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Thread: More on Jointers

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Benjamin
    I guess it all depends on the wood you use. I don't think most amateur woodworkers regularly need to joint pieces that are wider than 8". I almost never buy any boards over 8" wide and it's not because I only have an 8" jointer. It's because 8" and narrower boards typically fall within my project and budget needs. I don't agree at all that the primary function of an 8" jointer is for edge jointing. You do realize that most people on this forum aren't professional production shops, don't you? Sure, I wouldn't mind at all having a bigger jointer but I would only rarely actually use that extra capacity over an 8" Most of what I buy is between 6" and 8" wide and at the two hardwood suppliers in my town this is the width of a lot of the wood they sell. Me buying a 20" jointer would be like me buying a bazooka to shoot squirrels. Only occasionally do I come across a really big squirrel.

    Bruce
    Opps, you mean not everyone on this forum is a professional woodworker? Wow, you learn something everyday.

    Why 20 inches? Simple! They are cheaper than the 12 incher porters. The ideal cat's meow machine for your average hobbyist woodworker is a 12 inch machine. As you move up to 16 in and 20 in machines, many folks are scarred silly to use the beastie. Also dialing in a wider machine becomes more difficult.

    As an example. I have only seen ONE 12 inch porter 300 jointer in my lifetime. A buddy of mine restored it and sold it for $8000 dollars. This was about 5 years ago and the jointer was from about 1960. Granted it was in pristine shape and included a knife grinder. The price is very high but then again its a 12 incher.

    I have written about jointers at extreme length in the past and I dont feel like repeating that diatribe here. Surfice it to say that there are advantages to a 12 inch or wider joitner over an 8 inch jointer. For example, this thread was begun on the premise of incorporating a helical head on an 8 inch jointer. I said it in the past and I will say it again, I PERSONALLY feel your wasting your money. The 8 inch jointer has way to small a head, to loose bearings and no true means of dialing in super precision so why deal with a super precision head.

    Yah but boards are 8 inches are less.... yadi yadi yadi. This is true; however, I learned many many moons ago that one way to combat pagen grain hardwoods was to skew cut the stuff on the jointer. Most old iron jointers can skew orientate the fence. On some newer jointer, the fence is fixed and only moves in and out. So here I can skew cut an 8 inch board on a 12 or 16 or 20 inch jointer to mitigate blow out.

    Lastly many 20 inch jointers are pigs and eat lots of space. The porter 20 inch 300 is not. IT is built on the frame of the 16 inch porter 300 and only the tables and cutter yoke are dedicated to 20 inches. Everything is identical to the 16 inch porter making for a nice compact design.

    Ideally I would prefer to have a 12 inch jointer with a four knife head. But finding a porter 300 that is 12 inches wide with a four knife head that is actually reasonable in price is an adventure that eluded me so far.
    Had the dog not stopped to go to the bathroom, he would have caught the rabbit.

  2. #17
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    Mar 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Randall
    Been following the 8" jointer discussion, especially the Grizzly 490. But what about the Grizzly 526 6" model? Is the trade-off in width and length worth what is apparently better cutting with the carbide spiral-insert blades and ease of cutter adjustment/changing? Setting: I am a beginning woodworker. I am thinking that it is not worth it, either the cut is not that much better or as a beginner I need the width and height to compensate for lack of experience--or both! Thanks.
    I bought the Grizzly 6" jointer, 7 months ago and within the first month started kicking myself for not spending the extra money for the 8" one. If you are into getting rough cut lumber from a sawmill, air drying it and then flattening and planing the boards--which is what I do for my stock-- 8" is the minimum. Right now, I'm looking to upgrade to a 10" jointer.

    Unless you're only doing small projects, get the bigger jointer. You won't be sorry.

    Chet Parks

  3. #18
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    """""""""
    Good luck with your decision, lots of good information here!
    """""""""""

    Ya...maybe a bit to much..

    I'd love to have a larger jointer, but the 16" version I seen was $4,000, ain't gonna happen, just to much money for a hobby and my stash fund.

    Used for me anyway, don't seem to be likely, as they just don't seem to be anywhere near Minn or decent driving distance, if you can find them at all.
    Plus a used 16" at 2K is still too much money.

    I'm not sure the $250 or so to upgrade cutters is gonna be worth it, I'd like to see the difference before spending the money to change.
    Has anyone converted from the stock cutters to the upgraded ones on a 6 or 8" jointer?

    I am looking at the York 8" jointer now, but wondering if a long bed 6" and a plainer (13 or 15") wouldn't make more sense?
    Definetly cheaper than a 16" jointer.

    Waaay to many choices...

    Al

  4. #19
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    Feb 2003
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    Bill.

    You have a lot of good responses here, but let me throw in mt .02.

    Bigger is better, with respect to jointers. You alone have to be the one to justify the cost. The spiral heads are nice, but not necessary, folks have been doing just fine without them for a long time. I would go bigger before spiral, or helical, and upgrade at a later time if required.

    A bigger jointer does take up more space when not in use, no debate there, but it is a non issue in my opinion.The length of the material, and not the size of the machine dictate the space required. An 8' long board requires 17' of open space to joint ( face or edge). It doesn't matter if there a 4' long, 6" jointer underneath the board, or an 8' long, 12" jointer. It still takes 17' of open area to use it. I don't think that even Dev has a jointer that is 17' long. ( I've done quite a few 8' and longer boards as a homeowner/hobbiest. That is why I used this specific example)

    Imho, buy the biggest jointer, that you can afford, and that will fit in your shop. I've never read a post where someone wished that they had bought a smaller jointer.

  5. #20
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    Ok, I'll buy a 16" or larger jointer is the way to go....for those who have dedicated shops with enough room and have the means to buy them.
    But for those of us who neither, what's wrong with owning a plainer that does 13 or 15" wide boards and a 6 or 8" jointer?

    Al .... who's trying to have enough money after this to buy wood....

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Willits
    Ok, I'll buy a 16" or larger jointer is the way to go....for those who have dedicated shops with enough room and have the means to buy them.
    But for those of us who neither, what's wrong with owning a plainer that does 13 or 15" wide boards and a 6 or 8" jointer?

    Al .... who's trying to have enough money after this to buy wood....
    Nothing is wrong with that combination Al. I'm sure that a lot of folks are managing just fine with it, me included. ( Jet 15" planer, and a Jet 6" jointer). I do want a bigger jointer though. The 6" is just too small for my needs. I have at times almost tipped it over while in use, due to the weight of the material I was working on. I've edge joined 10' long, by 16" wide Jatoba boards on it, and it wasn't fun.

    I personally think that as "hobbiest", we tend to rationalize against buying the bigger, heavier, more expensive equipment. It is hard to justify the new purchase of a jointer that may cost $2K-3K or even more. When there are Mortages to pay, car payments, college tuition, etc... We also tend to work primarily alone, and I've come to believe that the bigger the better, is also the safer, when working alone. It's hard to wrestle a long board through a jointer, or a tablesaw, or a bandsaw by yourself, and when you add in the problem of the machine moving underneath the material due to the combination of light weight, and mobile bases, the combination can be a real hazard in my opinion. Maybe the stuff I've been building lately has just been physically too big, I don't know?

    Personally, for me I'm looking at the 10"-12" used jointer market. I don't think that an 8" is a big enough step up from 6" for me, but individual needs vary.

    Just my .02, fwiw. There is no one size fits all solution, eh.

  7. #22
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    Thanks Mike, I unfornately haven't been able to find a jointer bigger than 8" in the price range I can afford, new or used.
    I have decided on the York 8" jointer and probably the Dewalt 735 plainer.
    Been thinking on one of them reconditioned Dewalts on Ebay, haven't heard anything bad about them yet.
    Although a used 15" would be nice, they seen to be hard to come by here in Minn, but I'll keep looking.

    Al

  8. #23
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    Joining In on Jointers

    Wow...what a great thread! Many excellent examples have been presented, and I think it's fair to say your specific needs dictate what is best for you. I'd start with a realistic budget figure....how much are you willing to spend and not a penny more? Once that figure is reached, then determine what is the most jointer you can get for your money? Your budget will help you decide if it'll be a 6", 8", or behemouth size. I wholeheartedly agree that I have never met a person complain they bought too large a jointer.
    In February of '06 I bought the Grizzly G0490 because 8" covers 90% of the boards I buy. I think the parallelogram beds are a must-have feature and would have waited and maybe looked for a used jointer with those beds had Grizz not introduced this model.
    I do a lot of table tops and since buying my jointer I have reduced my sanding time by around 80%. Coupled with my newer DeWalt 13" planer I have complete confidence that my boards are square and true so they will move in harmony throughout their lifespan. If I had a 6" jointer I'd be doing a lot more sanding and glueing.
    So to summarize, I suggest establishing a drop-dead budget number then seeing what you can buy for that amount. Good luck with your search!
    Last edited by Scott Vigder; 05-30-2006 at 3:48 PM.
    Trees. Tools. Time.

  9. #24
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    Sep 2005
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    Columbia City , Indiana
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    I have a 8" Powermatic Joiner , Although this machine is vary nice , I wish I had a bigger unit ! There has been a number of times that I wish I could have face joined a 10" or a 12" board ! But i have always just made do w/
    the 8".
    Question: Is it hard to push a 12" or larger board thru a larger unit by hand ? What about a 20" wide board on a 20" Joiner , would that require a powerfeeder???? I guess I should dedicate this question to Dev...
    Last edited by Seth Poorman; 05-30-2006 at 3:12 AM.
    I Love My Dedicated Machines ! And My Dedicated Wife Loves Me !

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Poorman
    ...Question: Is it hard to push a 12" or larger board thru a larger unit by hand ? What about a 20" wide board on a 20" Joiner , would that require a powerfeeder???? ...
    I have never had a problem hand feeding a wide (14, 15 inch) board through my 16 inch jointer. I have a power feeder, but prefer to NOT use it on the jointer, since it pushes down pretty hard, which will take some warp out of the board by bending it, rather than straightening it on the jointer.

    The limiting factor on my system is not my strength nor the power of the jointer, but the dust collector... I can easily fill the 4 inch hose with chips when I am jointing a wide board. Therefore to avoid plugging the hose, I may make a couple shallower passes, rather than hogging everything off at once.

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