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Thread: Tool upgrade?

  1. #1
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    Tool upgrade?

    Hi all been real busy between trying to get the shop ready for winter and pushing out orders. Lately I have been considering doing a few up upgrades, just not sure if I should do it or not. The one thing I have been looking hard at is a dovetail machine. Reason is we are doing work for a designer and for a guy that refurbishes houses. At this time we are cranking out about two cabinet jobs a month and being asked to make even more cabinets. So, I was thinking that if I bought a dovetail machine we could save alot of time on making drawer boxes. Also found out that the woodmaster is not a good choice for making large orders of flooring. Have a good holiday.

  2. #2
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    I have yet to regret buying a piece of equipment that I could use.


    For the money the dovetail machines aren't worth it until they are either automated, or automatic. I've used a few multi-spindle dovetailers and haven't been that impressed. They're expensive, and not really that much of a time saver. I also think a jig and a router can do a better job than multi-spindle machines.

    How many drawers a month are you talking about? If you're doing less than 100 per month I'd suggest waiting until you've got an extra $15-20k laying around for a cnc type dovetailer.
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



  3. #3
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    Thanks Karl, Right now Is say im around 50-70 range on average. Guess I will stick with the current setup.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    Thanks Karl, Right now Is say im around 50-70 range on average. Guess I will stick with the current setup.
    How are you doing your drawers now?

    Material?

    Process?

    Equipment?

    (edit)- Dovetails eat up a ton of time. It takes me roughly 45 minutes to produce a drawer on average. I haven't kept track of the time it takes to just cut pins and tail, but I recently did 52 drawers for a job, and I had about 5 or 6 hrs with a router in my hand to get them done. I'm told the automatic dovetailer like Laguna sells will process 40 drawers an hour. I do not know how accurate that is, and how much is marketing BS. Its a long process with a lot of steps.
    Last edited by Karl Brogger; 12-19-2010 at 03:36 AM.
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



  5. #5
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    I don't do that many drawers but If I were considering a dovetail machine ,I would not put Laguna on my list to purchase from again. There are plenty of bad reviews on line about Laguna tools and mine are included.
    God,family, friends,country, Woodworking

  6. #6
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    Jim, which Laguna[s] do you have? What don't you like about them?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Broke View Post
    I would not put Laguna on my list to purchase from again.
    I agree, I was more talking about the style of machine. Or more importantly the action of it.



    Sorry to hijack this thread. (I'm really bad about that)
    Its too bad that Laguna makes such poor quality equipment. They're attractive, and good looking, and not exactly cheap. The only thing I've ever heard anything good about them is the bandsaw's, and I've never seen any of it in a commercial setting.


    (edit)-This looks to be an excellent machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh80i...layer_embedded
    About $50k new. Take a lot of drawers to pay for that! Just for rough and dirty math, if you make $30 drawer it'd take ~1600 drawers before you recouped your investment. But, it may also open doors for you to produce drawers on a larger scale, and you may be able to put yourself in a position to produce drawers for other shops as well. At that point you'd probably want to purchase a drawer clamp as well.

    I'd be more inclined to buy a single spindle machine if I were to go CNC. Gives you more flexibility as far as being able to space the pin's/tails differently, or be able to make larger pins/tail.
    Last edited by Karl Brogger; 12-19-2010 at 02:54 PM. Reason: wanted to add something, didn't want to add a post.
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



  8. #8
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    Karl and Al and any others that do woodworking making cabinets etc for a living.

    What about this work table as an intermediate method to improving productivity and making lighter work but repeatable set ups for various things.

    I could see where you could set this up to cut dovetails in a jiffy as well as many other things. Take the drudge work out of manhandling the tool and even make it possible for you to get a helper to do the work given you can jig it.

    http://torqueworkcentres.com/

    Given you can make a cut out slot in the table or jig things any way you want its quiet versatile in my view.

    Here is a guys blod video of a cabinet maker who has set it up to do dadoes

    http://kentshepherd.wordpress.com/ look up May 18 to see his video.
    cheers

  9. #9
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    Interesting.

    First impression is that its kinda cheap looking though. The jack of all trade type machines generally aren't real good at any one thing.

    Neat idea, but I'm not sure it'd hold up to hard use, or more importantly, idiots.
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



  10. #10
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    I was lookin at Dodds single spindle automatic. My setup is two CMT 12" hb dt jigs. One is setup for 1/2" stock and the other is setup for 5/8". I use solid maple with front and back dt on the 5/8" boxes and the 1/2" boxes are made from prefinished ply and only get dt in the front. The backs are slide int slots and get glued and nailed I have a PT690 router setup for each jig. Slots for bottoms ar done the molder w/ slotter blade.

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