i've been working for a freelance cabinet maker for a while now and think it is time to move on to greener pastures. im going to be starting up my own shop and making one off custom made pieces. i already have a client base (my boss is getting old and wants to cut back on work) but am interested on your opinions of cabinet saws on the market these days. i would be looking to get a reasonably prices cabinet saw - medium end of what products are offered in the sea of saws that are being produced these days.
i had my eye on a sedgewick cabinet saw which was absolutely flawless but the price tag was far too much, which is too be expected from the quality high end saw. has anyone got any reccomemdations to what would be a good pick up or should i look toward the secondhand / high end market?
First, just to state to everyone else what may already be obvious to you - a business machine purchase doesn't always follow the same sort of logic that a hobby machine purchase does.
You could pick about any cabinet saw out there and it would be okay. If you are going to be in the "one-of a kind" business then I'll assume that means you won't be breaking up 40 sheets of plywood a day therefore an industrial panel saw and stock mover is not what you will be needing.
I would focus on getting machines that will give you the most MARKETABLE capability per dollar. Mostly, a saw is a saw is a saw. Unless you anticipate some complex jig setups, something with an 8 foot sliding table will be overkill. I would suggest however that a business shouldn't be spending time building jigs if they can be purchased. To that end I would recommend some low end Euro saw or at least a Cabinet saw with a USA motor and a sliding table attachment.
If you were to look at the used high end market, Felder would probably be the way to go just because of the dealer support and accessories they have.
I would also be looking into other machines that could give you a marketing and / or production edge, something like a CNC lathe - think out of the box a little. I would also suggest subscribing to Cabinet Maker magazine, they run articles all the time about small startups and in particular how machine purchases impact the bottom line.
I am glad to see your shop this year. The last set of pic's you posted looked like you didn't do any work in the shop. Now I see a nice little pile of sawdust at the saw even with the sawdust system. I know that you are cutting a lot of wood.
Looks good. I will post pic's of my "new shop when I finish some time in the next century...
Nobody else knows what your budget or real needs are. Choosing the right saw is not just quality and money issues. What saw has the most options,accessories and capacities of YOUR needs? It is going to take a lot of footwork on your part. Check out ALL your options. Narrow down your choices. You may be able to find deals on "used" machinery. There are websites that cater to industrial users,as in used,new and comparisans. This forum may be too small for your quest. There are other forums out there that cater to the more industrial type,like youself.
:) Thanks Lou! Things are going pretty good now. After this weekend we will have bid about $300k worth of work in the last month. Today we picked up a new builder who wants us to do a couple of local houses. He's also got a couple of long distance jobs he asked us about working with him on. Guess where???? Maui! God is good. I think that install could take a month. :D
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I'm a professional & I've had posts deleted. They said they were inappropriate & off topic. The topic ended & I made a couple of friendly comments to another person. Is that reason to delete posts without explanation? Who knows? It's their site. When I asked what happened to my posts I basically got blown off. "If you're off topic you're outta here" is the attitude I got from them. I've seen other posts deleted, without explanation, & when confronted their response was "Your question was in the wrong forum". Then why not just say that, move the question to the "right" forum, & help a guy out. Nope, they just delete them & don't say a word. Maybe I caught the guy on a bad day. Maybe things are different now to what they were a few months ago. If they want it to be a little stuffy then hey who am I to say. I think they're a bit uptight. I don't go there much anymore. It does have a lot of good info though & you can look through it. If you want to post just make it sound professional.
I started my own shop last summer. I ended up getting a loan & buying quite a bit of machinery including a 10' sliding panel saw. I'm doing production cabinet work though not 1 of furniture pieces. I think most people in your boat could get along just fine with a Powermatic 66 (3hp is good - 5hp is better). Build a table around it & you're good to go.