Thread: Lamello Biscuit Jointer
8th Mar 2010, 12:10 PM #1
Lamello Biscuit Jointer
I went into Robertson and sinclair today for a window shop and saw 2 models of Lamello Biscuit Jointer the S4 $1195 and the C3 $785 they seem to be able to do a wide range of application from Bicuit jointing to joinery connector to hinges etc. Are these worth the price or a bit gimmicky? Anyone own one?
Lamello :: Wood Joining System
Andrew"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing"
(Edmund Burke 1729-1797)
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8th Mar 2010, 12:25 PM #2
Andrew these are known to be the cream of biscuit jointers.They are the forerunner to all biscuit jointers and are certainly considered to be worth the money.They are without doubt a quality tool.
Lamello(Swiss gent) was responsible for the initial design of the biscuit jointer hence the name.
Lamello have been around for quite a while now and to spend the money on them needs to taken into consideration whether the work that you do will justify the outlay or whether a Domino jointer will also suffice.
For what its worth the Lamello have also been up front with R&D in producing knock down hinges etc to compliment the tool use.
If you want a biscuit jointer there are of course a lot of cheaper options and Makita make a good model at around half the cost.
Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.
19th Mar 2010, 12:18 AM #3
Herrmann Steiner's idea of the horizontal sliding circular saw (which a bisquit jointing machine really is), was brilliantly simple, as most good ideas are. The best part of the idea was the choice of a small grinder as a power source. Since grinding discs can be subject to lateral forces (prying and pinching of the disc within the ground cut or slot), the bearing array in angle grinders is relatively large for the specific power output. Lateral forces are unlikely to occur during the making of the necessary precision cuts in wood, since the angle of attack is vectored neatly in the same plane as that of the cut being made, but the oversized bearings serve to provide an unyielding sawblade precision mounting instead. Secondly, the angled transmission and the position and dimension of the motor housing is ideal for a handy horizontal sliding saw array. And furthermore, there is a vast choice of quality brand angle grinders to choose from. So Steiner just had to use a good middle of the road example (a Metabo grinder) to quickly gain a succesfull prototype. Add enough precision to the sliding mechanism and the adjustments and presto, you're almost done. So today, small quality angle grinder units are still the base for quality bisquit joiners.
Lamello uses grinder motors from Felisatti, Metabo, Protool and Perles. Bosch, Makita, Protool and Festool use such motors of their own. Lamello has turned itself into a true specialist, like Leister is the 1A specialist for heat sealing and seam routing machines for linoleum flooring. The firm has built up a vast database of knowledge and shared experience through cooperation with quality tradesmen in the field, that no other brand can match. Lamello is well aware that a firm can handsomely cash in on such unique headstart. So you pay handsomely through every original Lamello purchase, as you would pay handsomely for original Hilti or Festool stuff. But does it always pay?
Unless you are a specialist all day user and breadwinning tradesman relying on this quality, no, it doesn't pay to specifically own original Lamello branded stuff. I once had the pleasure to work with a Top 20, as shown in the pic below. Every action is silky smooth and the machine's finish is something to drool over. I'd love to own one, but would i truly truly need it for the general tasks i use a bisquit jointer for in general? No.
Instead i use a Makita 3901. When looking at both machines, the Japanese have probably bought a Lamello as a sample specimen, to take back home for taking apart and copying. And they did a good job; the 3901 also handles nice and smooth. As a base, they took their own 9505BH angle grinder (590 Watts, which is not much but adequate or this job, and it was their first small model with spindle lock for easy disc change) and fitted it with a sliding mechanism and a TCT blade, like Lamello did. Makita's sliding mechanism looks a bit cheaper and is simpler and has less adjustments. However, when the Lamello would be a Rolls or Bentley, the Makita would certainly be no Reliant Robin but rather a Jaguar S.
Investment in a Lamello is justifiable for specialist project furniture makers and the likes, relying on all sorts of extreme quality hidden exotic wood joints. Those users are the only ones fully benefiting from all the nifty Lamello knowledge and details and accessories, that would simply be too expensive for others. For more conventional work, slightly lesser advanced alternatives from Bosch, Makita, Protool or Festool will be quite adequate. I've come to know the 3901 as a precise and smooth enough machine for all the demands i threw at it and i bought it for a bargain price, which i never would have pulled off with a Lamello. Those only seem to come in top dollar offers, even in used state or from forced sales after firm bankrupcies.
19th Mar 2010, 04:43 PM #4
First work out what type of joinery you want to do. If you have that sort of dough to invest then think Lamello or Festool Domino.
Yes the Lamello or a cheaper substitute will do things with specialist knock down fittings purpose designed to complement its versatility that other joinery systems won't do.
The Festool Domino will register surfaces in board joining and joining faces in joints much more reliably and accurately than any biscuit jointer and its got some pretty neat little jigs of its own that make things more efficient when you get familiar with them.
I don't do knock down joinery and I don't use hinges designed for biscuit jointer cutting cause I couldn't sell the products I make if I went that route.
I bought a Domino about 3 years ago and I have never used my Bosch biscuit jointer since although before buying the Domino I used it most days.
Hope this helps.
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