I would like to buy an entry level edgebander for my closet business, as well as a boring machine and a panel saw (vertical). I am stuck between the Brandt, Holzher 1305, or the SCMI k201. Can anyone tell me which way to go? Also, I am stuck with 1 phase power.
From contributor W:
We use an SCMI Basic 2 and have been very happy with it. I saw a used one in good shape that sold for $2500 recently. If you are not in a big rush, keep your eyes open on the WOODWEB Machinery Exchange and on IRS auctions and E-bay. There are plenty of good deals on the used market, but you have to be very careful when buying a used edgebander. It is a very complicated machine. Make sure that whatever brand you settle on, you will be able to get service. It would do you no good to get a good deal then have to fly in a tech from across the country when it needs repair.
As far as the boring machines go, if you are doing closets, spend the extra money and get the 2 row machine with 46 spindles and through boring. The extra money you spend here will be recouped in short order because of time/labor savings. The single phase power is not a problem. Do a search on E-bay for "rotary phase converter." You will want to get one that has a HP rating large enough to support the three machines all together. Whatever kind of saw you get, make sure it has a scoring blade. There are plenty of them on the used market as well.
I've done very well purchasing late model equipment used or lease-repo. My bander was a year old and impeccable when I bought it for less than 50% of new. Think about what the brand new equipment would be worth if you had to sell it next month!
"Excellent lease rates" often don't tell the whole story, as in the big print giveth; the small print taketh away! Cost out the entire lease, from purchase to buyout, and consider the effective interest rate you're paying. I haven't seen one yet that isn't far more expensive than simply borrowing from the bank for an outright purchase. Leasing makes sense sometimes, say, for a starting-out business without credit, or for equipment that will be obsolete before the lease period ends. Sure, it's nice to be able to write off the entire lease payment rather than depreciating, and great not to show an equipment loan as a business liability. For me, it's a strictly dollars-and-cents issue, rather than bookkeeping games. We often get blinded by the idea of a beautiful and productive new tool that's going to land on our shop floor for a pittance, and don't think the entire transaction through. Just go in with your eyes open! Read everything first, and ask the questions before signing. Understand everything, even the most mundane boilerplate. The fact that it's a part of the contract indicates that it's important, and probably to the leasing outfit's advantage. They're better at this than you are! If you've just got to lease, bargain with your vendor just as if you were going to write a check. Once the difference that you're negotiating over gets expressed in the "just a few $$ per month" format, the tendency is to ignore it and get on with the transaction. I assume that if we're just a few bucks apart, they're probably in a better position to make up the shortfall.
Also, if you are considering the K201, you should get high frequency motors which will cost probably $3,000 more but are really necessary for longevity of the machine. One of the nice things about the K201 is it can run on either single or three phase. That would be good for you, but many used double line drills out there run on three phase. We simply purchased a rotary phase converter, but the entire cost will be $2-3,000 unless you buy used.
We have a used Marcon 46 hole double line drill which drills down and it has been great. Cost us only $4,000 used. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a used drill, but would probably not buy a used bander because they are so complex and I have seen a lot of junk out there. If you do lean toward a used bander, you could get someone on WOOWEB with bander experience that lives near the machine, and ask them if they would mind running it and looking it over. Or you could hire a repair outfit like Western Industrial Machine Repair, who could send a tech out to look at and run it.
I have a few friends who bought a like-new used machine and have been very happy - I also have one friend who bought a used SCMI Basic One that was pure junk. That is really an old machine and I can't imagine being able to find a good one out there without taking a real chance.