By Joshua Farnsworth
As a historical furniture maker, I absolutely love woodworking with wide boards like many of the furniture maker of the past. I also dislike gluing up panels more often than I have to.
So that’s why I’ve wanted this 16-inch Felder jointer-planer machine ever since I saw the one my friend bought. See my video above to learn how to use it.
The Felder came in a perfect time, right at the height of the pandemic when my school had to be closed and I turned into a hermit, pretty much.
A time when I could focus on making more furniture, which now includes really wide boards that I don’t have to glue up!
I feel like I’ve used this Felder AD 941 jointer planer enough now to share a credible opinion.
For a little background, before I got this Felder machine I had to spend a lot of time and effort to flatten wide boards.
One time-consuming method I used was to remove the guard on my old 8-inch Grizzly jointer and joint enough of a face so I could then handplane down the high spot.
And then I would send it upside down through my wider Grizzly planer, and then flip it and repeat.
You may have seen this in the video I did on building the dovetail braced bench (here). This is a very lengthy and frustrating process, especially on a larger project like when I was building some book cases. And it never felt very safe.
The other method I used for squaring up wide boards was to use hand tools. I really love this process, but it stops becoming fun after I move past two or three boards.
So my dream was to get this combination machine that would fit nicely into my school, and allow me to square up large, beautiful boards. And I’m happy to report that it has worked great. I was able to get rid of my Grizzly jointer and planer, and free up space here in my shop.
The machine was delivered on a larger pallet than I expected, and it was a bit tricky to get it down to the floor, but with the help of a bunch of friends, we got it safely off of the pallet.
Before my first use I thought it would be frustrating to have to convert back and forth between the jointer and the planer configuration, but it’s actually been quite easy and fast to do.
Like I said the surface finish is very nice, with very little sanding or handplaning to do before finishing, even on figured wood.
The Silent-Power® cutter heads with the carbide blade inserts appear to be the highest quality, and can be easily turned or changed out if you chip one.
And I’m still amazed that I rarely get snipe on my boards, like I did with my grizzly thickness planer and every other thickness planer that I’ve owned. This is what I got from my Grizzly thickness planer, no matter how much time I spent tuning up the machine’s tables:
Snipe is a major pain that either causes me to wastefully cut 3-inches off of each end of the board, or have to move back to the jointer to resurface each sniped face.
So to me this is a major benefit of having such a high-end machine with tight tolerances. The 4 column table support is what gives stability to the planer’s table (see illustration above).
On my Felder I ordered the optional mobile base, and I’m incredibly glad that I did. My Grizzly machines were really difficult and awkward to move around, so I wasn’t sure how a machine this heavy would do on a mobile base.
But the design is really different than on budget-model machines like my Grizzly machines. I installed the caster wheels on the rear of the machine, and then I attached the mounting plate to the front of my machine. And this handle clips into the mounting plate, and I simply push down and the machine lifts up.
You can see here how easy I can maneuver the jointer-planer around my shop. This is really important for my school, so I can easily move the machine back into place when classes are in session.
I’ll be straight up: this machine isn’t cheap. You can check out the current pricing for the Felder AD 941 here on the Felder website. That link will also give you all of the technical details. But if the AD 941 jointer-planer is beyond your current budget, then Felder makes an affordable 16-inch jointer-planer under their HAMMER brand. The model is A3 41A, which you can find here.
I calculated that the 16-inch Hammer jointer-planer machine is actually less expensive than buying both of the Grizzly machines that I recently replaced (it replaces both), and you can joint & plane up to 16-inch wide boards. And it takes up less space.
The Hammer model is plenty suitable for any smaller professional or hobbyist woodworking shop. The Hammer line also has other sizes of jointer-planer machines if you don’t need a 16-inch jointer.
And all of the Felder brands have extensive lines of woodworking machinery. You can find them all here at the Felder website.
So that’s my review of my new Felder AD 941 jointer-planer machine. As you can tell I’m quite smitten with this machine, and the wonderful Felder company. They have been a joy to work with from delivery to advice on assembly.
If you want to see more of my videos & articles, make sure you subscribe below and you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. If you have questions or want to share some of your thoughts, please do so below this article.