I suddenly find myself in the market for a combination machine, but I have
never seen one and the distrubutors don't even have any sold near me.
Maybe a Woodworking Show. There is one next week nearby, but no combination
machines there (in fact, not much of anything else either...).
Are there any shows that everyone goes to? Even if I had to travel some, it
would probably be worthwhile.
Most likely. It will be the largest and most comprehensive show of
the year. Most who exhibit in Atlanta will also go to Las Vegas in
the alternating year. If you have a particular group of machine
manufacturers you want to review, they will probably let you know if
they plan to exhibit. And the show will have an exhibitors list
months before the show. Often, if you plan to buy, the show prices
will be the lowest you will see for the year.
I plan to go next year. I made the last Anaheim show but missed the
Las Vegas show last time. I made Atlanta a month ago, but only had
one day and that is marginal to see the Atlanta show. When I was
working, I went as an exhibitor, but now just go because of my
personal woodworking interest and to see old friends.
I have seen them at the common ww shows but never being demonstrated. You
can however send for a DVD from Laguna and also MiniMax IIRC.
The Laguna DVD is quit thorough and impressive. You might want to watch it
over and over.
They didn't have one in Buffalo last year. The year before that the
major tool vendors protested that the show wasn't advertised properly
and refused to attend. The tool vendors held their own show the same
days as "The Woodworking Show" at one of the local retailer's store.
Not that it's any of my business, but I'm curious as to why one would
find such a sudden need for what are, particularly unless talking of
the _quite_ expensive versions, inevitably compromise machines.
I'm betting that just about every stationary tool, be it a combi
or stand alone/dedicated machine, is a compromise in order to
have multi-functions. A drill press with a fence and stops is
not going to do as good a job as quickly as a single purpose
dedicated to one thing line boring machine. A cabinet saw is
great for ripping but less than perfect for cross cutting. Add
a sliding table and it makes working with sheet goods easier,
but not as good as a good panels saw. A bench top planer, even
the Dewalt 735(?) isn't going to be able to thickness things\
as quickly and efficiently as a big 20" beefy dedicated industrial
strength unit that can take off 1/4" in a pass.
Perhaps your thinking of a ShopSmith type combi - one motor
and lots of attachments/configurations. The combis today
are different 1000 to 1300 pound multiple 3, 4 and 5 hp TEFC
motored wood eaters that go for mid 6K to 20K. But when
you consider that you're buying 5 functions - table saw,
shaper, 12" joiner, 12" planer and horizontal boring/slot
mortiser with XYZ table it comes to about $1300 per function
for the mid $6K units.
And, with a mobility kit so you can turn it or move it, along\
with a relatively small footprint, these things are nice for
folks with limited shop space - which is why they come from
Here's the start of a multi-page process for building a four
panel door on a Robland X31. Click "continue" at the bottom
of each page to get to the next page.
When you're done let us know where the compromises are.
Could you clarify how I made your point that combis are "enevitably
The semi-fully loaded Felder, the top of the line in combis is in
the $20K price range. MiniMax, Robland and Rojek combis, loaded
are in the $6-$7K range. A 3 or 4 hp cabinet saw, without
sliding table is in the $2K range, a 3 or4 hp 1 1/4" bore shaper
is in the $1 - $1.5K range, a 3 or 4 hp 3 knife planer 12" planer
will run you $1K or a bit more and a 3 or 4 hp joiner - there aren't
any an amateur can find, let alone afford. A stationary horizontal
boring/mortising machine with an XYZ table. Add up the price
of equivalent stationary tools and the combis come in for a little
less. But a combi requires only ONE 220V outlet and only ONE
power cord to deal with.
So what compromises do you feel combis make relative to
stand alone, separate equivalent machines?
Where are you located?
There are Yahoo Groups for Robland, MiniMax and Felder. Might
find someone in each group who lives in your area. Owners are
often quite willing to play show and tell with anyone interested
in a combi. You'll need to join the groups to post but it's pretty
loose as to the info required.
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