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looking at a couple large sliders.
Can anybody clarify what the SI and the WA designate?
How about CE? As in Altendorf F45CE
I want a bigger saw that will take the 16" blade for small timber projects and still be able to do fine joinery tasks.
I would think by the build and the brand, Altendorf could last for decades if maintained. Any reason to expect a 15 year old slider will not perform if kept up well?
Anyone have stiles replace carriage bearings? Cost?
The new Nova I am sure will do most all I need it to do, but looks like a pretty light build.
Thoughts on this would be most appreciated.
I believe the WA is Altendorfs saw that is made in China.Anymore,you really have to pay attention to every manufactuerer's models,to see if you are getting their machine they make,or a low end machine they stamp their name on in order to offer a low cost machine.Personally,I would rather have an older (not too old)slider made in Germany,rather than a new chinese saw with a European name stamped on it.
The Altendorf WA8 are made in Germany and assembled in China. I assume for savings in labor and shipping to NA.
I have an SCMI SI16W (mid 90's) and can verify it's built like a Sherman tank! I use it daily and it slides smooth as silk, cuts like a dream (quality, sharp blades help by the way - and the right blade for the right job). No wear after all these years - I'd say it will run well for another couple of decades. 5 man shop in daily use. You can load the heaviest of timbers on that slider and it doesn't ever wince.
Can I rave more? :-) I've seen very few of the recent machines on the market that are built as sturdy and solid as these older Italian machines. Their roller system for the sliding table is (in my opinion) amongst the best ever, this after using a machine that is better than 18 years old.. If you can find one in decent shape - run, don't walk if the price is right.
Though I mostly run 14" blades, I have a few 16" for those "timber" runs, as well as many times mitering Chicago bar rails that need 6-1/2" cutting capacity - which this machine easily accommodates. Also nice to have that extra cutting height for 1-1/2" post formed countertops with an additional 4" backslash - we can cut them cleanly in a single pass.
The only maintenance other than keeping it clean and the occasional oiling was to replace the original white on black rulers with black on white. Can't figure out whoever thought white on black was easily legible! Sigh.
I'd buy this machine again in a heartbeat! Not so sure about the newer breed. Would love to have a digital, automatic fence system - but hey, you can't have it all...
The Altendorf wa series is all made in China. Everything that scm makes comes from Italy. Scm as the longest warranty on the sliding table out of everyone.
I was told the f45's carriage will have some side to side play when fully extended forward or to the rear. Any truth in this?
What of their Phenolic ways? Anyone paid to have them replaced? Know how long they last in a 2,3,8 man shop?
Has any one purchased the SCM Nova 400? Review?
An older high quality slider can serve you well. Altendorf and Martin seem to have the best reputations. I can't speak to the various Altendorf models. I have worked with various SCMI machines including a short stroke SI 12 slider, and I would say that they are good designs but not at the level of the 1984 Martin T71 I work with daily in a 7 man shop. We paid $8500 for it 5 years ago, and I believe if the ways are kept lubricated and the hydraulic pump that raises and tilts the blade doesn't crap out, it will produce accurate work for another 10 or maybe 20 years with no mechanical issues and definitely no electronic problems associated with digital controls.
When looking at a used slider, the carriage condition is the most important thing. Do the wear surfaces show deep grooves? Can you feel any play in the carriage when you horse it around at full extension? Does it track smoothly? Does it run level to the main table? Does it appear well-maintained? Can you try it under power and get the results you want with it? If not, keep looking.
Thanks fro the response Kevin . all good points. I've called Stiles, though they keep trying to direct to SIS for a used machine or buy new, they did say the F45s should last for a good 30 years or more if maintained.
Our Martin has a large unitary cast iron fixed table. The slider carriage and extension table are aluminum. The slider runs on a series of ball bearings in hardened steel v-shaped grooves, the same system Martin uses to this day. In fact I don't think the basic design has changed much in 30 years, they have just layered on digital controls which add convenience and vulnerabilities as well.
Personally, I won't buy a used machine sight unseen unless I trust the seller implicitly to inspect it as thoroughly as I would. If I were in your place I would incorporate a round trip to the mainland for inspection into the purchase price.
Replacing bearings on an Altendorf is in the $500 range. Stay away from the Phenolic ways on the Altendorf.
Sorry Bill I disagree with you. There nothing wrong with the phenolic ways on the Altendorf. I have a 1996 F45 that was used in a custom shop and the last 5 years in my shop and the phenolic ways are still perfect. I looked at several sliders but once I saw an Altendorf I was sold. The first one I ever got to touch was a mid 1980s that was used 24/7 in a production shop and even though everything was well worn it still cut perfectly. Everything on the saw is so heavy duty and so well engineered it will out last me. Late model F45s come up at auction and on the used market, there's a few on WOODWEB right now.