Moulder Options for the Small Shop

Pros discuss the cost-effectiveness and convenience of various moulders, singly or in combination. November 9, 2005

We are a small moulding and general woodwork shop. We often run moulding runs of 2,000-3,000 lf. We have been doing this on a single head planer moulder, and then we do the back cut in a separate pass. We have been doing this for about 3 years. This is a very time consuming way to make moulding. We do 2-3 jobs a month this size. We have recently been looking at the Logosol 4 side planer/moulder and I was wondering if anyone else on this site is using this planer/moulder, and what they like and don't like about it. I don't have the money, space, or 3 phase power to operate a 5 or 6 head moulder. The Logosol seems to be the right size and price range for us, and we can run it on single phase power. Any feed back on this machine would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor A:
I was considering a Logosol at one time. I think they are pretty good machines, but I read something about them being more suitable for flooring rather than moulding. Im not sure where, but maybe here on Woodweb you can check the archives. I also remember that there may have been some width restrictions. I too am still interested in the machine.

From contributor B:
I would prefer to have two small machines running side by side to take care of the annoying back cut situation than one monster gizmo. There is nothing wrong with multiples. I have a Woodmaster 18", and my first step to increase production would be a second machine.

From contributor C:
Why should you have efficiency rather than quantity? Two machines are better than one - just look at your industry and you'll see that proven time after time. There is nothing wrong with multiples. Handling it 2 or 3 or more times doesn't really increase costs. Moldings can easily be done with 4 to 6 routers and power feeders. It is very simple to set up and simple for 3-4 highly trained and motivated people to run. It takes up a lot less room in the garage, too. Just set up one cut, run it, move all that stuff out of the way, wheel in the next machine, run that one for a while, then the third, etc. All you have to do is position, hook up power, dust collection (if you really think you need it), maybe air, then disconnect and go. Too simple! You don't need the evil 3-phase power, either. I don't know why anyone would ever buy a Weinig when you can do it with routers.

From contributor D:
To contributor B: Why the negativity towards a production machine? Is it the cost that scares and annoys you? I'll be dropping off my material and picking up my check while you are running your mouldings through your second moulder.

From contributor E:
I have some experience with running 5 and 4 head molders, both Weinigs. The 5 head and a grinder would run 7,000 to 8,000 l/f per day, every day, with almost no downtime, except for light regular maintenance. The experienced operator can changeover in 20 minutes or so, then be up and running. We did runs from as little as 100 l/f to 40,000 l/f. The net profit from this machine was very close to $.10 per l/f!!! Do the math.

The 4 head we run now - Quattromat - runs far less for our needs, but makes it up in accuracy and ease of operation. It will pay for itself easily within the 5 years we planned. If you only do several 3k foot runs a month, you may want to buy the molding. If the market is there, and you can swing a grinder and space and people, you could be the source and run for your area. Weinig will even tell who is running what in your area.

From contributor A:
You can make moulding with shapers, but then, why do they make moulders? A Woodmaster, without modification, is not a real good example of a moulder. Most of them are 2-3-or 4 in one machines. There goes the idea about multiple machines. Guess you would be running multiples of multiples. For a small shop wanting to make good moulding with minimal initial investment, my choice would be Williams & Hussey.

From contributor F:
A Williams & Hussey is a single head planer that runs at the same feed speed as the Woodmaster. If you are looking at getting into making small production runs more efficiently, you will need a real moulder. A Logosol is not going to hold your tolerances to within 1/32nd of an inch throughout a 3000 l/f run. If you are predominantly running smaller patterns (under 4") have you thought about finding an older Poulsen or XL? I run across them from time to time for under $3k with one set of heads. They are more expensive initially but more profitable down the road.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the information. I don't think it is a good idea to run the same stick of moulding through many different machines. Each time that you handle the same piece it takes longer to get the finished product, and time equals money. I like the looks of the Logosol because it can be purchased in single phase power and will do the job in one pass. Is there anyone out there who has any experience with this machine? Does anyone know of any other machines in the $7,000-$10,000 range that can be run on single phase power? I do not want a converter.