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This is a Silent Wonder

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Review by Matt posted 01-09-2013 10:15 PM 4872 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
This is a Silent Wonder This is a Silent Wonder No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just finished setting up my brand new Hammer A3-31 Jointer Thicknesser. I am truly amazed at the quality of this machine. It is a game changer. Turning on the machine it is truly quiet, running wood through it…still truly quiet. Perfect joined edge first try. The finish is amazing. More will be added as I have time to start to really put this machine through its paces.

Alright, sorry for the cursory review. It really was just my initial impression and excitement. I have never done a review before so I will answer the questions as best as I can.
The game changer is that I will be able to use a jointer/thicknesser in my shop that can reliably surface and join wood. I previously did not have any jointer or planer.
I considered the grizzly/rikon/jet and a few other models prior to ordering this one. I have spoken with others who have those machines and most of them have had problems. I went with hammer after a conversation with a manufacturing expert (I have a family member who is a vice president of manufacturing) who explained to me the best source of tooling in the world. China is second rate with quality and engineering as far as I am concerned. Austria has a reputation for excellent tooling.
Mobility is excellent. Having the mobility kit allows me to easily move the machine anywhere in my tiny shop. 13×13 is tiny.
The spiral cutter head is so quiet that
1. I feel safe using the machine without hearing protection.
2. I feel safe using the machine with children asleep in the house.
3. My dust exctractor is louder.

It is seriously quiet. I have a buddy with a dB meter who is going to help me measure.

Customer service has been fine so far. The sales staff has been prompt in returning calls and emails.
I did have a small plastic bit broken in shipping and they have sent the piece out to me already.

Shipping. Took forever. I ordered the machine in October, got it Jan 3. I understand it is in demand and has to be shipped from Austria. I am patient person.

I agree the first post was a gloat. I will add to the review as I use the machine more.




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Matt

40 posts in 1345 days



15 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3514 posts in 1536 days


#1 posted 01-09-2013 10:16 PM

Nice machine!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View lj61673's profile (online now)

lj61673

233 posts in 1122 days


#2 posted 01-09-2013 10:50 PM

Is this a review to tell us that you are going to write an actual review after you actually get a chance to actually use the tool?

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112528 posts in 2300 days


#3 posted 01-09-2013 10:54 PM

So far so good.:))

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1733 days


#4 posted 01-09-2013 11:34 PM

Matt, I’m of the opinion that a tool review this early isn’t completely useless, but you could help us by providing some more info about your buying experience and initial impressions.

What aspects are the most game-changing for you?

Why did you choose this machine over other options? What other options did you consider?

How is the mobility? Setup? Instructions?

How quiet is the spiral head, really?

How was the customer service you received from Hammer?

How long did it take them to ship your machine?

I’m very happy for your new tool, but I’d like to hear more if it’s going in the review section. Otherwise we ought to start a new section for “tool gloats,” – don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the fun aspects of online woodworking forums, but shouldn’t be confused with reviews.

Enjoy!

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Matt's profile

Matt

40 posts in 1345 days


#5 posted 01-10-2013 12:18 AM

Alright, sorry for the cursory review. It really was just my initial impression and excitement. I have never done a review before so I will answer the questions as best as I can.
The game changer is that I will be able to use a jointer/thicknesser in my shop that can reliably surface and join wood. I previously did not have any jointer or planer.
I considered the grizzly/rikon/jet and a few other models prior to ordering this one. I have spoken with others who have those machines and most of them have had problems. I went with hammer after a conversation with a manufacturing expert who explained to me the best source of tooling in the world. China is second rate with quality and engineering as far as I am concerned. Austria has a reputation for excellent tooling.
Mobility is excellent. Having the mobility kit allows me to easily move the machine anywhere in my tiny shop. 13×13 is tiny.
The spiral cutter head is so quiet that
1. I feel safe using the machine without hearing protection.
2. I feel safe using the machine with children asleep in the house.
3. My dust exctractor is louder.

It is seriously quiet. I have a buddy with a dB meter who is going to help me measure.

Customer service has been fine so far. The sales staff has been prompt in returning calls and emails.
I did have a small plastic bit broken in shipping and they have sent the piece out to me already.

Shipping. Took forever. I ordered the machine in October, got it Jan 3. I understand it is in demand and has to be shipped from Austria. I am patient person.

I agree the first post was a gloat. I will add to the review as I use the machine more.

View MJCD's profile

MJCD

455 posts in 1094 days


#6 posted 01-10-2013 01:23 AM

Matt:

The A3 is on my list, as well. You have piqued some interest here (in the Forum), please follow-up when you feel it’s appropriate.

MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View REL's profile

REL

47 posts in 2379 days


#7 posted 01-10-2013 01:47 AM

Matt, nice! I have the older model, two halves, with a Byrd head. Delaware did the Byrd conversion and sent a tech to setup correctly at my home.

However, I’m still jealous of you! Is it real quite?

-- REL, North Jersey

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11678 posts in 2410 days


#8 posted 01-10-2013 02:06 AM

” conversation with a manufacturing expert aka Salesman .
Why don’t you copy and paste comment #5 into your posting so we can all stop thanking you for your tool gloat
I try to use my tools for at least a year so I can have something to actually review : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2376 posts in 1605 days


#9 posted 01-10-2013 05:59 AM

congrats on the purchase! I’m sure that there are a lot of us here that are drooling (and jealous) over your A3, myself included!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View NormG's profile

NormG

4402 posts in 1726 days


#10 posted 01-10-2013 06:46 AM

Sounds like a keeper

-- Norman

View 72hw's profile

72hw

85 posts in 834 days


#11 posted 01-11-2013 03:46 PM

I will not flame you for the above content – this looks like one heck of a fine machine and I can’t blame you for wanting to share it with us!

I was unaware of the Felder Group and their websites have me drooling. May I ask how much you got it for? Shipping something like this across the pond must add to the drain on your wallet…

-- “Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of 'the rat race' is not yet final.” ― Hunter S. Thompson

View Islandguy's profile

Islandguy

25 posts in 2155 days


#12 posted 01-14-2013 04:38 AM

I have one on order hope to see it in February….

View wfrs21's profile

wfrs21

7 posts in 1907 days


#13 posted 11-25-2013 07:47 PM

Hi Matt,

I am considering the A31 right now. Did you get any of the extension tables for infeed outfeed? I mainly do tables with long stock. I was wondering how it handled longer material with or without the accessories. The add on fences are expensive so I wanted to know if they were really needed. I would be jointing/planning up to 10 pieces.

Also, did you look at the Minimax? The FS 30 is the only other machines I’m interested in.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Scott

View wfrs21's profile

wfrs21

7 posts in 1907 days


#14 posted 11-25-2013 07:52 PM

Matt.

Forgot to ask if you are happy with the fence. I’ve read in other forums that the fence could potentially be an issue due to it’s mounting at the front. Could you comment on your experience so far. I would expect that it could deflect a bit laterally which would make any difference when face and edge jointing. Just wondering if it is rock solid vertically when edge jointing in particular.

Are you happy with the fence function?

Thanks

Scott

View Matt's profile

Matt

40 posts in 1345 days


#15 posted 11-25-2013 08:45 PM

Scott
I am still able to get away with one table extension. It works fine for long stock. 8ft-10ft is what I mean by long.
The fence does not deflect, but I do have to set if for 90 every time I switch modes. It takes about 15 seconds to get it right. Once it is tightened down it is solid. I just have the stock fence. After over 2 years of owning this thing, I am nothing but happy with it. It is is the best piece of machinery in my shop. I would say best tool, but my LN planes are my favorite tools. Five minutes ago I was thicknessing some really curly maple and it had almost no tearout.
I dont know anything about the Minimax.
Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Matt

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