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Felder AD jointer planer

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					   A review of the
  Felder AD-731
12” jointer/planer
   Daryl Rosenblatt
   This is the box the jointer came in. Below it was the pallet (sine
removed) To give it some scale, I put my seven year old son in front of
                                the box.

 The entire assembly weighed 1,200 pounds. The box comes as a one
piece cover. The cardboard is double thickness, and the glue is incredi-
 bly strong. It weighs over 25 pounds, and took 30 minutes to cut up
                              for disposal.
 This is the jointer after the cardboard box was removed. The smaller
box on the left of the pallet holds the mobility kit and the extra blades.

 The unit comes completely assembled. The only thing you have to do
is add a plug for the power. It takes a 220V 30A plug, but the technical
 department at Felder tells me it will run on a 20A circuit. I installed a
   20A plug and confirmed that it will. I did change it to 30A though.
   Felder designed their unit not only to run well, but to SHIP well.
Integral to the sides are slots that receive these clips, held by some very
  large star drive screws. The jointer won’t be going anywhere during
                                  shipping.

 On the side of the box was an indicator to show whether or not the
 unit was tilted severely during shipping; although these clips are very
                                  strong.
    Panel Removed



                                                           Leveler




                                    Caster




 To put the mobility kit on (which consists of two ultra heavy caster
  units, 2 levelers, and a cleat to hold a lever), you have to lift up the
 entire jointer with a pallet jack, then remove the side panel. You can
then install the casters and the levelers. I don’t have a pallet jack, so I
 used a car jack, and lifted the unit one side at a time. Removing the
 side panel was tougher. All the screws come off (they all have allen
heads) except for two INSIDE the unit. They require an allen wrench
with a leg much shorter than normal, which I did not feel like making.
With both casters and levelers installed, it was time to move a half ton
 machine off the pallet. Clearly you could not just drop it (even if the
   machine could take it, I had serious reservations about my garage
floor!). So we (I had a friend help me) built a quick ramp and attached
                              it to the skid.

The toughest part was pushing the machine over the uneven boards of
                             the skid.
 This is the lever used to move the jointer. It is over 2 inches square,
made of a heavy gauge steel (then again, EVERYTHING on this unit
                            is heavy gauge).

You insert the lever into the cleats, push down, and with little effort,
 the entire jointer is “heaved” into the air a bit, and you can push it
           around.It is surprisingly easy to move and turn.
                                         Gauge




                                                Lever




The outfeed table is fixed. It makes sense, considering the knives are
indexed to allow for easy blade changes (I consider changing jointer
               knives to be as pleasant as root canal).

The infeed table maneuvers up and down by this lever. It does not
require a lock to maintain it’s position. The gauge is magnified, and
               graduated between 1 and 5 millimeters.
  The dust collection chute is sized metrically, in between a 4” and 5”
 pipe. Fortunately, it’s close to 5”. My dust collector (a Penn State low
slung 850 CFM unit) has a 4” outlet. I went to my local hardware store
 and got these two transition pieces. It would be better to have one 5”
to 4” piece, but it was not available, and this does the job very well. To
  fit the 5” sleeve onto the unit, I had to snip the fitting so the clamp
   would compress enough to fit on. It is holding with no problems.
This is the guard, an improved version of the standard European type.
 Normal European guards leave a portion of the blade exposed while
running, a very bad practice. With this unit, the two knobs in the fore-
 ground lift the guard up or down, and lock it. The third know slides
                         the guard in and out.
  I still prefer an American style guard, as I think it’s safer, but it is a
  huge improvement on the Inca guard. Coupled with a power feeder
(an attachment is available) it would be a potent production machine ).
Converting to a thickness planer is easy. You give a quarter turn to the
 two locks, and lift up with the handles. A small clip locks into place.
        You then flip over the dust collector and crank it up.

  You can see the heavy ribbing of the perfectly smooth and parallel
 jointer tables, as well as how the dust collector acts as a blade guard.
  The stock is grabbed quickly at the infeed table. There is almost no
                                  snipe.
 The outfeed table is a bit covered by the dust hose, but I still had no
                 trouble taking out the planed stock.

The wood chips were when I was testing the fit of the hose before the
 transition piece was installed. Since then, dust collection worked per-
fectly. As in all jointers and planers, the dust collection bag fills quickly.
The digital depth gauge, which is very easy to read. It cranks around as
 though it has not load on it, but the heavy table moves smoothly and
  easily. The crank on the bottom right is the table lock (like all Felder
cranks, it does not screw, but turns one quarter to lock or un lock); the
     bottom left is the feed speed clutch, with two positive settings.

 Notice the massive column holding the planer table. It has an easily
         accessible lubrication port for regular maintenance.

				
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posted:3/21/2011
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