I was going to buy a SawStop, now I own a Hammer


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About a year ago I finally got tired of the limitations of my Craftsman contractors saw. After looking at the offerings from the the usual suspects in the US, I had decided on a SawStop and had selected all options I wanted. All I had to do was wait for tax refund/work bonus season in the Spring. In the meantime, a video I had seen out of Germany, in German, of a guy who had a saw with a moving section next to the blade kept floating back from a memory. It took a while to find more videos and information, but once I did, I was really intrigued. I eventually ended up at the Felder Group's website. A few weeks later, I had a Hammer B3 on order. Covid delayed delivery for a month and half and it finally arrived at the end of July. While the saw's not perfect, I think I'm going to enjoy it more than the SawStop (a fine piece of equipment).

More info in this YouTube playlist: 

  

I think it's a shame that sliding table saws aren't well known in the US. But since they are mostly a custom ordered machine, you're not going to see one on display at Woodcraft. If you're interested, take a look.

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I'm curious to get your impressions on using a slider vs table saw. I'm transitioning that direction. I have a SawStop PCS 3HP. I looked hard at the K3 but ultimately opted for the SCM Minimax SC 4 Elite, due here in December.

 

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12 hours ago, Coop said:

Just out of curiosity, sight unseen other than someone else’s video, what made you choose the slider? 

There were a couple of things about a slider that appealed to me. First is safety. I never felt comfortable reaching over the blade when ripping on a traditional saw. Even doing cross-cuts, once you start working with widths over 13 or so inches or long heavy boards, it's a struggle to rip or crosscut. Now I stand/walk well to the left of the blade and even the heaviest pieces glide through the blade.

On a slider, your work can be fixed to the table and you can concentrate on the cut. It's basically a built in sled, so you don't need to make a sled to do straight line rips to get a clean edge, leg tapers or cross cuts. The attached photo is a piece I cut using a Fritz & Franz jig (one of the few you would need on a slider) and my hands were never closer than 6".

I'll probably end up making a sled to do Kumiko work. It is possible to use a slider like a traditional table saw and I'm sure there will be occasions that work on the right side of the blade.

I have a 2-meter slider which allows me to cut to over 6' of material. I wish I had the space to go bigger.

I'll be doing a tool review in a couple months. There are things I love and things I don't. But to get the perfect saw, I'd probably have to spend 5-10 times a much.

smallestPart.jpg

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On 9/12/2020 at 9:51 AM, Mick S said:

I'm curious to get your impressions on using a slider vs table saw. I'm transitioning that direction. I have a SawStop PCS 3HP. I looked hard at the K3 but ultimately opted for the SCM Minimax SC 4 Elite, due here in December.

 

Hey Mick,

That's a nice looking saw. You must have a bigger shop. The Hammer pretty much takes up most of a garage bay. I'm sure you'll love using it. I have video coming out today that a comparison between the two different styles, but it's more features than usage. The goal of my YouTube channel is to showcase sliding table saws and their benefits, and disadvantages.

I don't know about you, but I kinda stumbled onto a slider and finding info took some scrounging.

I can say that after having the Hammer for just 6 weeks, I'd never want to go back to a traditional saw. I had a pile of rough cut timber that needed straight line ripping that was waiting for my saw to arrive. I tried to run some of it through my band saw and even though I had help, it wasn't much fun. On the slider by myself, it was cake.

Keep in touch. I'd be interested in hearing about your adventures with the Minimax.

Bill

 

HammerAfterSetup.jpg

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Thanks, Bill. You kind of took the words out of my mouth.

I looked hard at the Hammer. I corresponded with a few people who have K3s and love them. I opted for the SCM for several reasons even though the K3 would physically fit my shop better. I did about 38 variations of shop layouts in CAD to figure out a fit, but it will. The SCM brochure and online info show that they offer a 65" carriage, which would have been fine for me, but they don't sell it in the States. Like you, I have a boatload of rough milled lumber that needs straight line ripping so the 8' carriage will be handy. 

I have other Hammer and Minimax machines - a Hammer A3-41 J/P (love it) and a HS-950 scheduled for Nov delivery, and a SCM Formula (was Minimax) 20" bandsaw.  Both lines offer very nice machines and for me the brand mattered less than the utility.

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8 hours ago, treesner said:

What’s the cost on it and shipping? 

 

8 hours ago, treesner said:

How does it work with small pieces? I use my sled all the time for cutting small things down, does the blade come right up to the slide fence, is it awkward to stand in that area for small cuts? 

 

The saw, with a lot of options and accessories: 2meter sliding table, dado arbor, scoring blade, outrigger with preset angles, upgraded shaper fence, fine-adjust rip fence, 3 blades, cleaner, etc.  was just north of 10K. If you went with just a 2meter slider (no shaper), it's going to be about $2,500 or so less. Includes shipping.

To cut smaller pieces, you use a jig called a "Fritz & Franz" which has a runner so it sits in the slot in the sliding table. You push it against the miter fence.  Photo of my first one attached and that's what I used to cut the small piece. I'm making a second jig with stops, sandpaper faces and measuring tape. The first project video of the new one should be out this weekend.

IMG_20200915_122920.jpg

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10 hours ago, treesner said:

What’s the cost on it and shipping? 

FWIW, the west coast office is in Sacramento, so your shipping would be a little less I would think. 
Felder/Hammer routinely has a sale at the end of the year and again in July or August. It just ended. The K3 (same saw without the shaper) was on sale for $5895 plus accessories and shipping. It’s now north of $8000 for the saw alone. 

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21 hours ago, Mick S said:

FWIW, the west coast office is in Sacramento, so your shipping would be a little less I would think. 
Felder/Hammer routinely has a sale at the end of the year and again in July or August. It just ended. The K3 (same saw without the shaper) was on sale for $5895 plus accessories and shipping. It’s now north of $8000 for the saw alone. 

Mine came through their Delaware office, which is about 3 hours or so up the road. It appears they do monthly containers out of Europe. You won't end up with an exact delivery date until it's handed off to the trucking company and even that is iffy. I needed lift-gate service and it barely fit the lift. I'm not sure how a longer machine would have been delivered.

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