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Benefits & Drawbacks of Combination Machines?

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Forum topic by builtinbkyn posted 04-25-2018 03:14 PM 793 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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builtinbkyn

2624 posts in 1026 days


04-25-2018 03:14 PM

Prior to moving I sold off a 6” jointer and a 15” planer. I’ve been looking to replace both machines with one combo machine and possibly adding a drum sander to the mix. I was familiar with Woodmaster drum sanders but never knew of their other machines which can perform as a multitask machine – planing, sanding, molding and even rip sawing and edge profiling. To be honest I don’t see the utility for this type of machine in a production shop. Even after watching videos of how they are changed over, it doesn’t seem like a practical solution for a shop that needs to move stock from one phase of production to the next in a timely manner. Time is money. However for a hobbyist, I think they may have a valuable place, saving space and money with less machines needed to accomplish a task.

Right now they are running a really good deal on their equipment with some extras included in addition to the sale price. They also have accessories on sale. My original thoughts were to get a planer/jointer and add a drum sander somewhere down the road, but now I’m thinking of going this route with a molder/planer that also has the ability to sand. Is this six of one and a half dozen of another reasoning? I could joint stock on my router table or cabinet saw and even by hand :O and have the ability to do a few more things with the Woodmaster. I’m obviously not doing production work so I could plan out project operations in such a way to minimize the changing over from one operation to another. The change over also don’t appear to be very time consuming, but probably not as quick as the time needed to change over a planer/jointer.

I like the fact that Woodmaster is produced right here in the US and know they make quality products. So that’s also a factor as going the other route means buying machines made elsewhere.

Anyone with experience using the WM planer/molder/sander? Even without that experience, input is appreciated. The sale ends on the 30th, so not a lot of time to consider this as an option.

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


17 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3734 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.

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builtinbkyn

2624 posts in 1026 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 :)

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Andre

1963 posts in 1892 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

2624 posts in 1026 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 :)

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Gene Howe

10724 posts in 3514 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

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Andre

1963 posts in 1892 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.

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builtinbkyn

2624 posts in 1026 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 :)

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Andre

1963 posts in 1892 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.

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GR8HUNTER

4364 posts in 798 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

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msinc

481 posts in 590 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 3734 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 3687 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.

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MrUnix

6848 posts in 2285 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

1963 posts in 1892 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

481 posts in 590 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?????

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