Combination Machines (Krenov way)

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Forum topic by mpmitche posted 01-16-2011 09:14 PM 3761 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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428 posts in 2975 days

01-16-2011 09:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have always kinda thought that combination machines were a comprimise to all of the machines they tried to replace. Recently I read James Krenov’s second book and saw some interesting machines. First he has a nice large jointer that uses a spring loaded mechanixm as an attachement for thickness planing. Has anyone seen these available? It looks like a very nice way to spend most of your money on getting a better jointer and then a little extra to use it as a planner as well. Secondly he operates a horizontal mortiser off of his table saw. Does anyone know anything about how that would work?

-- Mike, Western New York

10 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3074 days

#1 posted 01-16-2011 09:21 PM

When we think of combination machines many of us think first of ShopSmith. I think ShopSmith is a great machine for what it is. It’s a good option for people with little space, but, to some degree, you are compromising the ability to do various functions relative to stand alone machines.

I think there are European combination machines that are simply great (but quite expensive). If I were starting over today I would take a serious look at some European combination machines as the core of my shop.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4005 days

#2 posted 01-16-2011 09:32 PM

I have a 1984 br49 model Felder combo machine. I rescued it from a guy in New Orleans where it barely was jacked up high enough to avoid Katina’s flood waters. Top notch quality and big space saver. I’d say i’ll buy another one but can’t imagine coming close to wearing this one out in my lifetime.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

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10396 posts in 3647 days

#3 posted 01-16-2011 10:38 PM

Krenov’s machines (the ones he had in Sweden when he wrote the
books) were similar in design to the older INCA machines.

The tilt-table saws are no longer legal in Europe. With the availability
of “lunchbox” planers I wouldn’t recommend a jointer (rare as they
are) with the fixture that interests you. The only one I’m aware of
that has ever been offered in the USA is the INCA 8” jointer with
the optional thicknessing attachment. I had the jointer for awhile,
but not the attachment which alone goes for $400 or more on Ebay
to fixated INCA collectors when they come up, which is rare.

You can make a thicknessing attachment for a jointer but these days
there are one or two inexpensive 8” combination benchtop jointer/planer
machines. Quality is apparently a problem.

I had a Robland jointer/planer/mortiser for several years. I liked the
mortiser a lot, but there are other ways to have a slot mortiser than
having a 700lb machine to hang it on. Numerous router designs like
the ones at will serve pretty well in a non-factory
type setting.

The Robland jointer was pretty good, and the width was nice, but the
tables were not the flattest and the planer had metal feed rollers. While
the metal rollers have excellent durability they don’t adapt to “hug” the
board as it comes out. My Belsaw planer/moulders have made flatter
boards, not due to superior construction to the Robland, but due to
the spring-loaded rubber feed rollers hugging the boards as the go
in and out.

If you like the combo machine concept (they are kind of fun if you appreciate
engineering) keep your eyes out for second-hand INCA, Kity, Robland,
Lurem, and a few other brands I can’t recall right now. They will be rare
to find, and parts can be very, very hard to get, but they are out there
and they are fun to own.

View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 2979 days

#4 posted 01-17-2011 12:31 PM

To top off what Richgreer has mentioned, combination machines have been the mainstay of woodworking here in Europe (UK) for some time, particularly in home shops where we generally don’t have the luxury of the large garage space you guys in the states have.

I had a Dewalt 1150W combination planer/thicknesser/morticer. I bought it second hand from a professional shop but it still gave me years of accurate service. The morticing attachment on mine attached to the end of the cutter block and was operated with a couple of handles on a sliding bed. This meant the mortices were cut in a horizontal fashion rather than vertically as is assumed the norm. The attachment was a little fiddly to be honest but I guess if you were using it quite a lot it would be worth the fuss. The benefit was that the 2 1/2 HP motor of the machine made short and quick work of the mortice cutting.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3114 days

#5 posted 01-17-2011 01:30 PM

if you are looking for a combi – jointer/planer then look for some of the europian brands
they start from 20 cm wide and up to 50 cm
and general alouv min. 15 cm thickness and up
they are not cheep but they are build to semi-pro woodworkers and is used alot
in our schools in Denmark

at the other end of the combi maschines you have up to 5-7 mashines in one
but they are expencive :-( but they are build for proff use and wont let you down

I say they are expencive yes but not if you compare them with buying single maschines
build with the same quality


View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3160 days

#6 posted 01-17-2011 02:06 PM

The only one I would consider would be a Table Saw/Jointer. On the ones I’ve seen, neither is compromised by the other. The jointer/planer combos I’ve seen have the same problem as the ShopSmith. Every tool gets in the way of the others.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View mpmitche's profile


428 posts in 2975 days

#7 posted 01-18-2011 04:02 AM

Thanks for all the comments. I have space and was looking for a way to get a better machine for the money more than anything. The jointer with planner attachement was one of my favorite machines in the Krenov books. It’s too bad that it is not more readily available.

-- Mike, Western New York

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 4253 days

#8 posted 01-18-2011 04:15 PM

The core of my shop is a MiniMax 12” jointer/planer combo and a MiniMax MM20 bandsaw. I absolutely love the jointer/planer. You have to think ahead a little more during stock prep, but still, I can switch modes in 30 seconds. I aslo use the Americanized combo – a tablesaw with a router table attached. It works pretty well.

If I had to start from scratch, the only change that I would make would be a Euro tablesaw/shaper combo – either MiniMax or Felder.

-- To do is to be

View carl_felderrep's profile


9 posts in 2682 days

#9 posted 01-21-2011 03:12 AM

Hi Guys,
I just run into the forum when looking for reviews on drill presses for one of my customers. Seems like a nice forum. My customer is torn between Delta and General international. Part of the problem is she also wants to do some metal work on it. This brings in variable speed. Any of you guys have any suggestions. I actually posted this in an other thread.

Related to this thread:
Jointer/Planers, In the world of combo machines the jointer/planer is a great way to go. If you look at quality, capacity vs life time investment along with space savings and material handling the jointer planer makes a lot of sense. You end up with a wider jointer that matches your planer and if you add to that matching up, your resaw capacity on a band saw, you get a perfect balance.

Full Combos,
I have been dealing with combos for over thirteen years, I have a two car garage shop and I would never go back to my cluttered shop with all stationary machines. I have better quality, capacities and enjoyment. I love the fact that I can do wood working all week having a 12”jointer/planer, sliding saw with scoring, a full blown shaper with a sliding table, and a mortiser. On Sunday night I roll the machine into one bay cover it and then pull my car in.

I would suggest that anyone upgrading or setting up a shop to contact all the companies offering European combination machines and do your home work.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3114 days

#10 posted 01-21-2011 03:40 AM

if she want to make metal work on it regulary
I wuold recoment two drillpresses one in each room
wood and metalwork don´t go too well together onless
you are a real P… .. A… with cleaning


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