in my new home. I have looked in several magazines and on-line sites
but I am just as confused as when I started. I have been looking at
the Record Maxi260? @ just under 2k is this machine any good? I have
about £3k to spend and would appreciate any
My thanks in advance
What kind of work are you going to be doing? Clocks and boxes or
wardrobes and entertainment centers?
Hand held power tools or hand tools (planes, routers, drills, chisels,
Clamps, clamps, clamps and more clamps
Glue and misc. (veneer press or other specialized tools)
Do you want to do woodworking or do you want to change tools to do different
operations? Most combination machines I have seen were limited by their
ability to do different tasks, and required a lot of time in changing from
one to another. Limited space is their specialty. harrym
Perhaps we should be clear about the term combi. The Shop Smith and
clones are one type - typcially one motor and you have to tear down
put away one function, find and install the parts for another function
and maybe move a motor as well. Then there are the euro five function
combination machines, table saw (usually with a sliding or linear
table), shaper, jointer, planer and mortiser - Robland, MiniMax,
Felder, Rojek. typically with 3 or more 3-5 hp motors and lots of cast
iron - half ton or better machines. The euro units start around $6K
and go up to close to $20K US for a loaded Felder.
I don't know about you, but I prepare stock one operation at a time,
one face and one edge, planing to thickness then ripping to width.
and mortising are occassional things and only done after stock prep
The sequence in terms of changeover is - move the jointer/rip fence
the jointer tables to the adjacent saw table (20 seconds max)rocking
jointer tables on their hinges (30 seconds) to get to the planer below
the jointer/planer dust hood over to planer mode (5 seconds) and
up the planer table to whatever thickness I need (15-20seconds) For
things it's less than two minutes.
If you want to use the shaper you do have to install it's metal shroud
and fences but still less than three minutes - couple of bolts to
in. The mortiser table may take 2 minutes to hang on or take off the
unit but that's because I've got mine on a cart and I have to move
the cart to and from the machine.
As for limited ability to do different tasks, the true 3 HP saw motor
spins a 10" blade well and I've never bogged it down. The 3 HP shaper
will eat wood also without bogging down though light cuts are
when spinning a 7 inch diameter, 1 1/4" bore shaper head, The 3 hp
motor that drives the jointer/planer/mortiser has more than enough
power to do most anything I need to do in pine, fir, oak or maple.
Well yes and no. The sliding table with a 52" cross cut fence will
need a bit of space, though only temporarily. When the jointer tables
are swung out of the way to use the planer they add maybe 18 inches to
the width while the mortising table adds about 20 inces to the width.
BUT - you only need one 220V cord and outlet, a switch selects which
of the three motors to give power. One less cord to trip on is always
My experience with with the Shop Smith. Have never seen the other machines.
Shop Smith had a small table for the saw, and the drill press required
changing time. Since I may go back and forth between the two operations
twenty times in an hour, I would spend most of the time changing them. But
I'm cutting and fitting small parts as I assemble toys, so I can't do all
the sawing at one time and then move on to another function. It would be
different if I were building large items from plans. I spend too much time
now changing router bits. Wish I had at least three router tables so I
could leave bits in them, but I don't have the room. harrym
IMHO combination machines are good if you only have room for 1 or 2
machines. OTHERWISE get separate machines. It is a PIA to switch between
modes on 1 machine for each function, especially after the new wears off and
the wow factor is gone.
My shop is approximately 18x22. A bit crowded but it has 2 work benches,
drill press, planer, 50" cap TS, lathe. router table, band saw,chop saw
station, jointer, compressor, 3 bicycles, washer and dryer, freezer, water
heater, lawn mower and lawn equipment, and the wife's car.... PLUS all the
small stuff... Believe it or not, the only tool that I actually have to
move is the TS, and the wife's car. So you have the room for individual
machines, if you use it wisely.
Thank you all for responding to my request for help. I now have a
tendency to go for seperate machines the purpose of which will be to
build general furniture, table,bookcase that sort of thing, also
garden furniture and maybe various boxes, jewellery up to storage.
That is my first thoughts and I will see were that takes me.
Any recommendations on individual machines? The main machines I think
I will need are a table saw, planer/thicknesser, band saw, router &
table(although I should be able to make my own router table?), disk
sander and bench grinder. A lathe is probably down the road somewhat.
Have I missed anything?
Your comments on machines will be most welcome especially one's to
Again thanks for all your comments, they were most helpful.
Best slip a jointer in there. Let the lathe wait for a bit, until you're more
familiar with what the other machines will do. You don't specify the type of
disc sander: consider a random orbit sander. The bench grinder is not an
essential: if you plan to use it to sharpen tools, switch to the Scary Sharp
method at least for the time being. A plate of flat glass, or MDF if you work
dry, and some super fine sandpaper is cheaper than a good grinder and much
easier to use.
"If our democracy is to flourish, it must have criticism; if our government is
to function it must have dissent."
You might also want to consider a jointer. You can do your jointing by
hand, but the jointer also gives you a good flat face to reference your
other sides to. My order of doing things would be:
If you'll be forgoing hand tools, you can move the grinder to the bottom of
I take it you're in the UK? If you're looking for brand name
reccomendations, you might want to try one of the UK DIY groups as they will
be more informed.
I find that my most used tools are [in order] the table saw/radial arm saw,
the drill press, the stationary belt sander, the router table/shaper, the
thickness planer, the jointer, and the band saw. Just as essential, since
it is used with several of them, is the dust collector. Then less used are
the compound miter saw, the oscillating spindle sander, the lathe, and the
scroll saw. harrym
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