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4 wheel or track power feeder11/12/19
I am looking at adding a larger power feeder to my shaper. I have several 3 wheel feeders in the shop already. I was going to get a 4 wheel but thought that a track might be better. Is there a down side to a track over the 4 wheel. This is for general shaper use.
I have both, the track feeder is better for small parts but not good at deep profiles on narrow stock. Wheel feeder better at deep profiles since you could take a wheel off to get better depth yet still hold a part. Downside is that short lengths can not be held that great due to how close the holding power of the wheels are or are not. There is a new feeder from Comatic I believe that has small diameter wheels yet still has the suspension travel and added bonus of variable speed. Someone else that has one of these models please chime in here.
I have the 7 wheel feeder. It is good but we have had problems with it since new. It shudders when the work piece gets to the end of the cut. We are continuing to work with the manufacturer but at this time I would not recommend it. We have tried everything and if it is not replaced with a new one I will be disappointed and removing it from the shaper it is on to a less critical operation. It has drive shafts that drive the wheels and I think then bind.
Given its versatility, I recommend looking closely at how you most often use the shaper.
We have gone through a lot with the Comatic DC 7 wheel feeder. The problem is that the feed shudders when the material reaches the out feed side of the cut. On a shaper it puts ripples in the cut. They sent us a 4 wheel DC feeder of the same design and it does the same thing. We replaced it with a standard 4 wheel feeder and it cuts as smooth as glass.
I would avoid Comatic DC feeders, I believe there is a design flaw.
Bill, any idea what could be causing the shuddering?
I have one Comatic DC feeder and haven't experienced that. But, that feeder is in a very light duty application. So I may not be pushing it hard enough to expose the problem you're having.
I never used the tires that came with it and put stickier ones on as soon as I had it bolted down.
I totally agree with Rufus. I've got both 3 & 4 wheel. Much prefer the 4 wheel. Also have one of the tall stands so I can feed panels on edge. Bought one of the large diameter single wheel units for contour banding but the guys don't like it.
This is not Comatic in General it is specifically their DC (direct current variable speed models).
I think the front set of wheels and the back set are driven off a different gear, I am not really sure why it happens but on the two feeders we have it definitely does happen. We tried everything and I mean everything over a series of months.
This is on a Martin NC controlled shaper.
I need the 7 wheel for a specific operation so I want it to work! It just doesn't. From what you are saying it is not every feeder. Somehow I got two.