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Woodmaster / Belsaw as it pertains to business

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Forum topic by , posted 01-26-2015 12:42 AM 1907 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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01-26-2015 12:42 AM

Introduction:

I began dreaming about a glimpse of what I do today back in 2003/04… In 2008 I found this site and have gleamed so much information from veterans on this site that it greatly shortened my learning curve. I am self taught and taught online, mostly from this site among others. I have never actually ever worked in a cabinet shop. In fact in 2007 I tried to get hired by a small shop and was rejected.

I have decided that as time permits I would like to review different areas of our cabinet shop business, possibly every other week or so. I intend on highlighting everything to do with our business which will include machinery we own and use weekly / monthly to everyday business tasks such as sales and marketing, scheduling, time management, drawing and designing, bid proposal, sourcing, supply acquisition, bookkeeping, working with contractors, etc… I will touch on pricing some as I do know a little about this, however I am aware that LJ Huff and others have thoroughly covered this subject.

Woodmaster / Belsaw

I know occasionally a 12” Belsaw or Woodmaster will be found on CL. These machines are very very useful in any hobby shop or small cabinet / wood shop. I know much less about the Belsaw as I have never owned or touched one. I do know they look very much similar to my 2 Woodmaster planers so I have included them.

I will upload pics in this thread and write less as pics tend to tell the story.

Our molding machine, we cut crown, picture frame, case, base, light rail, corner molding, etc…

Leeson 5 HP motor. Plenty of power for cutting. Shopfox and Grizzly offers a molder with 1 1/2 hp which I have always wondered about considering that is about 1/3 the power of these Woodmaster/Belsaw planers.

The bed and guides were fabricated in our shop out of scrap corian. This has worked perfect without issue.

Small rectangular cutout for access to molding knives. I mounted two threaded studs for mounting a DC port.

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22 replies so far

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#1 posted 01-26-2015 12:50 AM

Part 2

Dust Port that I quickly and easily fabricated in our shop. It works great and allows for a 6” pipe.

Dust port fastened to the machine with simple thread studs and wing nut. The blast gate is from Penn State and they run about 17.00. I buy them rather than making them because I cannot make them for anywhere close to 17.00 when I factor in my time. If making them is your thing I am aware many folks have done so effectively. I recall LJ Loren did a write up on some really nice shop made blast gates this past year.

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#2 posted 01-26-2015 01:10 AM

One reason I chose to write about this machine is because a Fellow LJ recently bought a 12” Belsaw but it has no dust collection port, which would be difficult to use without. Our 12” Woodmaster did not come with a DC hood and thus we fabricated it out of ply. I think a similar set up would work on the Belsaw based on similarity.

Not much to say about this 25” beast. It handles our planing tasks without hesitation and we love it. Honestly it rarely ever gets used but when it is needed it works great.

The 12” Woodmaster strictly cuts molding. However, from purely a business perspective it is not a good choice to cut all moldings in shop. For example there are many crown moldings that can be bought far cheaper than they can be cut in our shop. But then there are times when we can cut a molding cheaper than our suppliers or faster than we could drive into town and buy. So the 12” Woodmaster only gets used on a rare occasion only when it makes economical sense.

From a business perspective, I aim to spend our customer’s budget as efficiently as possible. Most moldings can be bought cheaper than I can cut it in the shop, thus it becomes an easy business decision.

So while we love both of our Woodmaster’s, they both tend to stay fairly quiet.

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#3 posted 01-26-2015 01:16 AM

I show this picture of Maple Crown molding for our current job purely as an example of what our 12” Woodmaster can produce, however the crown in the picture was purchased at our supplier on the same day we picked up our sheet goods. This was the more economical solution.

The leading edge of this Maple top is a molding we cut on our Woodmaster that I feel is a perfect use of our Woodmaster. This molding is actually a light rail we love to use on the bottom of upper cabinets, but I also use it to dress the edge of tops as well.

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#4 posted 01-26-2015 01:35 AM

Examples of when we likely would cut the molding in our shop:

- To custom match an existing profile that I am unable to source easily at a supplier. I can have a custom knife cut for this application.

- Larger crown moldings 6” – 8”. Especially out of Walnut. The larger crown moldings can cost a decent amount per LF and thus may make better economical sense to cut in house. Most crown moldings found at suppliers at reasonable cost are 2 7/8”, 3 1/2”, 4 1/4”. Suppliers will tend to carry these sizes in good supply for good prices in common species such as Maple, Cherry, Alder, Oak, Hickory (I think Walnut carries a higher price on average).

- When a rare species is selected for the project. We have done a few jobs in Mesquite and our Woodmaster works great with that.

- When a not so common profile is requested. Sometimes customers request a dental molding or rope molding and my suppliers typically carry a common profile that does not have the option for dental or rope molding. These types of moldings can be found online but then shipping might make it cost prohibitive.

- Small moldings 2” or less tend to cut fast and makes good economical sense to cut in the shop. Thus we cut all of our light rail moldings.

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#5 posted 01-26-2015 01:47 AM

I feel one more important piece of information is the acquisition of these two machines.

I obtained the 25” Woodmaster off of CL for fair amount of money back in 2012. It was like new when I bought it. That chunk of money strapped my small family terribly bad but we got through it and made the sacrifice. And we don’t regret it.

I obtained the 12” Woodmaster in 2013 off of CL for 350.00. After a few of our own modifications that planer has been great for us.

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huff

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#6 posted 01-26-2015 02:12 AM

Jerry,

This should be very interesting and will look forward to your post. I used a 12” Craftsman planer ( built by Foley) for 25 years. That 5hp, 12” planer was a real work horse in my shop. Love to have a nickel for every board foot of lumber I sent through it over the years! lol.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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#7 posted 01-26-2015 02:37 AM

Hey John,

I think that older Craftsman built by Foley was a strong planer. I have heard Foley and Belsaw names used together, is Foley the mother company of Belsaw or the mfg of Belsaw I wonder? They sure are work horses. We used to run a lot of boards through our planer but since outsourcing our doors we don’t use the planer much anymore. I will say that I have a friend who wanted to clean up some 1” thick walnut in our shop. I was not in the shop at the time. He has used our Drum Sander but has never used our Planer. So without me realizing this, he cleaned the walnut up on the sander, milling the rough walnut down to 3/4”. Well he tells me that the sand paper on the drum sander is wore out and needs changed. When I discovered what he had done, I quickly asked why he did not use the planer… Now he knows about the planer. LOL

The wood was his that he bought from a supplier. The other thing he did not realize is the supplier will clean the wood to whatever dimension he requested for just pennies per LF. Oh well, the Sander got a good workout.

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MrUnix

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#8 posted 01-26-2015 02:45 AM

I have heard Foley and Belsaw names used together, is Foley the mother company of Belsaw or the mfg of Belsaw I wonder

The two companies merged.
See: http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=318

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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#9 posted 01-26-2015 02:47 AM

Very cool Brad, Thanks.

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Fish22

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#10 posted 01-26-2015 02:56 AM

Jerry

Looking forward to following this. One question, wouldn’t it be better as a blog on this site than in the forum topics section? For people who aren’t here as often might be easier to find and follow.

-- Bryan, South River, NJ

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Bob

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#11 posted 01-26-2015 02:59 AM

Thanks for the pictures and information Jerry. Wow you did well on CL for that 12” Woodmaster. I hope my Belsaw 985 does as well for me. I will try edge molding with it for T/G flooring and I have another 15” planer so the Belsaw can be set up just for molding. If not its off to the shaper for the flooring just have to buy a power feeder. Looking at the DC I think this can be done nice plans you have. I will post some pictures of the Belsaw this week.

Thanks again Bob

-- Bob,WV

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2387 posts in 3008 days


#12 posted 01-26-2015 03:12 AM

Thanks Bryan, you might be right about using the blog portion. It seems the threads get a lot of traffic though.

Bob, I am sure you will enjoy your Belsaw. I am looking forward to your thoughts on it after you get to use it some. I imagine you may be able to do the tongue and groove on the Belsaw, but if you need an excuse to buy a nice power feeder, I know I am a huge fan of power feeders for shaper use. They sure do come in very handy when using a shaper.

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NoThanks

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#13 posted 01-26-2015 03:13 AM

Hi Jerry.
I’ve never used the woodmaster, but am a little interested..
Can’t you do arched moldings as well by setting up some curved fences.
I think this would be beneficial for producing custom work.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

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#14 posted 01-26-2015 03:29 AM

Yes Iwud4u, that is correct. I have never done it though. There are youtube videos on people doing arched moldings. It does not appear to be overly complicated to do an arched molding. Another popular molding we do is just a simple flute or reeded molding. I have also seen videos of people running a rope molding on these planers. In fact I think woodmaster has put together a package to help set up the planer to do rope molding. To be honest, the neat thing with these machines is their flexibility to do different things such as gang ripping and even having a sanding head feature. I would be skeptical about using it as a drum sander though.

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NoThanks

798 posts in 991 days


#15 posted 01-26-2015 03:35 AM

Thanks,
I wouldn’t mind having one just to fall into the category of “I like having things”
Looks like one of those machines that would come in handy on occasion but not used very much.
Still, I like having things, so if I could come across one at the right price it may be worth having.

I could have used one when I did these:

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

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