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Hammer A3 (-26 -31 -41) Combo Machine Review

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On 9/1/2017 at 9:19 PM, pkinneb said:

Lol this was the first I heard of it so having never done it I was like oh sh$& but like you I can see no reason too. Re the mortiser it does say in the manual to do it but not really why. I think I will call tech support next week and just see what they have to say.

So I spoke with Felder tech support today and they do recommend you disengage the feed rollers when you are not planing. apparently there is a disk with a pressed rubber rim that that will wear prematurely if you do not do this. On machines 2006 and newer there is one wheel and the replacement is about $40 and a afternoon job to replace on machines made prior to 2004 there were two wheels which have been MFG discontinued so if you can find them they are very expensive and most he said have them re coated which is also expensive. Hope this helps...heading out to disengage my feed rollers :o

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So one of the reasons I called tech support was because I was having to hold my start button longer and longer to get the machine up to speed. They advised my starter capacitor (1 of 2 on the machine) was going bad he said they usually last about 10 years and my machine was 10 years 6 months old. Anyway while looking for them, because apparently they put them wherever they can find room his words not mine, I found the rubber disk he was referring too. I did check mine and there were no flat spots which is good but I can see how that could happen. If you look at the photo below the orange is the rubber on the wheel the small shiny piece just left of the belt/pulley is what engages that rubber to turn the rollers when in planer mode. Right now it is disengaged and you can see it is about an 1/8" from the rubber. If you leave it engaged that shiny piece sits and spins on the rubber which is not moving and can wear it down, in my case it appears to have just shined up the metal ;)

You can also so one of the two capacitors I am replacing I already pulled the other one out. I thought if I am in there might as well do both which the tech agreed with. Cost about $74 plus shipping. Now I just have to figure out how the electrical box comes off. Looks like there are a couple of star head screws holding it from the back side I'm hoping I can just loosen them and slide it out but will wait until I see the capacitor wiring before going any further.

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Thanks Paul. Looks like based on the expense and difficulty in finding replacements for the pre-2004 models it might make sense to get one or two spares at $40 per and a couple of capacitors for good measure. 

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[Originally had this in a separate post before I realized it would be better here.]

 

Ever since I saw Matt Kummell's Hammer A3 41 review last year I have wanted one, so I've been setting aside my nickels and dimes (quite a few of them). I was called by a salesman late last week that they were having an end of summer sale, ~$5200 for the spiral cutterhead version vs the ~$6650 list price. (And then by the time I added my options and shipping I was back to being in the vicinity of list price!).

Thought I'd mention this in case someone else has been waiting to buy. (My understanding is that sales happen reasonably often, but you won't get the sales price unless a sale is actually happening).

I really like the looks of the AD941, but don't want to spend another year+ saving!

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58 minutes ago, bglenden said:

[Originally had this in a separate post before I realized it would be better here.]

 

Ever since I saw Matt Kummell's Hammer A3 41 review last year I have wanted one, so I've been setting aside my nickels and dimes (quite a few of them). I was called by a salesman late last week that they were having an end of summer sale, ~$5200 for the spiral cutterhead version vs the ~$6650 list price. (And then by the time I added my options and shipping I was back to being in the vicinity of list price!).

Thought I'd mention this in case someone else has been waiting to buy. (My understanding is that sales happen reasonably often, but you won't get the sales price unless a sale is actually happening).

I really like the looks of the AD941, but don't want to spend another year+ saving!

Did they quote a delivery date?

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59 minutes ago, Mick S said:

Did they quote a delivery date?

Mid-late November if I shipped from Delaware, +1 month later and $275 in shipping cheaper if I ship from Texas. (I assume this has to do with when/where various containers are arriving). I live in New Mexico (as I see - so do you!). I took the cheaper shipping although no doubt I'll be kicking myself in November!

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1 hour ago, bglenden said:

Mid-late November if I shipped from Delaware, +1 month later and $275 in shipping cheaper if I ship from Texas. (I assume this has to do with when/where various containers are arriving). I live in New Mexico (as I see - so do you!). I took the cheaper shipping although no doubt I'll be kicking myself in November!

for $275 seems like a solid choice...that's a fair amount of coin for one month...It'll by you a nice hand plane :) 

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I ordered one a month ago. They said they had one in DE that I could snag for immediate delivery. Paid it in full, got the serial number and confirmation that it was being prepped for shipping. An hour later I got another email saying that one had been claimed an hour before and it would be mid-November.<_<

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On 9/7/2017 at 0:41 PM, Mick S said:

Thanks Paul. Looks like based on the expense and difficulty in finding replacements for the pre-2004 models it might make sense to get one or two spares at $40 per and a couple of capacitors for good measure. 

Oh no, Mick, now based on your post I'm out another $100.  (Or at least I'm toying with the idea of ordering those parts.)

The sales do seem to come and go fairly often.  I watched it for a few years before taking the plunge a couple years back and back then they'd alternate between on sale for a bit and not on sale.  I also tried to negotiate down the price when it was on sale, but didn't get any more off beyond the sale price.   I'd expected a wait of a few months and was very pleasantly surprised when they were ready earlier than promised (about 2 weeks).

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18 hours ago, bglenden said:

I really like the looks of the AD941, but don't want to spend another year+ saving!

If you can swing it, I'd highly recommend the wait/added expense.

A few people with Hammer/Minimax machines have been over, and they all want mine now. It's roughly double the price, so it's not an easy choice.

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Update: I received my capacitors today, just so you know they come as a pair so you only need one to replace both capacitors. Not sure the tech understood that but I am fine with that since I now have a spare set. Final cost was $36.98 per set plus $22.27 for shipping and handling for a total of $96.23. I will be working on the install tonight.

IMG_2255.JPG.2d8985ae6c35848a0ca34f0917425054.JPG

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4 hours ago, pkinneb said:

Update: I received my capacitors today, just so you know they come as a pair so you only need one to replace both capacitors. Not sure the tech understood that but I am fine with that since I now have a spare set. Final cost was $36.98 per set plus $22.27 for shipping and handling for a total of $96.23. I will be working on the install tonight.

IMG_2255.JPG.2d8985ae6c35848a0ca34f0917425054.JPG

Thanks for the update, Paul. Looks pretty plug and play, judging from the connector.

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8 minutes ago, Mick S said:

Thanks for the update, Paul. Looks pretty plug and play, judging from the connector.

Yeah shouldn't be to bad. Still not exactly sure how the electrical box is detached from the J/P but once that's done should be very simple. I have determined It absolutely has to be removed and I think I know how just need to get into it. I'll post up what I find either way.

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So other than getting in there, very tight, it went pretty smoothly and took about 90 minutes to complete.  There are 4 #15 Torx screws that hold the capacitor bracket on the inside and screw into the electrical box on the outside of the machine, a real pain to get to. I also cut the wires on the old capacitors so that I could run the new wires through the back of the box and remove and replace each wire one at a time insuring they all go to the appropriate place. then it was just a matter of re securing everything and putting all the cover plates back on. The pics show that you pretty much have to disassemble the electrical box to remove the connection at the back of the box. You can also see that one of the capacitors was...uh...well lets just say I don't think that's supposed to look like that :)

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Machine is back working like its supposed now back to my side table project.

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Anyone seen this? Some guy added a digital motorized lift he designed to his Hammer planer bed. The blog isnt in English but the translation is good enough to follow what he did. I think this is something I might tackle in the next few years. 

http://www.metabricoleur.com/t11600-motorisation-de-la-table-d-une-r-b-hammer-a3-31?highlight=motorisation

 

And Llama.. I agree, we all "wish" we had a Felder instead of Hammer, but honestly I couldn't stomach the extra 4k. That 4k got me a Minimax bandsaw though :)

 

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9 hours ago, Cygnus A said:

Anyone seen this? Some guy added a digital motorized lift he designed to his Hammer planer bed. The blog isnt in English but the translation is good enough to follow what he did. I think this is something I might tackle in the next few years. 

 

I have seen that one. He did a great job on it. I really liked that he has the ability to incrementally raise or lower by "bumping" it - Felder only raises the table once your'e close. If you overshoot you have to toggle it back down and then bump it up. At least on the AD741, not sure on the 941.

This may be more than what I would want to undertake. If you have the aluminum wheel and gauge this might be a simpler option:

 

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Hi - I was told about a week ago that my A3/41 is on a boat, so I guess I should get ready for its arrival. I understand that it has a 5" dust port. Can anyone send me a link for a Euro 5" to US 4" flex hose adapter, or alternatively tell me the outer diameter of what is on the unit and I can probably figure it out myself.

Anything I will need besides a power plug (I know what to get here) and an adapter for my dust  collector? (I'm getting it with the mobility kit).

Thanks!

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12 minutes ago, bglenden said:

Hi - I was told about a week ago that my A3/41 is on a boat, so I guess I should get ready for its arrival. I understand that it has a 5" dust port. Can anyone send me a link for a Euro 5" to US 4" flex hose adapter, or alternatively tell me the outer diameter of what is on the unit and I can probably figure it out myself.

Anything I will need besides a power plug (I know what to get here) and an adapter for my dust  collector? (I'm getting it with the mobility kit).

Thanks!

I just ordered a 5" to 4" reducer from Amazon for mine and used Scotch silicone tape wrapped around the machine's 120mm port to make up the difference between 120mm and 5". It works fine.

You should have some paste wax on hand to polish up the planer table and keep it slick. It's a heavy beast, so make sure you're prepared for getting it inside and off the pallet.

I'm loving mine!

IMG_3289.thumb.jpg.429b21544d5f2613ef6aa511257f482a.jpg

 

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My recommendation is to increase the size of your hose to 5", rather than keeping to 4". The difference in chip removal and cleanliness is significant. I have only a 2 hp DC - to be upgraded next - and just went through changing all hoses from 4" to 5", and it has been worth the effort. It will stay this way until I change all the connection on all my Hammer machines (A3-31, K3, and N4400) to 6". There is not much point in going to 6" otherwise, as the smaller outlet will throttle the hose. 

image.jpg

Regards from Perth

Derek

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