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I'm new to shopping for an S4S moulder. Can anyone answer me 2 questions and maybe point me in the right direction of a machine that is right for me?
1. Are there any machines that have a built in saw, so I can cut all my boards to the right length at the same time?
2. If I can't get a machine that will cut boards, are there minimum requirements on the length of stock I run thru? If I pre-cut my boards first, the S4S planing might take out most of the splintering that occurs on the back side of my cuts.
I'd be running a few thousands feet a day of boards thru it that are roughly 18" in length, but some runs are shorter. I am thinking of going with the Weinig, but am unsure of other options.
I've never seen or heard of a molder and cut off saw combination machine. That sounds like something from a sawmill production line processing logs into framing lumber.
A properly set up moulder (like a planer) will produce no discernible snipe.
Nevertheless, you are generally better off defecting for length AFTER the moulder, because then you _know_ how things came out. For instance, tearout from weird grain or knots coming through from the other side. These choices can be either entirely human, entirely programmed, or a combination where the programmed solution is presented and the operator can accept or ask for alternate solutions.
Going back to your original question, I don't know of "A" machine that will do what you're looking for, but a company such as Weinig will help you build the line necessary to achieve your goals.
Please note that in anything approaching what you're talking about the budget (for new equipment) starting at a quarter million USD, and could easily exceed the 1mm mark.