with old posts, blame the nice weather!
I did do a quick review on it.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2942 posts in 1420 days


#7 posted 04-29-2018 05:46 PM


Bill, do you have a lathe? If so, you might want to take a gander at fellow LJ, Shipright s set up for drum sanding.
See it here.

- Gene Howe


Thanks for posting that Gene. It looks pretty interesting and since Paul’s wagon vice has worked so well, I’m sure this would too. It would be nice to on small box panels and similarly sized pieces I would think.

Mine is called a Scorpion from CWI, Canadian version of the Jet basically other than I have seen some Jets with ribbed tables? Sorry for the late reply, not keeping up with old posts, blame the nice weather!
I did do a quick review on it.

- Andre


Andre I read your review and have contacted them. So you’re still satisfied with it?

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Andre's profile

Andre

2748 posts in 2286 days


#8 posted 04-30-2018 03:05 PM


Bill, do you have a lathe? If so, you might want to take a gander at fellow LJ, Shipright s set up for drum sanding.
See it here.

- Gene Howe

Thanks for posting that Gene. It looks pretty interesting and since Paul s wagon vice has worked so well, I m sure this would too. It would be nice to on small box panels and similarly sized pieces I would think.

Mine is called a Scorpion from CWI, Canadian version of the Jet basically other than I have seen some Jets with ribbed tables? Sorry for the late reply, not keeping up with old posts, blame the nice weather!
I did do a quick review on it.

- Andre

Andre I read your review and have contacted them. So you re still satisfied with it?

- builtinbkyn

Very happy, only thing to remember that it is a hobby machine, great finish on thin cuts!!! and plan your projects to reduce having to switch jointer to planner too often? ( about a 10 – 15 sec. job with some practice.) I still need to refine switching the D.C. hose over to the separator for planning ?
I have seen Paul’s shop and I still dream of a work space like that, but then I dream of having half of his talent and skill too!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6369 posts in 1192 days


#9 posted 04-30-2018 03:06 PM

just my 1 cent Bill … if combo machines where so great i think shop smith would have done a lot better in this woodworking world ….heck i also remember combo TV, video ,and disk players all in one they were also a flop LMAO :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View msinc's profile

msinc

567 posts in 983 days


#10 posted 04-30-2018 03:39 PM

I agree with the above post. Most combo machines remind me of a small 4 wheel drive tractor…big enough to be expensive, small enough to be useless. That said, if floor space is such that you have no choice and you understand you are not going to do large projects then maybe they have somewhat of a limited place. Like marriage….the idea is neat, but it seldom works that way in actual practice.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4127 days


#11 posted 04-30-2018 03:47 PM

I use a combo jointer/planer. This is how I have
it set up currently. The jointer width is overkill
but it’s a nice machine.

View BikerDad's profile

BikerDad

347 posts in 4081 days


#12 posted 04-30-2018 11:57 PM



I agree with the above post. Most combo machines remind me of a small 4 wheel drive tractor…big enough to be expensive, small enough to be useless. That said, if floor space is such that you have no choice and you understand you are not going to do large projects then maybe they have somewhat of a limited place. Like marriage….the idea is neat, but it seldom works that way in actual practice.

- msinc

It really depends on what combo machine you’re talking about. In Europe, combo machines are very, very popular among the professional woodworking set, and the quality of the machines reflects their usage. Here in North America, most combo machines for the longest time were aimed at the home/farm woodworker, and were therefore much lighter duty, lighter spec, etc.

The combo I’m most familiar with, jointer/planer, is a fantastic value, even when looking at the European machines. The tradeoff you get is wider jointer but shorter bed compared to a standalone jointer. You also trade changeover time for floorspace. Why is it a fantastic value? Because 12”+ standalone jointers, even Asian ones, are not cheap.

As for other types of combo machines, as noted, not familiar with them.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7468 posts in 2679 days


#13 posted 05-01-2018 12:06 AM

If you can find one, the old Hitachi or Makita combos are great in that they use separate cutterheads and have no change over time – you can go back and forth between jointing and planing all day long with no interruptions.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: They also have about the easiest to set knives on the planet – needing only two hardwood blocks.

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Andre's profile

Andre

2748 posts in 2286 days


#14 posted 05-01-2018 05:43 AM



If you can find one, the old Hitachi or Makita combos are great in that they use separate cutterheads and have no change over time – you can go back and forth between jointing and planing all day long with no interruptions.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: They also have about the easiest to set knives on the planet – needing only two hardwood blocks.

- MrUnix

I had a old Hitachi F1000 great little hoby machine, very light duty and only 6” jointer? Like my 12” carbide Helical head jointer Planer better!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View msinc's profile

msinc

567 posts in 983 days


#15 posted 05-01-2018 10:43 AM

I agree with the above post. Most combo machines remind me of a small 4 wheel drive tractor…big enough to be expensive, small enough to be useless. That said, if floor space is such that you have no choice and you understand you are not going to do large projects then maybe they have somewhat of a limited place. Like marriage….the idea is neat, but it seldom works that way in actual practice.

- msinc

It really depends on what combo machine you re talking about. In Europe, combo machines are very, very popular among the professional woodworking set, and the quality of the machines reflects their usage. Here in North America, most combo machines for the longest time were aimed at the home/farm woodworker, and were therefore much lighter duty, lighter spec, etc.

The combo I m most familiar with, jointer/planer, is a fantastic value, even when looking at the European machines. The tradeoff you get is wider jointer but shorter bed compared to a standalone jointer. You also trade changeover time for floorspace. Why is it a fantastic value? Because 12”+ standalone jointers, even Asian ones, are not cheap.

As for other types of combo machines, as noted, not familiar with them.

- BikerDad

I get what you are saying, but I mean, just how “fantastic” can a jointer be with too short of a bed, no matter how wide it is? Personally, for me, if the bed isn’t 6 foot long on any joiner it is pretty much no good. Again, throw in the limited space thing and even I might be forced to use it. So far, I’ve been very lucky to not have that problem. I face join with mine too, but mainly it is for getting boards straight on the sides. Not saying it cant be done, but the extra length sure makes it way easier. That 4 wheel drive little tiny 12 1/2 horse power diesel tractor thing again…...what are you really going to do with it?????

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2942 posts in 1420 days


#16 posted 05-01-2018 08:08 PM

Hey thanks for the responses and some different perspectives. Space is always a consideration. So the reason for the combo is having the space to also add a drum sander if I want, down the road.

The three P/Jers I’m considering are Hammer, Minmax and Jet with Rikon having an outside chance. The Jet gives the largest bang for the buck, but probably the most fiddly and least refined. The other two are on par in fit and finish but more expensive. Any of the above must have a helical head to be considered. I’ll sharpen my plane irons and chisels, but don’t want more edges to look after.

As for the bed length, roller stands were invented to serve that purpose, but I also think something could be devised to extend the bed, such as Hammer has done. Aluminum T-slot extrusions could serve that purpose.

I think any of the combo machines have the power and ability to do the job. Sure it would be nice to have a long bed 10”/12” jointer and a 15”/20” planer, but they would require much more space than the combo. I don’t want to have to move things in and out of the way when I need to use a machine. That just takes away from the desire to use them. Hard ducting to one machine is what I’m looking to do.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Andre's profile

Andre

2748 posts in 2286 days


#17 posted 05-02-2018 05:03 PM

My 12” has a jointer bed of 52” and the 16” version is 65”. Very seldom do I surface joint anything over 48” so 95% of the time mine works fine! Still thinking of finding a small 4 – 6” table top jointer for small pieces? Which I could find an affordable 10” Inca! Then find a spot to put it.
I do have hard ducting from the separator to the machine with a 3’ flex hose and a slip on fitting for the switch over.
Make sure that the jointer table lifts/swings in one motion/piece, saw some machines that you had to swing each side separately ?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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